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Setting Your Buyers' Expectations


In many markets throughout the country, low inventory is becoming a buyer’s worst nightmare. After hours and hours of looking to find your buyers the perfect home, or the ONE, it is disappointing to find out you’ve been beaten by five or ten other offers. This story often repeats itself over and over, ultimately leaving your buyers upset with the market, the process, and many times, you.

Setting expectations early in the relationship is the best way to ensure a successful outcome and a great home buying experience. Below are five ideas to help you create a plan and work as a team with your clients to find them the ONE.

  1. Have your client fill out a buyer questionnaire. Upon first meeting with potential buyers, have them fill out a buyer questionnaire. This will ensure you are on the same page with their wants, needs, and must-haves regarding their search for the ONE. If you are working with a couple, have each person complete a questionnaire on their own. This way you will find out early on if there are discrepancies between the ideas the two have, which may sabotage the search. Once you have addressed any differences in what they are looking for, you can begin the hunt for their dream home.
  2. Deliver a professional buyer presentation. The next step is to show them your buyer presentation. Real estate professionals typically have a tried and true listing presentation for converting sellers but rarely have a formal buyer presentation prepared. In this fast-paced market, a perfect buyer presentation can be the difference between an okay buyer experience and a remarkable one. This is the time to set expectations, create a plan of attack, and educate your new clients on the best way to find the ONE. A good buyer presentation will describe the process, showing instructions, market statistics, best practices for winning offers, and more. Most importantly, this gives you the opportunity to prepare your clients in case you lose out on the ONE.
  3. Share a recent success story. Prepare a example about home search resiliency and a recent happy ending to share with your clients. Here is an example: “Last month, I was working with the Smith family who were looking in the southwest part of town. We had a difficult time finding the ONE, but after searching for several weeks, we finally found one both the husband and wife loved. Unfortunately, they took two days to decide on the offer price, and by then, we were in competition with seven other offers. We implemented our offer strategy and unfortunately lost to a higher offer. They were disappointed, but we continued our search and a week and a half later we found a better one. We implemented our offer strategy and they are closing at the end of the month.”
  4. Provide a post showing report. Most real estate professionals have fallen into the trap of showing property after property to buyers who fear that if they choose a home, they are missing out on something even better (FOMO.) By the time you start showing properties, you should ensure they’ve completed the buyer questionnaire and show them your buyer presentation. This way you are all on the same page for the upcoming search. By sending a post showing report to your buyers, you can keep them on track with their search. What is a post showing report, you ask? This document contains a short overview of what they saw that day at each property. Make sure you touch on the important points of each home as it relates to their wants, needs, and must-haves from the buyer questionnaires they filled out. You will be able to eliminate homes and create a list of ones that match their search criteria. Hopefully this list will help them make a decision on which home to make an offer on.
  5. Prepare an offer strategy. Have an offer strategy in place prior to showing homes. When you walk into the ONE, you will have a plan you can put in place immediately that will give you a competitive advantage. While other Realtors are meeting with their clients after the showing and thinking of offer price, contingencies, and more you will already have that out of the way and be able to submit an offer quickly. As an experienced Realtor, you will be able to look back at past offers and negotiations to create a good plan for your market. Some ideas for this plan include:

  • % over asking price the buyer is willing to offer for THE ONE already discussed with buyer
  • Higher earnest money or hard non-refundable earnest money
  • Tight dates and deadlines
  • Strong pre-qualification letters from lender

With the use of these five strategies, you can ensure everyone is on the same page, give you and your buyers a competitive advantage over other buyers in the market, and solidify a buyer client for life who will sing your praises to their friends and family.


Eric Sachs, President and co-founder breakthroughbroker.com