What to do when your deals seem to be turning on you. Questions from agents with more deals pending than ever before. Have people lost their minds? It’s constant fire-putting-out time! Is it just me? Is the moon in retrograde? Why is everyone acting crazy? Has society come unglued?
Why is it so hard to get deals to close right now, and why are people behaving so poorly once they get into contract?
1 Buyers are stressed out having to win bidding wars, use escalation clauses, guarantee appraisals and purchase as-is in some cases. Having to do this multiple times in order to actually get a house is stressful. Give them a break!
2 Buyers sometimes get their negotiation revenge by beating up the seller on inspection items. Is it really ‘beating the seller up’ though, or are they asking for safety and security items? Houses are complex; stuff breaks!
3 Inexperienced agents have trouble managing their clients, both buyers and sellers.
4 Lack of inventory displaces some sellers once their homes have sold, creating additional stress of a double move, waiting for new construction or renting for a while until they find their next home.
5 Interest rates rising add even more pressure!
What to do about these challenging deals, and how do I keep from losing my mind?
1 Be the listing agent as often as possible. Work hard to build up your listing inventory. The listing agent always wins! (Back up offers, etc.)
2 Whether you are on the buyer side or the seller side, prepare your clients for what may happen in the future. What will they do if the house doesn’t appraise for that $20k they got over the last comparable? What do they know they need to fix in anticipation of the home inspection? Where are they moving and when? Manage expectations before they become conflict.
3 Control your own time. Never leave a counter offer or inspection negotiation open until 9pm or midnight. That signs you up for a stressful evening. Leave negotiations open until noon or 2pm so you can work during normal business hours and so the other side can ‘sleep on it’ versus over reacting and creating drama for you.
4 Do not do your negotiations via text! Use professional contracts and addendums so you can stick to what was agreed to and avoid any gray area.
5 If you have to ‘chip in’ to save a deal, consider splitting the monetary contribution 4 ways to spread the expenditure around; you, the other agent, the buyer, the seller. Keep the money in your pocket whenever you can without losing the deal over it!
6 Use a Transaction Fee to offset some of the costs you incur from having to save deals. $397 transaction fee x 18 deals for example, = $7146 ‘slush fund’ –or- savings in your bank account if you don’t use it!
7 If you know you have a volatile client or agent, find their voicemail, use email or bomb-bomb video to get your point across without them interrupting you or saying things like ‘my client will never accept that!’
8 Remember ‘Parkinson’s Law’, which is the adage that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion’. This means that if you figure it’ll take you all day to put out this fire on a pending deal, that it will indeed take that long. Instead, decide how long you’ll take to resolve the issue. Use a timer and give yourself an hour or two hours depending on what you have to do, but don’t take all day, all week or all month to fix it!
9 Your transactions will close as long as the buyer still wants to buy and the seller still wants to sell. Your job is to lead them to resolution. The definition of negotiation is to create a mutually agreeable outcome, not to ‘make the seller cry’!
10 Remember that often times your clients will seem stressed out, full of conflict, even abusive during the process. Many of them will still hug you after they close. This is the largest transaction of their lives, so remember that you do this for a living but it’s a major life event for them!
11 Lighten your processing load by utilizing a Transaction Coordinator! Don’t get lost in the documentation when you could be in front of a seller.
12 Always do your lead follow up and prospecting before noon and your deal maintenance after noon. This way you’ll always have new appointments set and feel less panic when a deal is going sideways. Lead with profit, not with drama.
13 Remember that you are highly paid for your skill, expertise and professionalism. What’s your alternative? Keep things in perspective.
14 Ask for help when you need it! We handle negotiation and client management issues on Premier Coaching calls quite often. Learn from what other agents are dealing with and how they solve problems.