With the residential real estate market heating up, it’s a good bet that as a realtor, your business is picking up too. But unless you don’t mind losing a listing or two, or missing out on a sale for your clients, it’s not only important to know what you should say in certain situations, but also what you should not say. Here is our list of five things a realtor should never say if you want to stay number ONE.
1.“You don’t need a home inspection.”
What You Think: This is actually something some agents might say if they are looking for a short-cut to a quick sale. No harm, no foul right? Perhaps it was even the clients request that you make the process as quick as possible.
Why You Should Never Say This: Regardless of the type of home your client may be buying — a condo, townhome, duplex, single-family — always recommend a professional home inspection. For starters, every buyer has a right to a home inspection, even if the home is new or a condo has an exterior maintenance program that covers most items. In addition, your buyers will learn how to take care of the property as well as understand the life expectancy of the systems in the house for added peace of mind.
2. “I read the contract for you, just sign right here.”
What You Think: You're trying to fast track a sale or go the extra mile by being extra helpful.
Why You Should Never Say This: Remember how your father whispered in your ear to “always read a contract before signing”? Expect that your clients will want to do the same. As a real estate agent, you have no doubt read a lot of contracts and may have even worked closely with attorneys, but you don’t want to risk that something has been included in a contract that does not sit well with your client.
3. “You can compromise with this home.”
What You Think: You're trying to make the deal happen and know the options for their budget are limited.
Why You Should Never Say This: Never ask your clients to compromise on something that they want. As an example, they may be struggling with giving up a larger playroom in exchange for a larger kitchen, or a larger master bedroom over an over-sized laundry room. Remember, this may be your client’s dream home and often times the largest investment they will make in their lifetime. Let your clients make their own decisions while you focus on providing them with the best solution or property you can offer them.
4. “There’s no need to leave the house for a showing.”
What You Think: You're trying to be accommodating to the client's needs.
Why You Should Never Say This: Even if you are just trying to make things more convenient for a client, having them present, even if on the “sidelines” in the back yard, makes a potential buyer uncomfortable. It can also be awkward for your client, as more than one showing has occurred where the owner was in the shower! Even if your client suggests that it’s okay they be present, as the agent, stay professional and always suggest they leave the property when a showing is scheduled.
5. “I’m sure the seller will take less.”
What You Think: That giving them ease of mind will placate them.
Why You Should Never Say This: As in every business, over promising and under delivering will only hurt your overall reputation as an agent. As an agent it’s important you have open lines of communication with the seller’s representative. You should never promise or state something that hasn't been discussed first with all parties.
Although there are undoubtedly several “don’ts” to be aware of in the presence of clients, keeping these tips in mind should help you maintain high standards and satisfied clients. Looking for more tips on sharpening your skills as an agent? Then check out Developing the Art of Listening for a quick primer on how to effectively harness what your clients are trying to communicate.