It goes without saying that, when a buyer walks away from a deal, it’s probably the most frustrating thing that can happen to a home seller (and their agent!). Wasted time, possible opportunity cost, AND an emotional roller coaster ride? The dreaded triple whammy!
Why does it happen? And more importantly, what can real estate agents do to prevent it from happening?
In many cases, the factors leading to the buyer’s “change of heart” are out of an agent’s control; if the buyer doesn’t qualify for the financing they expected, or if their current home isn’t selling, there isn’t much you can do.
But, in other cases, this situation is completely avoidable…
…like when it comes to a defect-laden home inspection.
One of the top reasons a sale falls through is due to issues revealed in the inspection report.
Nothing sends a potential buyer running like being blindsided by a high-dollar surprise just before they are ready to close; mold, foundational issues, or roof damage might just seem too risky – and expensive – for a home buyer.
And while some inspections will be too much to overcome, there are prime opportunities throughout the purchase and sale process where agents can work to spare buyers, sellers, AND agents unnecessary disappointment.
Here are three of them:
Avoid the Situation Entirely
Listing agents have a GOLDEN opportunity to nip this whole potential heartbreaking situation in the bud before the FOR SALE sign goes on the lawn.
Instead of waiting until inspection day – where all parties are vulnerable to the surprises revealed in the inspection report – agents can get a professional to do a pre-listing evaluation before listing a home. Pinpointing and repairing key issues before the house goes on the market eliminates the unpleasant surprises a home inspection will inevitably bring to light.
Now, the seller has more negotiating power and is one step closer to selling their home for the price they want, and in the timeframe they need – plus the buyer gets a home free from major defects!
Experienced agents have the benefit of going through hundreds of inspections. The average buyer, however, aren’t nearly as familiar with expecting the unexpected. Their heads are clouded by their picture-perfect vision of their brand-new-to-them home, so they are likely to feel skeptical when a report comes back showing that the home is less than perfect.
An agent’s experience can go a LONG way in calming these anxieties. By taking the time to walk buyers through the inspection process prior to the home inspection and, most importantly, set expectations, buyers will be clear on what defects are critical and which ones are just part and parcel of owning a resale home.
Less shock, and no cold feet over the small stuff!
Give Confidence with a Plan
Once a home buyer sees that repairs are necessary, their minds jump to thoughts like, “Where do I begin? What is this going to cost? Who can I trust to fix these repairs?”
Agents can cut off the worries before they even formulate. By communicating your bulletproof remediation plan for any repair that arises, agents give buyers peace of mind when the report comes back with defects that require repair.
Plus, they’ll feel better great they won’t be spending their first few days as a new homeowner analyzing Yelp & Google reviews to find the best plumber or drywall expert in town. (Let them focus on the décor!)
Yes, there are times when it makes sense for a buyer to run for the hills after a home inspection. But, by setting expectations, having a remediation plan, and, if on the listing side, repairing critical defects before the home is listed, real estate agents help buyers get through the inspection process with ease – and enable everyone to move forward faster.