Help clients handle the stress of a hot housing market
Be flexible, open and informative to help clients
The market changes so rapidly lately that it’s hard to find comparative prices or “comps” in her area, says Marilyn Kohn, team leader of the Marilyn Kohn Team, RE/MAX Traders Unlimited, Peoria.
If she meets with a seller, she runs comps. But if they don’t end up putting the property on the market within a month, she’s running the comps again at the last minute because the prices and the offers keep going up.
“One of the biggest challenges for me is that a lot of buyers haven’t gotten on board with everything that is going on,” Kohn says.
She had one buyer recently put in an offer $30,000 under list price for a home in a prime school district.
“Those days are gone for buyers who want a good deal. They are having to adjust to that, and that is causing a lot of stress. Some people just aren’t built that way to have to buy a house at full price or even over listing price,” she says.
Kohn remains calm in order not to transfer any stress to her clients. She explains to her clients that it truly is a seller’s market right now, what all that means, what it might take to get a house, and how the whole process works.
In the Peoria area, she isn’t seeing offers without contingencies from buyers as is happening in other parts of the country.
“Unless they are comfortable with having no appraisal or no inspection, I would never force that on any client,” she adds. “Both sides have to be comfortable.”
Many of her clients, buyers and sellers, are just worried about finding places to live. Many want to take advantage of the low interest rates but are more concerned with finding their next homes. They also worry about submitting strong enough offers to buy homes before someone else does.
Kohn has helped people buy properties in Peoria recently from California, Oregon, Utah, Texas and other states.
“It’s been interesting. One family had to evacuate twice because of forest fires in California. Their house did survive each time. But the second time, the decided they were done,” she says.
They have elected to come to Peoria. Most of the clients moving are working remotely, so they can pick anywhere they want to move. The people Kohn has been working with decided to come to the middle of the country because they feel it is a nice, safe place.
“We have tornadoes, but we don’t have forest fires or huge floods like Louisiana and Texas,” she says. “They are close to Chicago and St. Louis. It has surprised me somewhat. We don’t have the attractions of the bigger metropolitan areas. But people are looking for nice, secure places to live.”
When Hernandez deals with clients becoming emotionally charged and invested in getting a certain house, she asks questions such as: “Is this the house you really want?”
“Then they need to realize that they need to stay at the negotiating table as long as this is the property they want,” she adds.
“Keep calm, remain objective and communicate well” has become her mantra during this unprecedented real estate era.