They're not trying to lie, and there are reasons you hear what you do.
Let's start out this discussion of real estate buyers and buyers' agent status, and it's not the best of statements to begin our discussion. If your buyer really isn't telling you the truth about what they want or can afford, it could be because they don't trust you with the knowledge. I know that's a tough one to hear, but it's true in many cases. If they aren't sure that you'll work in their best interests with full knowledge of their situation, then they won't tell you everything.
So, before any homes are shown, your goal should be to build a level of trust with your buyers that will allow them to be honest with you and give you all of the information you need to help them. It isn't always possible, as there are a lot of people out there who don't trust anybody. But, it's best for you and your buyers to get to the highest level of trust possible.
An actual example from a vacation/resort Realtor was a buyer who came into the market after being a lurker, searcher and subscriber on his website for years. Finally, the timing seemed right, but the buyer was in the "lowball offer" mood, and there was a lot of difficulty in getting him/her to see the problem with unrealistic offers, even after two had resulted in hard feelings and burned bridges with sellers.
Now, you would think that this Realtor's blog site was a good one, holding this buyer on his list for more than three years. And, this broker did a lot of market statistics and commentary that illustrated a great deal of market knowledge. So, why the problem?
- This buyer had previous poor experience with buyers agents in other areas.
- There was a deeply held belief that all real estate buyers agents were after the commission first, and serving their clients second.
- The market was very slow, and the real estate buyer refused to believe that this resort area wasn't full of extremely motivated sellers ready for any deal at all.
- The real estate buyers broker tried to gently lead the buyer to the knowledge that would help them to see their interests were at the top of this broker's list.
- It took multiple failed offers before the buyer decided that the time wasn't right to buy and left.
Was there no real desire to buy? This wasn't the case, as it was a long trip to get to this area, and they did some really intensive online investigating before making the trip. It was simply that this buyer believed that the broker couldn't be trusted when he was telling them to get their offers up, higher earnest money would be needed, and other facts about that specific market that would help them to actually make a value purchase. So, work on trust first, and you may find it a pleasure to work with buyers who respect your opinion and consider your advice.
The "clueless" part isn't just as regards the first time home buyer. Many experienced buyers who have done multiple transactions in their lives will still not have market-specific knowledge that can hurt them in their quest for a home.
- Local custom as to earnest money and offer presentation.
- Market conditions, absorption rates, and local market trends.
- Specific area knowledge that dictates very different home prices in areas not that far apart geographically.
- Quality information as related to specific builders or subdivisions.
- Even specific knowledge of how certain listing brokers handle their negotiations on behalf of their sellers.
As real estate brokers and agents, we do have a wealth of valuable knowledge and great services to bring to our buyers. But, it's only valuable if they perceive it to be. Blog or put content on your website that helps them to develop a trust for your input even before they make contact with you. It could save a lot of hassle and increase your income significantly.