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What Does a Seller's Market Mean for Buyer's Agents?

A buyer’s agent in a seller’s market may not seem like the best scenario, but once you know what you’re up against, you can properly prepare and be in high demand as the buyer’s agent who scores the best deals for their clients.
What Does a Seller's Market Mean for Buyer's Agents?

It's a mad mad mad world out there for buyers right now. Okay, maybe a bit dramatic but buyers are certainly feeling the effects of having to house hunt during a seller's market — rising home prices, fierce competition, and all-out bidding wars.

A seller's market can be especially discouraging for buyers. And while the tide is slowly turning to favor buyers, in the majority of markets around the nation it's still a seller's paradise.

For buyers, a seller's market can be frustrating, but what exactly does this mean for buyer's agents?

Well, for a buyer's agent, you'll definitely have your work cut out for you, but it's not all doom and gloom. To help prepare you for working as a buyer's agent in a seller's market, here's what you can expect and what your clients will expect from you.

Buyers Will Need Your Help More than Ever

As buyers continue to come in at a disadvantage during the home buying process in a seller's market, they'll be relying even more on your help and expertise to help them not only snag their dream home, but buy it at a reasonable price.

You'll likely find yourself in demand more than ever especially since buyers don't have to worry about paying your commission. When buyers know they can essentially benefit from your skills and knowledge for free, you'll have plenty of clients to choose from.

In this scenario, make sure you only take on as many clients as you can handle at once. You don't want to spread yourself too thin, especially in a tight market where it's possible multiple clients of yours will want to go after the same house — it can be a tricky balancing act.

Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills

Coinciding with a seller's market, you'll see fierce competition between buyers. With fewer homes falling in the affordable mid-range price bracket, multiple buyers will be going after the same house. Sure, the intensity of competition may not reach Hunger Games levels, but it can feel close.

So what does this mean for you?

Your client will be counting on your expert negotiation skills to get them the best deal while still beating out other buyer offers. They'll expect you to be able to handle a bidding war if one should break out.

And be prepared to give your client bad news during the negotiation phase. For instance, while it may be counterintuitive for the buyer, you'll have to convince your client to come in off the bat with a strong bid if they really want the home. Or, you may need to have to let your client down easy if it's in their best interest to walk away from a home.

Have a Good Relationship with Seller's Agents

As the buyer's agent, you'll be responsible for finding great home options for your client. And this can be much easier when you have a great relationship with seller's agents. When you're in good standing with seller's agents you'll be first on their list to call when they have a house ready to be put on the market.

Being the first agent to know about the next up-and-coming home on the market, you'll not only please your clients, but you'll help build your reputation winning more clients in the future.

When you work well and establish trust with seller's agents, your client will benefit — they'll be able to tour open houses first and put in early bids giving them a better shot at the home.

Be Prepared and Know Your Market

In a seller's market you'll want to be on top of your game. Homes move quickly — you need to move quickly too. You'll need to have everything ready to go for your client so when a home comes on the market you can jump on it immediately.

This means you'll need all your client's paperwork in order and lender information all set so your client can put in their offers as soon as possible. Plus, you'll need to understand your area's market inside and out knowing comparable home prices and what types of offers will grab the attention of the seller in your particular location.

You'll Need to Reassure Frustrated Buyers

After losing out on a home, and especially after losing out on home after home, discouraged buyers can reach a tipping point. With emotions running high you'll need to be able to reassure and comfort your client that they'll get their perfect home eventually.

While it's never pleasant, be prepared to have to let your clients down easy. You may have to have difficult discussions laying down realistic expectations. For instance, your client may have to pay more or offer contingencies to close the deal.

Always be ready with alternative solutions, more homes lined up, and a positive attitude.

Become a Clever Partner Agent

While buyers may feel the pressure in a seller's market, it's always a competitive market for real estate agents trying to find their next client.

But, when you become a Clever Partner Agent, you'll get an advantage and can breathe a little easier as Clever will send you a steady stream of high-quality, vetted buyer and seller leads where you'll only pay if and when a deal actually goes through.

As a Partner Agent you'll save time, energy, and money on marketing and client acquisition freeing you up to take on more clients and increase your sales volume with no upfront costs. To learn how you can become a Partner Agent reach out to Clever.


Ben Mizes
Ben Mizes

Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save thousands on commission. He's an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis and a licensed agent in Missouri. Ben enjoys writing about real estate, investing, personal finance, and financial freedom. He's a serial entrepreneur, having run several successful startups before Clever Real Estate. Ben's writing has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Realtor News, CNBC, and BiggerPockets.

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