No, I know you’re not a pushy real estate agent, at least not in the sense that most people would interpret that phrase.
When I first started thinking about this topic, I recalled times when a sales person was pushy – and how I reacted. When someone told me “Now or never” I always chose never.
One pushy real estate agent stands out in my memory…
Way back before I had a real estate license, we were looking for houses to rehab and met with a woman who showed us 3 houses. Then she took us back to the office and attempted to use her version of the “Ben Franklin Close” on us. She was insistent that we choose one of those 3 houses.
We didn’t. She hadn’t even understood what we were looking for. We didn’t call her back, and she didn’t call us either. I guess we didn’t meet her expectations.
You don’t want to be that kind of pushy real estate agent, but…
…there are times when you have to push for your client’s sake.
How can you push when necessary without being seen as a pushy real estate agent?
In today’s real estate climate, your buyers do need to make decisions quickly. If you don’t want to be seen as pushy, start with preparing them in advance. They may not realize just how low your inventory is, or how it will affect their search for a home.
Before you begin showing them homes, show them the state of the market. If houses are going under contract in just a few days, show them the statistics. Don’t just say it – show them the MLS pages that show the actual dates.
Let them know that they not only must be pre-approved; they must be ready to make a decision quickly. “Sleeping on it” will likely mean someone else gets to sleep in the house of their dreams.
Perhaps that means taking their “must have” list along when you view homes. Does this house check all the boxes? If they’re wavering between yes and no on a specific home, it might be the right time to use the Ben Franklin close. Not to push – but to help them clarify and come to a decision.
Hopefully, they won’t view you as a pushy real estate agent when you’re willing to keep showing them more homes if they lose out on their first attempt to buy.
How to help your clients when there are/will be multiple offers.
Back when I was an agent, we didn’t have a market like you have now. However, there were a few times when more than one buyer was interested in a specific house. There were even times when someone wanted to offer on a house that already had an offer being considered.
I was always conflicted over whether to tell the potential buyers.
It was a “darned if you do and darned if you don’t situation.” If I told them about other interested parties or offers, some people would think I was just saying that to get them to offer higher or sooner. If I didn’t tell them, and they lost out, they’d be angry.
For now, do warn your buyers about multiple offers.
Even if you prepared them in advance, remind them now.
Tell them that if they really want the house, they should decide what the house is worth to them, then make their offer knowing that they’re giving it their best shot. You can advise, but since you won’t be the one making the payments, you shouldn’t push.
A friend of mine had this experience just last week. The house in question was over-priced but being shown heavily, and her clients knew that. They offered 12% under list. She thought they’d have a better chance at 8% under list, and she told them so. She also asked if they’d be OK with it if they lost out. They didn’t answer, but they stayed firm on the offer. Now they’re unhappy because someone else got the house.
She wondered if it was her fault. Perhaps she should have pushed harder. I said no. She gave them the facts and shared her instincts. The rest was up to them.
Some sellers will give potential buyers a second chance.
In my friend’s case, they did not. But since some sellers do ask for “highest and best” from all potential buyers, do be sure to prepare your clients. Then be ready to help them do the calculations to come up with their best offer should that happen.
What about that “best” part in highest and best?
The more contingencies your buyers add, the smaller their chances of winning the bid. But do you really want them to forgo inspections? Do you really want them to lose their earnest money if something drastic happens and their mortgage loan fails at the last minute? (If it’s because they went out and bought a new car, you may being saying “yes” to that one.)
How should you advise them?
Since you want to take good care of your clients, you’ll have to apply that question to your transactions on a case by case basis.