The stories are real. The names, addresses and prices have been hidden to protect the identities of the people involved.
As a Real Estate Agent, we meet clients in a variety of ways. In my personal experience, I meet clients in THREE ways:
- Open Houses
- Personal/Business referrals
- Sign/Advertisement Calls
There I was, in the late Spring, doing an Open House for a condo I had listed (which had been referred to me via a colleague). It was a vacant unit, and a BUSY Open House. Because it was vacant, I had to run back and forth to let people in and, yes, this ROCKED my fitbit steps that day LOL.
One couple came in, and seemed nice. We had some great talks, but they told me they were looking and likely had an agent already. That was that.
Fast forward a few weeks later. I get a phone message while I am doing a walk through with some clients.
“Hi Krystal, we met at your Open House a few weeks ago and we would like you to help us sell our house.”
Pardon me? Yes please 🙂
So I call back.
It turns out that I made a great impression at the Open House, which is key, because even after people tell me they have an agent, I am my helpful self. Please let me me clear: I am very respectful of that relationship. I have heard the client view, and my own, of agents who try to steal clients and I am a solid NO on this if an actual relationship exists. That said, here I am at an Open House representing my clients’ property, my Brokerage and myself. I will ALWAYS be helpful.
My clients had had their home listed before and they had, to paraphrase, a less than stellar experience. The house did not sell and was tied up with an offer that didn’t come together and an agent who didn’t show them they were important.
I went in and met with them and we hit it off even more. Now to get to work. Me and my Team of professionals, along with my awesome clients got the house ready annnnd we hit the market. We did VERY well and our Open Houses were busy.
We got an Offer and it was fairly decent – they had a home inspection condition but it was a short one. Now, the buyers had also been to the property and told me that they felt there was too much work to do and that they didn’t agree with the price. My guess was that this was part of their negotiation strategy. I likely should have seen this a slight red flag.
The Conditional period was set to end at 7pm on a Sunday and we had put everything in an amendment (the form to change an existing offer) to be signed and returned to us by that time. We agreed to move this to 9pm if necessary.
In the background, I had received additional offers. Not one, not two but THREE offers. And we weren’t able to do ANYTHING about them unless and until this deal died.
At 7:30pm, the other agent began trying to lower the price on the Offer by text. At 9:01pm, I sent the other agent a message advising her again that we were not okay with any price amendment and that we assumed they weren’t going forward. I waited another 10 minutes for a reply, to be fair. Nothing came.
So, I called my clients and talked with them about the situation. They chose to work with the 3 offers and choose one of those and to walk away from the dead deal. When I spoke to the agent, she was incredibly upset with me and told me that her papers had been signed since 7pm. But she had not communicated this to me in writing (or verbally – though it always needs to be in writing) and was still trying to negotiate price at 7:30pm.
Sitting down and going over the Offers, all three of them were SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the Offer that had just given us such grief. And the difference at the end of the day was an additional $30,000 for my clients (which was $25,000 over their list price). We left the Office that night with a FIRM deal and my clients were VERY happy…though it had been incredibly difficult for them to choose between three groups that were seemingly in love with the home they had loved so much.
My clients were incredibly happy with my service, and with the results of getting their home SOLD successfully and getting even more in their pocket than they had originally thought they would get. They also bought their next home with me and we have become friends…which is definitely the norm for me. It’s a very humbling thing to have the friendship and support of so many amazing people who started out as my clients 🙂
LESSONS I LEARNED
- When at an Open House, talk with everyone and offer as much help and guidance as you can. If they have an agent already and you know them, always show that you respect their agent. And when you find out they have an agent, remember that you are STILL representing your sellers, your Brokerage AND yourself 🙂 Continue to be awesome!
- Make sure to have an efficient system to document contact information and feedback for the Sellers at an Open House as well (and to give them YOUR information in return)
- If buyers seem difficult the first time you meet them, they are likely difficult. Does this mean you can’t do a deal with them? Absolutely not. But it DOES mean that all risk levels may increase.
- When working with Offers, timelines ARE STILL IMPORTANT. Whether it’s the irrevocable time, the time for Conditions or the timeline to bring in your deposit cheque: You miss the deadline and you risk missing the deal.
- Always stay in communication with your clients. They will feel more comfortable and (slightly) less stressed if they understand (a) what is going on and (b) what you are doing to represent and support them
- Remember that clients get used to spending time with you every day when their homes are listed and when they are buying – so you develop a relationship with them. Keeping in touch after the house closes is a great idea because you end up with amazing friends who ALSO know how professional you are 🙂