As any real estate agent knows, your transactions involve many players, not just your buying or selling clients. Those players may involve you, the buying client, the selling client, the “other” buying or selling agent, the lender, the home inspector, the lender, the appraiser, the title company, the clients’ family members, the clients’ friends, the lawyers, the contractors and subcontractors, the ex-spouse, you name it.

Your job as one of the agents is to herd all these players together, just as you would herd cats together into one place, at one time, for one task, in order to get this real estate deal done.

Here are some of the roadblocks that may come into play while you’re in the “process of herding”

  1. The buyer may get cold feet. Since this happens all the time, remind the buyer that she/he may risk the loss of her/his earnest money if earnest money is part of the transaction. The buyer may also risk exposure to liabilities if the seller decides to push back.   If neither scenario matters to the buyer and she/he just wants out, remember that this buyer is an active one and there will always be another house.
  2. The home inspector could render the home a terrible report. The report could indicate the roof needs replacing, there is active mold, the HVAC doesn’t work, etc. Or the inspector could signify a property valuation far under/over an already agreed upon purchase price. Your job is to initiate a compromise between the buyer and seller to repair/replace what needs fixing/replacing. Your job is to initiate a compromise between the buyer and seller on the purchase price to accommodate if the seller won’t agree to repair/replace the structural, health, safety problems inherent to the house. If that doesn’t work, approach the lender about adjusting the interest rate on the home loan in order to counter the inspector’s “short” appraisal.
  3. If/when you and the corresponding agent do not get along, figure out how, if possible, to work together in order that a deal actually happens. Remind the other agent that a done deal is advantageous for everyone.
  4. Family members and friends are becoming increasingly important to real estate consumers, especially millennial consumers. Make sure to appreciate family members and friends, and their opinions…but, make it clear to your buying and/or selling clients that you as their agent stand for their best decisions, not someone else’s.
  5. An ex-spouse, or a spouse in the process of becoming an ex, may have something to say about the title, the price, the agent’s commission, anything. As long as you are the agent for the client, regardless of what the spouse/ex-spouse has to say, you represent the client, no one else.

Getting cats to do what, when and how you’d like them to do requires the same attributes as resuscitating real estate deals when multiple players are involved. Herding is herding…and the only way to do that is by being cool, calm, collected and absolutely focused on the the real estate transaction at hand, not the personalities.