Gavanes recommends setting realistic expectations for both the buyer and the seller, as well as talking to the client to find out exactly what they want so that they’re not in a position to get stuck with a home they regret purchasing.
“I always tell my clients that we’ll find something better,” she said. “I’ve lost out under multiple offers when my clients think they’ve found their dream home. You work a little harder to get that particular home that they’re looking for. I tell them that what is meant to be is meant to be, there are other reasons that this fell through and that we’ll find them a better house, and 99 percent of the time I do.”
For sellers, having a buyer back out due to remorse doesn’t have to be a disaster. The fact that a buyer came so close to taking the property off the seller’s hands is enough to demonstrate that the home has value. Competitive bidding for a home can still mean that the seller gets better than asking price for the property.
Ryan is a believer in keeping in touch. “The listing agent needs to communicate with the seller every week, ideally the same day and time each week,” she said. “Even if there was no activity the week before, a call from the listing agent lets the seller know you are still working on finding the buyer and that they are a priority.”
Fay-Hart also advises agents to keep communications open throughout the process. Some situations, such as paperwork mistakes and a lack of response from one or more parties in a transaction, are far less common than they once were. However, they come up and if the agent remains in close contact with the client they can be resolved relatively quickly.
“If something major happens or some issue does come up, whether it’s an appraisal issue or something that no one could have foreseen, you sit down with your client and talk to them,” Fay-Hart said. “Not at them and not arrogantly, but explaining the situation. It helps to have an attorney that you can use to help with the legalities of questions that come up. Give them options. Few transactions are cut and dry. There are always options and there’s always negotiating. Being a good negotiator in our industry is key.”