By setting expectations early, agents can put their customers in a better position and keep them informed in the often frustrating market so they can make quick, informed decisions. Here is how.
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There’s nothing worse than entering a highly competitive market with unrealistic expectations. Simply put, it’s a poor use of time and resources, and it doesn’t benefit a buyer in the slightest. As professionals, it is our responsibility to educate our customers about where the market is and how best to approach it.
By providing buyers with the tools they need early on, we can better help them navigate one of the busiest times of the year for real estate activity. Here are three ways to set expectations with buyers as we enter a busy, all-out spring sales season.
1.Plan a CITO (see toes)
One of the best, and safest ways to meet with buyers and set their expectations early on is to have a CITO, or a time up to “cCome to the office. “This can also be done in a cafe or some other public place that can serve as a neutral floor. (For security reasons, this can also be done virtually).
Wherever you choose to meet your customers, this is your chance to learn about their situation, what they want to achieve, and how you can help them achieve their end goal. You will quickly see how you perceive the current market and how realistic they are.
As a professional, buyers expect you to have guidance on how to navigate the market and do your best. From making sure their funding options are appropriate to narrowing down the neighborhoods that have most of the amenities they are looking for, this is an excellent way to set expectations early on.
2. Give them an overview of the inventory
If your market is as hot as it is here in the Midwest, then you know how tight inventory is. In the course of the year so far we have fallen by over 50 percent compared to the previous year. High demand and low supply correspond to a seller’s market – and buyers must be prepared.
The best way to do this is to give them an overview of all the inventory available in the areas they are looking at. Let them see what you see – how many homes are for sale and what prices they hit.
This is a great way to have early expectations about how competitive the market really is. More importantly, buyers can think about how to better make their offer stand out.
Regardless of whether inspection deadlines are shortened or certain financing options are foregone, if they are prepared in advance and equipped with the right knowledge, they can adapt their needs and wish to adapt better to the situation.
3. Show them what they are getting
Sometimes you have to go to the old school. Just get in the car and check out properties at different prices and locations to show your buyers exactly what they are getting. This will help them see the reality of the market.
This open floor plan with the large renovated kitchen and the walk-in pantry may not be available for price “x”, but it is certainly possible for price “y”. And when they make an offer, you’re showing them why it may not be in their best interest to try to negotiate the asking price right away. Instead, introduce their best conditions to give them the highest chance of landing the property.
It has been said that you don’t become too attached to a home or display too much emotion while just watching. In all honesty, it makes the process easier, and buyers should be excited to tour properties and raise their hopes for the landing of the home they have been looking for.
By setting their expectations early on, agents can put their customers in a controlled position to buy the home they love and train them in the market to make informed decisions when we enter an extremely hot spring sales season .
Anthony West is a real estate agent, founder of The Luxury Life KC at Moffitt Realty, and a Kansas City entrepreneur.