There are three things that keep us from closing more homes that we can change and close more often that are easy, free and can be implemented immediately.
- Manage expectations
This is the doctor/lawyer term that keeps people from becoming upset later and keeping themselves out of court but it also applies to USHUD real estate. If we set the stage correctly and objectively without a great deal of superlatives we are far more likely to be able to create a happier client that doesn’t not push back toward the end of the transaction while we are heading toward the closing table. We need to remember that bedside manner isn’t telling the patient whatever they want to hear. It is a matter of communicating with a degree of restraint so that the buyer or seller does not get their expectations out of proportion with reality. People have always and always hear what they want to hear. Bad or good, whatever they are most interested in they will, by nature of being human take away what they were most concerned by. Telling someone that their USHUD home is worth X is fine if we also tell them that the market is not going to support the worth of the home but the value of the home to the potential buyers on the market. Appraisals and market analysis can be over or under the value of the USHUD home and letting them know that is essential to creating a reasonable expectation.
- Solve issues before they become problems
If there is something to be repaired on the buyers credit report or if the home needs a fresh coat of paint to bring it up a couple of notches in the eyes of the potential next buyer. There is no time like the present to start working on the issue before it becomes a problem. If the house is a fixer upper this is a different case but if the house is being sold as is, we owe it to the homeowner to tell them what as is should look like. People who have been living with a credit issue or in a home for a number of years become blind to the little issues as they have learned to either live with them or are conditioned to the issue.
We have to be honest on the side of prudent when we see something on their credit that may cause them to pay a higher mortgage percentage or when a house needs some TLC that they may not see. The house will sell in the present condition but the time on market may be longer and the price they achieve may be lower. As long as we have communicated this to the home owner early on we are not going to get the same push back that we would if we had tried to spare their feelings and allowed several potential buyers to opt for a home with better curb appeal. If necessary we need to bring them to other homes on the market and ask them to compare. Or in the case of a credit issue. Provide the financial difference between a mortgage with a better credit score as compared to where they are now. This may delay the process of closing on a home but we have communicated clearly with them so that they are prepared to hear about their friend who got a lower rate than they qualified for. As long as they know the push back will be minimal. They can always refinance after the credit issue is cleared up.
- Follow up with everyone in person don’t wait for good news.
Keeping the buyer or seller in the loop works wonders. This way they don’t feel left in the lurch and wondering what is going on. If their home is on the market and there have been no showings. Let them know so that when it comes time to suggest reducing the price or whatever the cure might be they are more prepared. We too often wait for positive news in order to avoid uncomfortable conversations. This avoidance does not make the situation better, in fact it does the exact opposite once it comes time to have an uncomfortable conversation. If we had prepared the buyer or seller of the potential for negative news, if the news does crop up it is less likely to be a surprise and more likely to be overcome more easily.
If the buyer is looking for a particular type of home and there is nothing on the market that represents what they have indicated we need to tell them at least once every two weeks so that they know that we are working on their list of desires. This often turns into the buyers becoming more flexible or when the perfect house does come up they are ready to jump as they realize the rarity of the potential home being available. Either way the client is kept up to date with what is going on and are more connected to us.