Hot housing markets bring excitable buyers – and agents. Unfortunately, excitability creates an environment for mistakes and client misinterpretations in the rush to get the deal done.
Here are a few tips for keeping your head, keeping contracts clean and keeping clients happy.
Remember your audience
Most people buy and sell homes only a few times in their lives. Maybe even only once. Rushing them through the contract and legalese is like rushing an accountant through open heart surgery.
This may be the most complex agreement they ever sign, so take it slow and make sure they understand what’s happening at every step. A good bar to set for yourself is being able to explain everything in language that a 10-year-old can understand.
Highlight any changes that occur and why. If the client seems confused, hesitant or scared, take a moment to ask them what’s on their mind and how you can help.
Be transparent about fees and costs
There should never be a moment at a closing when a dollar amount jumps out at the client and halts the process. This may be your 200th closing, but it’s also one of the biggest financial transactions of the client’s life, so treat it with the care you’d expect if you were in the same situation.
The Florida Factor and property insurance
Much of our state is being hit in the teeth with climate change ramifications. With more frequent hurricanes and flooding each year, make sure the property is insurable for a price the buyer can afford. Or, in some cases, insurable at all. Have the buyer call their insurance company before putting down an offer.
The tight rope of removing contingencies
Waiving contingencies is like playing with fire, with first-time buyers being particularly vulnerable to making bad decisions to win a bidding war. Don’t allow buyers to take risks you wouldn’t take yourself. Bad publicity lies that way and the internet never forgets.
This goes double for waiving inspections in an effort to sweeten an offer. The Florida Factor should not be trifled with. Encourage buyers to hire their own inspectors, even if an inspection has already been done.