Real estate agents typically work with homebuyers with the goal of finding the best home for their needs. However, it takes some time to find the perfect house — and not everyone is accepting of that fact. Eventually, you’re going to run into homebuyers who are eager to find a great home right away, which can be difficult for several reasons.
Not only will you face more pressure (including more emails and phone calls) from homebuyers, they’re also more likely to make a hasty decision that isn’t ideal for their circumstances. If you want them to make the best decision possible, while still maintaining your sanity, you’ll need to learn how to manage impatient buyers.
What is the average length of time to find and buy a house?
Your first job will be educating your homebuyers on the length of time it actually takes to find and buy a house. Some people are impatient simply because they expect the process to go quickly; they’ve never been through it before.
Although it varies from person to person and city to city, most people can count on an average of 30 to 60 days of home searching before finalizing a contract. In other words, you should expect the process to take one or two months.
If you find a couple eager to move and rush into a contract within a week, you may want to encourage them to take their time and consider other options. If you’ve been searching together for four months, it may be time to have a conversation about goals. See if you can figure out what’s really going on in their minds.
Of course, from there, you’ll also need to think about the contract-to-close period. However, this process is often on rails, and will only take one to two additional months (probably less, if everything goes well).
Why is the homebuyer impatient?
Next, think about why the homebuyer is impatient. There are several factors that could be pressuring them, and each one requires a different approach.
Different homebuyers want to buy at different paces. Some want to take their time with the decision, treating it as a side project. Others want to make it their main focus in life until the decision is made. There isn’t much you can do to control this variable, but you can temper it with your active support.
Perfectionism and desires
Some people have few preferences when buying a house, while others have a laundry list of requirements. Some of your more perfectionist homebuyers will likely stop at nothing to get their dream house — even if it means passing up a lot of viable options. Try to instill a mentality that “perfect is the enemy of good.”
Market conditions will also play a role. If the market is hot, and if negotiations are competitive, buyers may be desperate to get in bids. If your buyers are aggressive, the best thing may be to lean in and help them learn as much as possible before making offers.
What can you do to improve the situation?
As a real estate agent, there are several takeaways you can use to improve the buying process for both you and your prospective buyers. Here are a few:
Give them time
Buying a house is a big decision, and most people end up more confident and decisive when they’re given some time to mull it over. Encourage your clients to list the pros and cons, take some time away from the decision, and get a good night’s sleep. Give them room to breathe, and try to help them see how much time they truly have.
Understand the push factors
Almost always, there will be at least a few factors making your clients impatient — whether it’s uncertainty about the market or just a nagging sense of perfectionism. Whatever the case, if you understand the obstacles, you’ll be able to empathize with them and more importantly, present a solution.
Present unconsidered alternatives
If your homebuyer wants a home right away, but doesn’t like what the market has to offer, consider presenting some alternative options they may not have considered, such as houses in a neighboring area, or houses that don’t fit all their wants or needs. Sometimes, people get locked into an idea of the house they want without fully considering what’s available to them. Getting a view on an alternative could help open their minds.
Ask for feedback
In many cases, there’s at least one way you could be ameliorating the situation, either by providing more information, presenting more options, or communicating with your buyers in different ways. To check if this is the case, ask your clients for feedback. This is a valuable opportunity to learn more about your approach and polish it for more efficient, satisfactory deals.
Some homebuyers are naturally impatient, but with the right approach, you can still help them find a great home in a reasonable amount of time. As a real estate agent, you can help buyers find better homes, make more satisfying transactions, and increase your own operating efficiency, so long as you work to understand your buyers’ circumstances.