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Dealing With Rude Sellers

Sep 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Are rude sellers driving you crazy?

Every agent has dealt with rude sellers, the ones who call you at 10 P.M. demanding attention right then and there.

But how do you deal with these unsolicited confrontations?

Whether your sellers are complaining about a lack of offers or a failed inspection, it's important to respond to their needs with care and tact. After all, your business relies on happy clients who will recommend you to others.

With so much money on the line, people tend to get anxious and lash out at the most obvious target (in this case, unfortunately, that's you).

But just because you want to keep your sellers happy doesn't mean you should let them walk all over you. Here are some tips to deal with angry or rude homeowners.

The first thing you should do is establish boundaries between you and the seller.

Setting "office hours" or establishing your availability can deter clients from calling you at all hours of the night. Say something like, "I know you're going to have a lot of questions. Call me each day between 9 AM and 5 P.M. for any questions you may have."

Of course, let them know that you're always available in case of an emergency and that if they leave a voicemail, you will call them back as soon as possible, usually within a few hours. 

Show that you care and that you're making your sellers a priority, and they'll feel like they're being heard.

This is a huge part of keeping your clients happy.

When they call to talk, repeat key phrases back to them to let them know they’re being heard.

If you are confused about anything or didn't hear your clients the first time, ask for clarification. Misunderstandings can lead to conflict later on. 

Make a point to contact each of your clients once a week (or more) via text to give them an update on their home sale. If any offers are made or problems arise, communicate with your clients as soon as possible. 

Manage their expectations.

A lot of sellers assume they will make a ton of money on their homes, even if their market isn't particularly active or lucrative. 

It's important to be realistic and open with your clients,

Give the clients a real idea of what the buying or selling process looks like and how you plan to interact with them.

If they understand what it is, they won't get mad when it doesn't happen exactly like they dreamed it would.

If they are mad about the timeline or any other part of the sale, do your best to separate yourself from the problem.

First off, it's usually not your fault a home hasn't sold, as long as you've done an adequate job marketing it and getting it in front of the right people. 

Sometimes, sellers insist on a too-high price that drives away would-be buyers. Sometimes, a home is severely outdated and is too much of a project for most traditional home buyers. 

A lot of sellers believe their Realtor should be able to magically sell their home at whatever price they choose. And if you fail to deliver, they place the blame on you. 

Imagine that you have a house for sale and six buyers have looked at the house but none of those six buyers decided to buy the house. You did your job. You got six buyers to look at that house.

Maybe the master bedroom has a smell and everybody who sees the house thinks it stinks and doesn't want to buy it and until that problem is fixed, the house is not going to sell. It's not your fault.

In addition, it's not your fault that the house just down the road is priced $30,000 less.

Tell the seller about those problems.

Tell them what's wrong. If you're upfront about any issues ahead of time, the sellers can resolve them, and they won't block the sale. 

If you know your clients need to reduce their price, lean on comparable recent sales to explain why. Show them how much money they stand to lose the longer their home sits on the market. Check out this blog for more tips on asking for price reductions.

Remind them of your successes.

Prove to them that you can get them out of tough situations by showing them how you've done it in the past.

Show them specific examples of how your marketing sold a home for more money.

You can't always work miracles with every single house.

Unfortunately, you can't control the marketplace. You're not Superman, and neither is any other Realtor. Even the best agents fail to sell homes.

Those agents just happen to have a lot more listings, so they sell a lot more homes.

You have to know when to walk away. 

There comes a point when the cost of the sale becomes too high. If your clients are fighting you every step of the way, the home isn't going to sell, and you're going to be miserable. If you have to make the difficult decision to cut ties with a client, approach them this way: 

"Hey Name, I'm sorry, but this isn't working out for either of us. I don't feel it's beneficial for us to continue working together. I wish you success in your home sale and hope you'll still stay in touch."

Don't be rude or insulting. Remain professional and don't blame your sellers for the partnership not working out (even if you feel it is their fault). You might not want to lose a listing, but there are times you have to know when enough is enough.

Understand the reality of real estate. Your job is to do the absolute best you can do, but your job is not to work miracles for unreasonable sellers.

What do you think? Post your tips below for dealing with difficult clients.

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