Handling Buyer’s Remorse

Handling Buyer’s Remorse
by Loren Keim

About a dozen years ago, I knew a real estate agent who, when he wrote an offer on a property, gave the buyers a huge horse pill in a clear plastic bag. The bag was labeled ‘Buyer Remorse Pill.’ It was a joke, but it would also open up a conversation with the buyer about the subject of buyer’s remorse.

One of the major challenges that we, as Realtors and home sellers, have in the current environment is that far too many buyers believe prices may continue to fall and are hesitant to make an offer on a property unless they negotiate some spectacular deal.

One of my functions in life is to assess the real estate market at Lehigh University each year and project the most likely direction for sales trends. I personally believe we’re going to start seeing some upward slope, although it will take many years to completely recover, but that’s a conversation for another article. Buyers, however, are lured by articles in their local press and on Yahoo which announce how bad things are and how much worse they’re likely to get.

In order to properly represent home sellers, realtors must dispel some of that fear, and help those buyers to see that real estate is a great investment over time. This particular agent’s approach was to alleviate that fear by explaining that buyer’s remorse is a natural part of the home buying process.

“Mr. and Mrs. Reed, after writing this offer, you will head home, and one of you will look at the other and say ‘What did we just do?’ You’ll start worrying that you made an offer on the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood. Your furniture won’t fit. You paid too much. You should have waited until the interest rates came down. You can’t afford this mortgage payment and so on. If you get home and start feeling that way, don’t worry. This is a common reaction called ‘Buyer’s Remorse.’ Call me and we’ll discuss it. I wouldn’t let you do something that I didn’t think was in your best interests.”

The two primary keys for home sellers in dealing with buyer’s remorse are, of course, to hire a good skilled real estate agent, and to require a significant deposit so the buyer cannot easily walk away from the purchase. If the worst does happen, the owner and their agent will have to work through the problem and try to keep the buyer’s fears at bay. Unfortunately, since the listing agent often isn’t the person working directly with the buyer, you will have to rely somewhat on the buyer’s agent to do his or her job correctly.

We train our agents to pull out all the statistics showing that even though property values have declined in most parts of the country over the past few years, these corrections are historical and they do reverse themselves. Recent sales are also a way to justify the price the buyer is paying on the property. We show trends and why buying a home versus throwing money away in rental payments is a good investment over time. We go back over the mortgage payments and rates and the buyer’s qualifications. We have even put together some cartoons to help lighten the situation.

Ultimately, there is no single answer for how to handle buyer’s remorse when it appears. Just be aware of the potential for a buyer to panic. If it happens, the buyer may try to withdraw from the agreement, or he or she may begin nitpicking the home because he or she is frustrated. Do not become emotional. If you are representing the buyer, simply respond the best you can and if you’re representing the seller, you may have to use the deposit as leverage to keep the buyer from withdrawing from the purchase.

EXPIREDS: Don’t Call Them – They’ll Call You! by Julie Escobar

EXPIREDS: Don’t Call Them – They’ll Call You!
by Julie Escobar

Expireds looking for help will participate in conference calls–if they can phone in anonymously!

Want a creative way to work Expireds without the worries of do-not call violations? The Expired conference call is a powerful guerilla-marketing tool that will put you in touch with a lot of prospects.

Knowing that a large number of Expireds will eventually re-list their homes for sale with a real estate agent, why not try a rejection-free approach that will literally get them to call you? This is a creative, easy, cost-effective, and painless strategy that will get your phone to ring and increase your listing inventory. A word of caution: This tool isn’t for everyone. But if you are the type of person who believes in the magic of creating a relationship first and making the sale later, you’ll love this!

How can I get Expireds to call me?
Contact your local telephone company or do a Google search for conference call companies. We have many clients who like the services that FreeConferenceCall.com provides, but shop around and find out what makes the most sense for you!

Once you’re all set up, you’ll receive a special phone number and pass code and instructions on how to use your new conference line. What’s great about a lot of these services is that they can allow you to record your calls, and even keep track of who has dialed in with a phone number record! Perfect for follow up prospecting!

Create and print fliers letting Expireds know that they can participate in a free, anonymous 30-minute conference call each week to help them sell their homes. Let them know what day and time to call and any instructions they’ll need to join the conference call. Try not to pick a time and day of the week that conflict with a popular TV series or major sporting events.

Next, distribute your fliers/invitations to as many Expireds as you can find in your area. Go through the daily expired list in your market, and even take a look at those which expired 3-6 months ago and were never re-listed. They’ll be happy to hear that they were not forgotten!

You can also place your fliers on local bulletin boards in your area. Grocery stores, home-improvement stores, and shopping centers are all great places to start, especially outside those areas where you may have noticed a high percentage of Expireds.

Now, for zero cost you can e-mail your flier directly to the sellers of those Expireds with an invitation to participate in your FREE Expired Listing Conference Call each week. (Make sure that you include your return e-mail address and postal address, have a means to unsubscribe, and comply with all other state and federal e-mail and anti-spam rules.

Your flier should let Expireds know that they can talk with other people who have had similar experiences, and that they can talk with you, one of the area’s top real estate professional.

What will you talk about?
Your job during this call is simply to carry the conversation. Thank your callers for joining in and let them know you are available for private consultation if they’d like to call you directly. Have a prepared list of subjects you plan to talk about and a list of sample questions they may want to discuss.

Offer free advice on some of the most common factors that cause a listing to expire as well as some of the things that can be done differently to insure a successful and expedient sale for those homeowners who are still eager to sell. Here are just a few examples of free information you can offer the participants of your call:

Selecting the right price to attract the most buyers
Making the right improvements to avoid wasting money on unnecessary, unprofitable projects
Advertising tips, so you don’t waste money
Preparing your home for a good showing
Marketing strategies that have worked for clients in the past
How the current market affects their selling power
Move up market solutions
Now, imagine you were a caller. What would you ask? What would you want to know about selling your home?

How to choose the right agent
What went wrong with their listing
What other homes are selling for in their area
You can also invite guest speakers, such as loan officers, staging experts, home inspectors, or real estate attorneys to discuss specific topics relating to the sale of a home. You can ask your guest speakers to pay for the cost of the call that week in exchange for the opportunity to market their services to home sellers.

Throughout the conference call, offer free services. A price analysis, an equity analysis, or any service you can provide to begin building a relationship.

Finally, wrap up your call by asking the participants to call back often and discuss what new topics will be on the table for the following week. This is a great way to build confidence and eventually gain business.

Will Expireds call in?
You bet they will, and here’s why:

It’s free
It’s anonymous
It’s more comfortable to them than meeting face to face with a real estate agent
Anybody with a touch-tone phone can call in from any location.
In fact, you can moderate the conference call from the comfort of your own home while you’re wearing pajamas and eating your favorite ice cream.

This is a definite “give before you get” proposition, so be patient. If you expect immediate results, you will be disappointed. Often, there will be a few people on the line who will not talk. After a couple of calls, most people will feel more comfortable and will chime in.

Keep in mind that while some may still choose to sell their homes on their own, or may re-list with another agent. Your value proposition in exchange for offering this free service is that you are simply asking that should the time come when they do decide to re-list, you hope they will think of you. If they do sell on their own, perhaps you can help them with the purchase of their new home.

Remember to ask everyone on your calls for referrals.

Could this strategy be worth an extra listing (or two or three) per month to you? Set up the call, invite as many Expireds as you can, and find out!

Hope this helps my friends
The Home Inspection Man