If you’ve been working in real estate for any length of time, you’ve likely worked with an indecisive buyer. Buying a home is a big decision and buyers often find themselves overwhelmed with choices and information. Working with clients who are unsure of what they want can present some challenges, but there are proactive measures you can take to help with the process.
Take Time Getting to Know Them
While it can be tempting and exciting for both you and your buyer to rush into viewing homes, it’s extremely important to clarify wants and needs before you get in a car together. Not only does this save you time and effort in the long run, it shows them that you are there to listen and interested to understand their needs. Be well prepared for your initial meeting. Use a list or script so you don’t pass over important questions, and take good notes!
What your buyer thinks they want in the beginning can be very different from what they decide on in the end. As you gain more experience in working with a variety of buyers, you may start to recognize comments or behavior that could indicate they are actually interested in some different criteria. Without “calling them out” on anything, take these cues as an opportunity to suggest some ideas that perhaps they haven’t considered or don’t realize are important factors for them.
It is your responsibility to educate your buyers on current local market conditions and prepare them for possible scenarios. Is it a buyers market or a sellers market? Do they need to be prepared to act quickly? If they’re shopping in a competitive market, make it clear that there are other buyers who are ready to act fast and make concessions in order to have their offer accepted. Prepare them for the possibility of having to make several offers so they aren’t surprised or become discouraged.
Keep Them Focused
As they start to look at homes and see first hand what is available they could start to adjust some of their criteria, and that’s okay! However, stay proactive by getting very specific feedback from them on what they like or don’t like and why. Keep their list of wants and needs clear and concise and avoid looking at everything. Veering off track will likely make the process more confusing, resulting in added stress and frustration for both you and the buyer. Developing this skill is an important part of your job. While they may not always realize it, buyers will appreciate this effort when it contributes to a positive buying experience.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
Are you working with more than one buyer? It’s common to be working with a couple, family members or investors purchasing a home together. In these instances, it is extremely important to get and keep everyone on the same page throughout the entire process. When you sense there’s a disconnect, call a meeting to find common ground before you continue searching for homes.
While as an agent you are there to serve the buyer, it is important to understand that they are looking to you for your experience and expertise. It is your job to provide guidance that will help them find the right home and take them through the buying process with as much ease as possible.
As in any business, you are going to come across clients you just don’t “click” with and there could be instances where you or the buyer decide to call it quits. While it may be hard to deliver this information or be on the receiving end of it, keep in mind that you want to do your best to keep it a positive experience. Perhaps you can refer them to a fellow agent who may be better suited to their personality. However you resolve it, remember that challenging situations come with the territory and becoming a good agent is a continual learning experience!