Saturday, October 25, 2014

4 Ways Realtors Can Help Their Home-Buying Clients

1. Listen to us

and try to understand what we're going through
Moving is hard. We have a lot of balls in air, a lot on our plate, and all the other cliches you've heard. In addition to looking for a new house with you, we are packing, planning going-away parties for our children, switching bank accounts, finding new doctors, selling our old house, arranging for turn-ons and turn-offs of utilities, and praying that our mail doesn't get lost in space.

When our buyer's agent knows all this and understands, even helps to keep us calm and focused on the task at hand - finding the perfect house! - both of our jobs get easier.

My favorite Realtors were the ones who spent a lot of time listening to me ramble on about what I liked about a house or a neighborhood. Even my seemingly meaningless chatter helped her to get to know me better and help me find the house of my dreams.

2. Respect our needs, wants & budgets

even when they don't make sense to you
We want a back yard, but we don't care if there is grass in it. We need a fourth bedroom, but it doesn't have to have a closet. The master bedroom, however, must have his and her closets.

Hard to keep up with, eh? All of your clients are different, not just in their price range and family size, but in their lifestyles. They're all coming from different types of homes in different parts of the country, and this move means something different to each of them.

You'll get extra brownie points with your clients if you stick to their budget and refrain from showing them houses just out of reach. True, most of your clients may end up eventually raising their price limit, but let that come from them and not from you.

3. Be our first friend in town

you're all we've got, man
As our real estate agent, you may be the only person we know in town - in the entire state, in the case of some of my moves. I was one lonely new girl in town, so when I needed to know which newspaper I should subscribe to or where the closest Joann Fabric store was, I needed to pick up the phone and call my Realtor.

If you've always lived in the same place, it's hard to imagine how little someone could know. But many of your clients are clueless, confused, and probably lost on the wrong highway exit.

Stick around after closing and be a friend.

4. Help our children adjust

help your community one new kid at a time
This one is important. As a parent, our #1 moving job is to see to it that our kids are adjusting to the new place. But we're new, too. You can be a load of help, by clueing our kids into the ins and outs.

If you know kids at our bus stop, mention that there will be some new faces there and ask that they be a friendly, welcoming face. (Or whatever age-appropriate thing they do.) Same goes for the lunchroom. If you know kids in the same grade, let them know there are some new kids coming.

The best Kid Welcome Wagon is the child or teen who has recently moved. And who knows who those kids are better than you. You placed those kids in homes in the last few years. Now's the time to hit them up and have them return the favor and welcome the next newcomers.


If you like Diane's humorous take on moving, you'll love her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves.