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How to Stay Calm and Deal with Difficult Home Buyers

Staying calm when working with difficult clients takes practice. Some buyers will test your patience and forget that you have other clients to deal with. Follow our guide to take some of the stress out of finding and managing difficult home buyers.
Staying calm when working with difficult clients takes practice. Some buyers will test your patience and forget that you have other clients to deal with. Follow our guide to take some of the stress out of finding and managing difficult home buyers.

The internet is riddled with horror stories from real estate agents who’ve worked with nightmare clients. Because of this, many real estate working relationships start out on shaky ground. As an agent, the ball is in your court to ensure that the relationship works out.

Here are some examples of challenging home buyers and what agents should do to stay calm and keep the working relationship smooth.

We’ve All Been First-Timers

First-time home buyers can be difficult without even realizing it. They’re new to real estate and they might not realize the best way to communicate with you. It’s common for them to make mistakes along the way but if you usher them through the process, they’ll be repeat clients or a source of referrals.

Have a system in place to deal with difficult first-time home buyers. Even a simple pamphlet outlining how to conduct their search and what to consider helps you. If you offer non-judgmental guidance, they’ll be less likely to be difficult.

Remember that first-time home buyers these days have done more research than any previous generation of home buyers. Bur internet research can lead to misconceptions. Don’t attack their ideas; tell them why you’d advise another course of action. Offer recommendations on other home buying steps like hiring movers, how to change their address, and how to get their finances in order.

Are Their Dreams Bigger Than Their Wallet?

Some clients will call you with a crystal clear vision of what they want in a home. The only problem is that it won’t match their budget.

This is one of the hardest lines for an agent to walk. You need to offer a reality check and some tough love while not losing them as a client. Have them create a wishlist to narrow down their options. This will help them to start being realistic when it comes time to look at homes. Give them real numbers about how an out-of-budget home can hurt them finacially.

Have They Been Schooled by Reality TV?

Home buyers, homeowners, and renters alike all share a common appreciation for HGTV, reality shows about home flippers, and home renovations on TV. They end up with a lot of information from watching these shows, but very little contextual knowledge about how things work out in the real world.

These clients will jump into the home buying process head first, convinced that they know what they’re doing. But they have no clue about the nitty-gritty details of buying a home are.

If a client wants to buy a home, it’s up to you to keep them excited. When reality proves different than they expected, they could become more difficult to work with. Give them a clear idea of where your expertise can help guide the process and where their instincts and taste should prevail.

Watch Out for Low-Ballers

A client who makes unrealistic won’t be seen as a serious. Getting a good deal is possible but there are limits to how far you can push things before the seller is insulted. You and your buyer could fall out of favor with the listing agent and in smaller markets, that could upset your professional relationships.

Some buyers think a low offer is an effective strategy to end up with a good deal. This usually means that they lack an understanding of how the process works. In other cases, they’re questioning the value of your opinion.

The important thing is that you stay calm as an agent and feel comfortable telling them it’s not a serious offer. Show them how to research home values and they’ll see just how valuable your experience is.

Some Clients Need Way Too Much Attention

While most clients will realize you’ve got other buyers, some will think they’re the center of your universe. They’re the ones who feel like they need an answer immediately. They’re eager but exhausting.

The problem with giving too much attention to any client is that they might ultimately work with someone else. If you don’t have an exclusive deal, they could run off as soon as they feel they’re not getting enough attention.

As a licensed agent, you have an obligation to give them the service that they’re seeking. Agents should be in the business of communicating with clients frequently about the state of an offer and what the next steps are. The best way to help clients and maintain your sanity is to set clear expectations of when they will hear from you and what they’ll hear from you about.

Work With Clever to Stay Calm and Deal With Serious Buyers

If you want motivated buyers, working with Clever is the best way to get access to them. Clever Partner Agents receive high-quality buyer leads and only pay a referral fee when a deal close. Our Partner Agents rely on Clever to grow their businesses with less stress than searching for and managing leads on their own.

Contact us and we’ll tell you all about how you can get access to our growing nationwide network of clients.


Luke Babich

Luke Babich is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save money on commission. He's an active real estate investor and licensed agent in St. Louis, with 22 units currently. Luke graduated from Stanford University and subsequently ran a historic data-driven campaign for University City City Council. Luke's writing has been featured in Homeland Security Today, Mashvisor, Payments Journal, and Bigger Pockets.

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