By Kelly Hager of the Kelly Hager Real Estate Group
My favorite kinds of transactions are those where I really get to use my skills as a REALTOR®! One type of family that I really like to help is the family that needs to get on the same page before moving forward. When you first meet with clients to understand what their needs are, it's easy to see when their wants are completely different. Finding common ground is the place to start.
As a REALTOR®, staying in neutral is a key to success. Understanding the needs of both parties and then bringing them to consensus will drive everyone to their goals. Here's how to approach the situation:
- Mitigate nearly all of this by sitting down with both parties and finding out what they specifically agree on as a NEED vs. a WANT.
- If it's a type-A vs. type-B thing, be careful not to take sides. Be impartial, but be a devil's advocate for both personalities.
- Level shift on them. Ask both if they would be happy if...(insert a compromising perspective). Often times, the conflict is about money/lifestyle, not necessarily a feature of the home or where it is located.
- Be fact-based. Part of the duel may be one party applying a yesteryear attitude to real estate or assuming something to be true because they heard it happened before. The realistic party can often be the submissive party. Again, don't take sides, but be ready to overcome anything with facts. Learn market conditions, statistics, forecasts and anything else you might find useful to make the point, but without ganging up on anyone.
- Compromising is push and pull. If there is truly a stalemate, no one will feel like they've "won" unless they think the other side has "lost" something. Ask questions like, "If you could get everything you wanted in a home, but had to sacrifice an extra 10-minute commute, would that be worth it?" or "If location is a deal-breaker, would you be content with handling a few projects after you take possession?" Sometimes this opens peoples' minds to the alternative action they'd need to take as a cause of their behavior. The idea is to ask simple questions that make them think and ultimately discover they aren't the only decision maker and they can't have it all.
- Getting the right home is often times not acquiring the perfect home. As a professional, understanding up front what motivates each person, what their lifestyle is like (job/kids/background) can aid later on in emotional objections or if there is a difference in opinion. It will give you a chance to go back and recall their pre-emotive state. Say they are disagreeing on location: "Remember when we first met and I asked you if living in this particular school district would be OK, as long as we found something updated and priced well?" If they are disagreeing on money: "You're approved for well above this amount and the home has all of the criteria we identified when we first met. Just out of curiosity, what specifically makes this a poor fit now?