Every real estate agent knows how hard it can be to deal with clients who seem to not understand the process at all. However, even fairly in-the-game seeming clients can fall into one or more of these four categories, and learning to recognize the signs early can save you a number of headaches.
The Smart Mouth Know it All
Sellers and buyers who know it all can be a nightmare for a real estate agent. They make it clear that they are tolerating you at best; and they think that your job is something anyone could do. They already know the market, the selling price, and the outcomes of every step – until things start to fall apart on them (when they invariably decide to blame you and claim they should have done FSBO!) While you don’t want to call them out on their attitude, you can try to educate them by directing them to on and offline material that gives them better information than what they are spouting, and maybe (just maybe) brings them around to a more reasonable frame of mind.
Yes, Sir, No Sir, Three Bags Full, Sir
While dealing with a people pleaser who is always amiable and ready to agree with you may sound great, it can be an utter disaster if you get a client who simply says what they think you want to hear. These are often the types that you think are fine and about to make an offer when they disappear with no warning, and you never hear from them again. In all likelihood, they were simply too afraid to say anything negative and didn’t want to buy a house that you assumed they liked. Make sure your clients know that you are not personally invested in any home you show them – they can say whatever they want and you aren’t going to take it personally!
I’ll Know it When I See it!
People with a negative outlook will tear down every part of the process, from griping about the documents required and paperwork to be filled out to groaning over every house they see and nitpicking every tiny thing. They can’t tell you what they want – only what they don’t want. You can often refocus these clients with a little trick – have them vent about the house all they want, but then ask them to tell you three things they DO like. Keep a running list and you’ll soon have the beginnings of a picture of the home they might actually end up in.
The Zipped Lipped
Worse than the people pleaser and the complainer is the client who says absolutely nothing. They usually think that showing any enthusiasm means not getting the best price on a home, and will remain mute at all times so as not to “give themselves away.” Make wild guesses to figure out the truth. Assume something out loud “I guess you guys eat in the kitchen and don’t need a dining room, huh?” and see if they confirm or deny your assumption.
Of course, dealing with these kinds of clients might just be more than you are willing to put up with, so maybe the best course of action is to recognize them early on and bow out as soon as possible! You don’t need to waste time on people who are convinced they don’t even need a real estate agent!