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— by Hana LaRock

When a Lovely Listing Has Serious Problems

After spending time showing houses to a client, they finally find the home that they love. It has everything they could ever want in a home, but there’s just one (or several) problems. Problems that may seem insignificant to the seller and/or not something you can really negotiate price on. But, this problem could be a deal breaker for your client, and you’re not quite sure what to do. You don’t want to convince your buyer that it’s okay to be okay if you have even the slightest inkling that it may not, actually, be okay.

But, we can help!


A Picky Buyer or an Actual Problem?

Before rolling your eyes at your client, it’s important to recognize whether or not you’re dealing with a picky buyer or if their concerns are completely validated. At least once in their career, every real estate agent has worked with that one buyer who has a very specific vision of their house built up in their head. Because of this, they are essentially looking for problems in every house they step into. 

The counter tops aren’t their color. The wallpaper in one of the rooms is outdated. The bathtub isn’t their style. 

Are your buyers complaining about quick fixes, or are they concerned with issues that are something to be reasonably upset over? Instead of saying, “you can easily fix this” try to step into your buyer’s shoes to see where they’re coming from.

Common Issues Which are Concerning for Buyers

So, what are some of the big concerns that buyers may have, and how can you reassure them? Well, first and foremost, anything that may affect a person’s quality of life and/or health is not to be taken lightly. And,if the seller isn’t willing to fix something, you have to wonder if the seller is just being stubborn, or if it’s actually something that can be fixed. 

  • A house that reeks of cigarette smoke
  • Mold throughout the house in one of the room
  • A rodent problem or evidence of a rodent problem
  • Unfriendly neighbors or a registered sex offender nearby
  • Structural annoyances 
  • Located on a busy street
  • Working with an unstable seller
  • Construction in the area

What Your Options Are as an Agent

If your client loves the home but there are one of these common yet complicated and concerning issues, then you should, by no means, dismiss your client of them. Hear their concerns and see how you can help. In most cases, if your clients really love the home, then they want to buy it and see themselves in it as much as you want them to close on the deal. But, it’s not always that easy. Whatever the issue is, see if you can find a good way to fix it by reaching out to other real estate agents who may have had similar experiences. This is beneficial for a few reasons.

For one, you can suggest that the seller fix it, or, tell the seller that you must try out this method before your buyer will go forward with it. Chances are, other potential buyers will have similar concerns, so it buys you some time. Or, you can suggest to the seller that they lower the price, as you’ll have a clear idea of what the costs will be to address the specific problem. Lastly, it will give your buyer reassurance that you are doing everything you can to help them. 

One example is a home that has stale cigarette smoke, and any method to try and get rid of the smoke thus far has not worked. You can try an Ozone cleaner, or suggest to the seller they change the carpets to see if that helps. Because smoke is very hard to get rid of, it’s important to try various techniques to get rid of it, especially if the buyer is very interested. And, in the meantime, continue to show the buyer other homes in case this one simply won’t work out. The seller will probably learn very quickly that they have no choice but to make the changes. 

Have you ever had this happen with one of your buyers? What happened and what did you do? Let us know in the comments below!

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