Alleviating that buyer anxiety
BUYING a property can be an emotional ride and sometimes it’s necessary for buyers’ agents to take on the role of “counsellor” to help a client through the search.
Veronica Morgan, Principal at Good Deed Property Buyers, shares how she guides her clients through the ups and downs of purchasing a property.
“With owner occupiers I think it is fair to say that there will always be an element of ‘emotion’ with clients,” Ms Morgan said.
“It can also happen with investors, but far less often.”
According to Ms Morgan, buyers can show their emotion even before they find a property they like.
“One big sign is when a client tries to control things or withholds information, such as budget. If they are emotional about a specific property it can often manifest by being too willing to overlook the property's negative points.
“It's one thing to be ready to compromise, but quite another to fall in love with a cute cottage in a dreadful location.”
Ms Morgan believes that one of the most important roles a buyers’ agent plays is to protect your client from making a mistake.
“In order for a buyers’ agent to be most effective you need your client to trust you, so this means you need to be transparent and have the client feel that you are both on the same side.”
One of the realities is that clients may miss out on a property that they really like and often, especially in a fast moving market, they can repeatedly miss out.
“The best way to deal with this is to be upfront about the fact that in a hot market there is a high probability of this happening and ensure the client is well informed throughout the whole negotiation process, particularly of all the things that can go wrong,” Ms Morgan said.
“By undertaking a thorough market appraisal of the property, a buyers’ agent can advise their client of the price they need to be prepared to pay in order to be successful.
“This can protect a client from entering negotiations with wishful thinking and an unrealistic price limit.
“On the flipside it can also protect them from paying too much and they need to understand that some negotiations are best walked away from.
“The disappointment is real, but at least they know they gave it their best shot. If they keep missing out there needs to be a frank discussion about how realistic their budget is and whether they are limiting themselves unnecessarily.
“Then the buyers’ agent needs to proactively suggest other options that are more likely to be within budget, we are talking compromise here.”
Ms Morgan said when trying to alleviate buyer anxiety it is important to remember that you are the expert and your client will look to you for guidance.
“Talk about the processes that you use so that they can be confident that you know what you need to do for them. If you can't remove yourself from your clients’ emotional responses you will not be able to be as effective as when you can remain somewhat detached.
“However, it is essential that you can empathise with their feelings because they need to feel that you understand their stresses and have their best interests at heart.”