Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Generally speaking, helping a buyer purchase a home should be one of the most fun and exciting times ever. However, sometimes life has other plans for you and your client.. and they don't necessarily line up with your own.
Experienced agents have all been here - Imagine for a moment that you're helping your buyer shop for their dream home. You've done a tremendous amount of research and have put in significant time and effort into finding something that meets the needs of your client. You’ve written the strongest offer possible and the communication with the listing agent looks good. Things are finally starting to go your way...
... but you end up not getting your offer accepted.
The sense of defeat you feel in that moment can be crushing, to say the least. But that DOESN'T mean your search for the perfect home should come to an end.
As a buyer's agent, one of the most important things you can do in that moment involves helping the buyer get back on track so they can continue to shop and finally secure that home they've been waiting for. Getting to this point isn't necessarily difficult, but it DOES require you to keep a few key things in mind along the way.
After getting outbid on a terrific home, it's natural for buyers to start to second guess nearly everything that led them to that point. Obviously, they don't want to make the same "mistakes" again in the future - regardless of what those mistakes happened to be.
As a buyer's agent, part of your job is to instill confidence in your client to the point where they believe they won't fall into the same trap a second time. Of course, this involves taking a look back at what happened and helping them learn from the experience in the most positive way possible.
If part of the reason why your buyer was outbid had to do with their insistence of lowballing, help them understand that buyers can often lose out on their dream home by engaging in exactly this type of behavior. Not only can a really low offer offend a seller - even unintentionally - but it can also make them less likely to negotiate upwards, even if your client is more than willing to do so.
Let your client know that they should find out what type of situation they're entering BEFORE they make their bid. Don't be afraid to come right out and ask if there are other offers and where those offers stand. At the very least, this can help manage their expectations prior to engaging in another bidding war over a property.
Encourage your buyer to consider things that go above and beyond a simple monetary offer. Let them know that they can write a letter to the seller, for example, outlining why they love the home and why it means so much to them. You'd be surprised by how much of a difference this can make when a seller is trying to decide between similar offers.
At the same time, you should also encourage your client to put in a backup offer on any home that they're serious about in the future. Even if a seller has indicated that they're going with someone else, this is still a great best practice to follow.
You really never know exactly what is going on across the negotiating table. That "accepted offer" from another buyer could fall apart due to a myriad of different reasons. Maybe those buyers got cold feet, or they were unable to secure the type of financing they thought they could. In any event, let your client know that there are still ways to be the "first in line" if that current deal should happen to fall through.
But in the end, the most important thing you can do to help your buyer get over a house that they lost involves getting them to believe the simple truth that another "dream home" will absolutely come along.
Don't forget that part of why they're working with an agent like you comes down to your negotiating skill. Not only do you have the knowledge from your real estate courses, you (or your company in the case of a newer agent) have been around the block more than a few times and at this point, you've likely seen it all.
With the real estate market developing as it is the chances are high that you'll be able to find a similar home for your client to the one they lost. You'll probably be able to find one that's even better, provided that you're given enough time to do so.
Indeed, that may very well be the most important piece of advice for this situation: tell your client that it's time to stop looking backwards and to return their attention to the future once again.
Are you ready to get your real estate license?