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— by Hana LaRock

This is the Number of Homes Should You Show a Buyer Before Closing the Door

One of the biggest job requirements you have as a real estate agent is to show homes to your buyers. This can be a great opportunity to build a strong relationship with your client, and demonstrate to them that you have their best interests at heart. Generally, clients want to see a couple of homes that fit the description of what they are looking for, before even thinking about making a decision. While no client will take the first house they see (without at least seeing others, first), many hope to find what they want after just a few runs. This is also beneficial for the real estate agent, who has many other homes to show many other clients. 

But, what do you do when you have that one buyer who wants to see one home after the other, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon? You need the commission, but do you have the time to show this client every home in the neighborhood, and then some? 

So, how many homes on average should you take your buyer to see, and when it it safe to tell them “enough is enough?” 

Understand the Buyer’s Predicament 

No two buyers are the same and, as an agent, it’s imperative that you understand your buyer’s needs before showing them different homes. A huge part of this is, of course, knowing your client’s budget, how much they’ve been qualified for, and what they are looking for in a home. But, it’s also important to know their predicament.  

For instance, did they just find out they are moving into town and have to find a home on very short notice? Is it a family that’s looking to move into a new home before the school year begins or before a baby is born? Or, is this someone who is just looking into homes purely for entertainment? If it’s the former, then you can expect to show your clients more homes in a shorter period of time than you normally would. If it’s the latter, then you should prioritize other buyers, first.  

Maintain a Sense of Responsibility 

Part of making sure that your buyer doesn’t take advantage of your time is by maintaining a sense of responsibility as the agent. Just as you don’t want to be given the runaround, neither does your buyer. One of the most common issues that buyers complain about is being shown homes that are either out of their budget, in a different location then they want, or simply, not what they envisioned for a home. While there’s no question that buyers sometimes need to be much more open minded, do them and yourself a favor by sticking to the agenda. Don’t show your clients any homes outside of what they are requesting, unless you initially run it by them. 

Set a Schedule 

Agents need to be flexible with their time, there’s no doubt about that. Working as a real estate agent is hardly ever a 9 to 5 job. But, their time also needs to be respected, and going on a whirlwind of seeing homes is exhausting for both the agent and the client. Therefore, it’s necessary that agents create a schedule and stick with it, in order to benefit both parties. There are several ways to do this: 

  • Allocate certain days just to showing homes. This may change week to week, especially based on the specific buyer’s needs, but it will give you and them some time to evaluate each decision without being too overwhelmed. 
  • Set a limit on the number of homes you’ll show each day. We’ll discuss more about this later, but if you have a buyer that’s interested in buying a home sooner than later, there are going to be some long days ahead. Even so, there’s only so much that can be seen in a day. Don’t overdo it. For some agents, this might be three homes a day. For others, it’s 10. Just do what feels right for you.  
  • Schedule a lunch with your buyer. This will give you both an opportunity to talk about what you’ve seen so far, discuss what they’ve liked/didn’t liked, and what they hope to see more of/less of in the next round of homes. It will also provide both parties with an opportunity to recharge their batteries, because no one wants to look at homes when they are hungry and tired.  

Be Honest and Transparent With Your Buyer 

Is your buyer having unrealistic expectations when it comes to finding a home? Whether it’s an issue with the time frame or a problem with the their proposed budget, sometimes, a client is in way over their head. We’ve all had clients like this. It makes you wonder why they are in the market in the first place, when it seems that they can’t conceptualize the basic foundation of what buying a home involves.  

Sometimes, you just need to be honest. Not rude. Not condescending. Not patronizing. Just, honest and transparent. Don’t be afraid to tell your client that trying to find a 2-bedroom apartment in NYC for under $400,000 is just not possible. Don’t feel uncomfortable insisting to the buyer that the problems they noticed in their “It would be my dream home, if…” can easily be fixed.  

They wouldn’t be hiring you if they didn’t want your opinion, even if it seems at times that they don’t. At the end of the day, your client needs to get their expectations in line with what’s realistic, in order for you to provide a service to them. 

After Ten, Start to Say Goodbye 

You have a job, and part of it is showing buyers homes. If they buy a home, then that’s more money in your pocket for you. However, there are many other aspects to the job as well, and if you spent all your time showing one home after another to just one client, then you are doing yourself and them a huge disservice. Part of maintaining your professionalism is knowing when to say “no.” While there is no magic number that you should put your foot down at, a good number (and, remembering that there are some unique circumstances) is 10 for each client. If it starts to get close to this number, your buyer may need some time to re-evaluate things.  

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