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Managing Expectations

Sunday, October 30, 2011   /   by Ira Miskin

Managing Expectations

The phone call began with this ominous statement: "You're going to die when you hear this...I know I almost did!"WOW! A pretty strong opening to a business conversation; but it says a lot about the kind of frustration Realtors as well as their clients feel when transactions fail. However, sometimes changes that impact a hoped for sale are outside of our control and then we must remember that we cannot control everything in real estate (or in life for that matter,) so do not fret or obsess about things that are out of our control. With that said, it takes both empathy and a clear plan for getting a disappointed Buyer back into the car to re-start the search after a hoped-for-sale fails. Here's the circumstances. One of our Team's most experienced Buyer's Realtors helped her Client find a home that fit nearly all her wishes, wants and needs. The home was a large, well maintained Georgian Traditional in the sought-after Chatsworth community. It was within the Buyer's budget, located in Roswell, but on the Cobb County side of town so that it was in the Lassiter High School district. Property taxes would be paid in Cobb County vs. Fulton County - which offered a considerable savings in yearly costs. The Seller was relocating to another state because of a job transfer. The Seller's relo company had already completed nearly all the repairs that would be asked for after the Buyer's inspection. The Buyer's offer was on target and acceptable to the Seller and the relo company. So what could go wrong? This home had been on the market for several weeks. It was somewhat overpriced at the start, but after a series of price reductions it reached a price that was within 1% - 3% of fair market value. The offer to purchase was a 97% offer which was right on target. The Buyer was pre-approved for an amount exceeding the selling price and was putting down 50%. And the Buyer was prepared to close within 30 days of binding agreement. All parties expected the home to correctly appraise at or above the sale price. All parties expected there to be few or no issues to be negotiated following the home inspection. So what could go wrong? After weeks of marketing, price reductions and strategizing the Buyer's very fair and workable offer was a welcome event. The Listing Realtor was pleased; the Seller was agreeable; the relo company was agreeable. All that was now required was for the relo company to sign off on the offer and relo addendums and the transaction was on its way to close. But not so fast. On the day the Buyer expected to receive the bound agreement the Listing Realtor called to say the Seller was withdrawing the home from the market. He was only 6 months away from early retirement and if he took the transfer he'd have to re-up for another two years. So he decided to work out the last 6 months, move to Florida and rent out the house until after he retires. Yikes! Listing Realtor crushed... Buyer frustrated and disappointed... Buyer's Realtor back on the hunt for the next "perfect home." There was about 15 minutes of frustrated venting by the Buyer. And about 15 minutes of empathetic listening by their Realtor. "I'm so frustrated. Maybe we'll just stay where we are. But I have to move! I HATE THIS PROCESS!!!" "Yes, I know how you feel. If I were in your shoes I'd probably feel just the same way. But guess what... I searched out eight more homes that are very similar to the one we just lost; and I spoke with a Realtor who is about to list a home in Chatsworth that may be even nicer than the one you were about to buy. I know this process can be tough... but we make a good team! You know what you want, and I'll help you find it. Let's look again on Sunday."So they did. And they found two great choices. So often the job of a Realtor and their Team is all about managing expectations. Remember, selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can email us at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net and ask for the SPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS, the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks. Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net .