Difficult Discussions with New Clients

Asked by Karen Delozier, Jacksonville, FL Tue Jan 22, 2013

I have 2 topics that I am struggling with and hoping some of the pros can give me some pointers. I have a new couple I am working with. We went out on our second showing yesterday. They insisted on meeting me at the properties, so when I arrived, I walked up on them on the phone scheduling a showing with another agent to view a property where they had just seen a sign in the yard. They tried to be secretive about it and wrapped up the conversation very quickly, which left me feeling very awkward. Do you have a way of discussing being their exclusive agent? 2nd, when I asked how he was coming along with the pre-qualification (which we discussed in our first meeting), he informed me I would not be seeing it until he was ready to make an offer. I am just curious how other agents would have handled this, and how they would have responded. He deeply distrusts real estate agents, saying he worked with one previously who pushed him too hard to purchase outside of his comfort zone.

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Tue Jan 22, 2013
I don't envy you the negotiations.

Perhaps, when you sit down to write the offer, you can make sure they understand that you are on their side... you are not the enemy, and anything they tell you is confidential, and you will not, cannot relay that information to the other side without their permission.
2 votes
Jessica Tracy, Agent, North Windham, CT
Sat Jan 26, 2013

I am always up to meet a client once. This let you dicuss any questions that they might have and to see if they are serious buyers by getting their pre-approval and signing them on as a client. I would go with your gut when meeting people. If you feel that they are hiding something or know that they are talking to other agents, I wouldn't waste your time showing them houses with out a signed buyer rep agreement and pre-approval letter.

I hope this deal goes through.

Good luck!
1 vote
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Wed Jan 23, 2013
Hi Karen,

Hope this offer will be accepted.

I don't go on appointments unless the pre-approval was done.
It would be a waste of everybody's time.

I can meet in the office and show everything that's on the market though.
That usually helps establish some trust.
They get to see the actual office and find out how we search for their criteria, and
we usually bond over what's going on in the market place...
This is when you can explain how you do business and why.
You set the rules, and if they don't like it and don't want to follow your rules - congratulate yourself -
you won't have to pay for their "problem behavior" later on.

With these specific people - explain that you work exclusively only.
Explain why it is the best for them (your skills etc.)
If they like the exclusivity, then work with them. If not - do not.
There are many other great buyers outthere.

I would show to them that I understand where their distrust is coming from.
Who wants to be pushed into what they are not comfortable with?
I'd have these buyers call my past clients (with their permission) to check me out.
Ask for the change to show that not all agents are the same/bad.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
1 vote
Pam Haselton, Agent, Fredericksburg, VA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
In the state of Virginia we are required by law to have exclusive right to rep signed when we take a person from a customer to a client. Otherwise, I am showing a buyer homes, but actually representing the sellers interest. So what I do is to have them sign exec right to rep on first home viewing for a 24 hour period and have them re-up for the duration of their home search on our next visit. If they are calling me back then I am making an investment with my time, money and efforts for them. I mean what is the point of calling me to meet a second time, if they are not interested in working with me?
Maybe his last experience with a real estate agent is due to his own dishonest actions, like the one you walked up on. If you choose to continue working with him, then by all means have the conversation about the right to rep and the financing and get your paperwork in order.
Best of Luck!
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Tue Jan 22, 2013
You have a problem buyer. He is being secretive because he knows what he is doing is not being loyal to you. he won't show you his prequal because he does not trust agents and thinks we manipulate buyers, so he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. You have several courses you can take if you want to.

1. ask him to sign a buyers agreement because you know he is talking with other agents and seeing homes with them and it is not fair to you. Tell him by dealing with any agent in that listing company he is in a dual agent position and neither agent will be working for him as you would be. Be ready to waive bye-bye if he won't. Can you do it? Do you want it to come to that?

2. Go on as you are in hopes he buys from you and don't put any pressure on him at all and maybe he will gain some trust.

Good luck - you will need it.
1 vote
Karen Delozi…, , Jacksonville, FL
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Thank you both for your advice. As luck would have it, after I posted this question, I received a call that they are going to make an offer. Here is the funny part, they won't tell me what it is until they receive their pre-approval. Wow. Crossing my fingers that this will work out! But this advice has been valuable, as I am trying to prepare ahead for any future if this happens again. I have had a slow start in the general real estate world after working for new home builders for several years, just in case anyone was wondering why I was flustered with the situation. It really is a different animal.
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