There’s a lot at stake when you’re in the business of helping people buy and sell homes — arguably the largest investment of their lives. Realtors are typically unflappable pros who have experienced crazy scenarios, but there are still things that strike fear into their hearts. In the spirit of Halloween, let’s take a look at the nine scariest statements clients make.
1. “We’re having second thoughts…”
It’s not uncommon for a home buyer or seller get cold feet. But the thought of a deal falling apart can be horrifying for an agent who has invested a great deal of time. Talking skittish clients through their anxieties is part of the job, but that doesn’t make it any less scary.
2. “My parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins would like to see the place…”
It can be tough enough to get a single client or a couple to decide on a property. Once clients invite extended family to sneak a peek, they — and their agent — are bound to get more opinions than anyone’s prepared to handle. Taking a large group on a home tour can end up being an agent’s personal horror show.
3. “I’m going to stick around for the open house in case buyers have any questions…”
Having the seller on the premises makes it awkward for prospective buyers to speak freely and get all of their questions answered. Agents know how to get the home sold, which is why sellers hire them in the first place. Even if the property owner thinks he or she is being helpful by sticking around, this situation leaves agents shaking in their shoes.
4. “I lost my job…”
Unless a buyer is prepared to pay in cash, sudden unemployment can wreak havoc on a home purchase. When borrowers apply for a loan, they’re required to disclose their employment status and provide verification. Without reliable income, the ability to secure a loan can disappear faster than balloons from an open house sign.
5. “I just bought a brand new car!”
If financing, making a big purchase before closing on the home changes your debt-to-credit ratio. This could result in the deal falling through. Talk to your lender before making any major purchases and your agent will sleep better at night.
6. “Our pet snake got loose this morning. But we’ll find him before the open house starts!”
From staging to marketing, preparing for an open house is already a daunting endeavor. The thought of pets potentially sending would-be buyers running back to their cars is terrifying. Even if a client’s pet boa constrictor is securely corralled, having animals at a showing can be a frightful faux pas.
7. “There’s something I haven’t told you…”
Got a leak? Termites nibbling away at the foundation? A lien against the property you’re hoping no one will ever find out about? Think again. Your agent needs to know everything up front. Secrets can freak out even the most poised agent and ruin the deal.
8. “Is your commission negotiable?”
Sure, meeting new people and touring homes can be fun, but it’s a Realtor’s job and we’d like to get paid for it. The commission is divided between the buyer and seller agent’s companies. Each Realtor then gets paid a smaller percentage by their company. The Realtor, an independent contractor, is responsible for paying for their hardware, software, marketing, travel, taxes and more.
9. “My friend is a Realtor!”
After spending time helping prospects, hearing the dreaded “Oh, thanks, but we have a friend who’s a Realtor” can send an agent into a spiral. Be upfront right away and know they can be risks when mixing business with friendship. A savvy Realtor will offer a solution for including your friend in the transaction.
Susan Matthews is a Realtor serving the greater Charleston area with Coldwell Banker Carolinas. Contact her for more info on selling your home.