illustration of handshake and sold house

13 Tips For Explaining Real Estate Commissions To A Client

Buyers and sellers are becoming more and more educated about real estate transactions, but they also don’t know what they don’t know. As a result, agents have to answer more and more questions from buyers and sellers about their commission rates.

This can be a sensitive topic because, after all, it’s about money, and agents have to get paid for their work just like anybody else. So what do you say to a client who wants you to take a lower commission?

Above all, remain calm

Nobody likes to hear a client say that, essentially, you make too much money and you should be willing to take less. That’s both a blow to the ego and, potentially, the pocketbook. It’s understandable that some real estate agents react strongly to the commission conversation; after all, this is their livelihood at stake.

All that said, do your very best to stay cool, calm and collected while you’re talking about commissions to clients. Getting agitated and lashing out might feel like the thing to do at the moment, and the points you make about your value might actually sink in with your clients…while they’re working with a different agent.

One simple way to smooth your tone when you have this conversation is to practice! Come up with a few responses to commission objections that you can deliver and practice saying them to your pet, your pillow, the wall, your significant other, or just out loud in your car while you’re driving around. Sooner or later, they will feel so familiar that they’ll just roll off the tongue.

Buyers don’t pay commission; sellers do

For buyers, there is a very simple argument for why debating your commission is a waste of their time: They aren’t going to be paying your commission, anyway. It comes out of the seller’s list price, and the seller is hardly going to give a buyer a discount because the buyer doesn’t want to pay an agent.

When a buyer asks if you’ll lower your commission, explain exactly how you are paid. After a check is cut to the seller at the closing table, the seller then pays both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. So even if you take a cut on your commission, the buyer isn’t going to get a better deal on the house.

Sellers might need this fact pointed out to them as well. Some sellers who don’t want to pay a full commission to any agent will realize that it’s tough to attract qualified buyers, especially if you don’t want to pay a buyer’s agent a fair amount. (But more on that later.)

Explain the current market

Even the most educated buyer or seller probably doesn’t understand the nuances of the real estate market in the same way that you do as an agent. They might have heard stories from friends or neighbors about a home sale, but those stories might not be at all current, and of course, they’re anecdotal.

This explanation can go well beyond whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market; perhaps you can discuss how one block is leaning more toward a buyer’s market while the next block is still firmly at the seller’s side of the market spectrum. And maybe you can share details about the homes that are in the highest demand and why. Seasonal trends, local economic details, and other granular factors that will impact a home sale are all things that real estate agents know quite a bit more about than most people think, and you can leverage those to help illuminate your value.

Show them the numbers

One way to illustrate how much you know about the market and what will get a house to sell is to provide raw data that gives both buyers and sellers an understanding of what’s happening in the area and how you can help expedite their particular transaction. Real estate agents have access to much more information than the average consumer, who might have done a little bit of research on the portals around pricing, but don’t really understand it.

Not only is it helpful to share the days on market and average price per square foot with them, but it’s also a kindness to explain as plainly as you can why those things matter to their particular situation. A seller who wants to get to the closing table as quickly as possible is going to want to see days on market data so they know what they’re up against, while first-time buyers will want to know what a reasonable price for a fixer-upper, entry-level home is in that one neighborhood — so be ready to provide that information.

Then show them yournumbers

Data is great, but data with context is even better. After you lay the marketplace groundwork and you’re confident that your clients understand what home sales are looking like, it’s time to show them how you measure up to the standard.

Start by explaining how many buyers or sellers you’ve helped in the area in the past six months to one year, depending on how quickly your market moves. You can speak to specific sales that involved similar situations to theirs (without compromising your former clients, of course). Provide your own days on market data, list-to-sales-price ratios, homes sold, and so on, to help give your clients an idea of how their experience will measure up against the standard (and why you’re worth the commission).

Offer testimonials or references

Everyone gets sold to all the time these days, so it’s no wonder that clients don’t always automatically trust real estate agents. But you know who they do trust? Other buyers and sellers who have been through the process and understand the pain points.

You already know that testimonials and positive reviews can help your business, and you can also use them to help strengthen the foundation of value you’re laying with clients. If other people like them decided to work with you — and they already know you don’t negotiate your commission with clients — then future clients can be persuaded to work with you, too.

Provide a list of what it takes to buy or sell a house

If you don’t sell real estate for a living, then the amount of money an agent makes on a home sale transaction might seem absurd. But if you’re a real estate agent, then you know exactly how much work goes into that money, and your commission seems utterly reasonable.

So why not educate your clients about exactly what it takes to list a home successfully for its full market value, or what it takes to get buyer clients the very best possible deal on a house they love? Some agents balk at this strategy because they think it will make it easier for buyers and sellers not to hire them. After all, the buyer or seller now knows exactly how to do the agent’s job. But those agents forget that buyers and sellers have their own careers and lives outside of this one home transaction, and looking at the vast list of tasks that need to be completed in order to get to the closing table can feel overwhelming at best.

This list is also important because it can be a massive leverage point when you’re talking about commission splits. People want a deal and think they should ask for one, but they also don’t want to cut any corners when it comes to their home sale or purchase. You can explain that your commission helps support the services they’re going to get an outline which ones would need to be cut if your commission were to be reduced, which may end the conversation right there.

Explain how commission splits work

Be warned: This won’t work on every client and is far from a foolproof argument. However, if you think your client will be swayed by the fact that you have to share your commission with other players in the transaction, such as the brokerage, then it’s possible your client will stop pushing for a discount.

Some people are operating under the assumption that agents get to keep the entire commission, so describing how it’s sliced and diced for different purposes and what you actually get to take home can help them understand why you’re not interested in reducing your commission — and why doing so could serve to cost you money on a transaction instead of making money.

Give context around your personal authority

If you’re a REALTOR, explaining the difference between your own qualifications and that of a standard real estate agent can be another way to explain value and professionalism to your clients. If you’ve earned any special designations that might pertain to your client’s situation, then you can also reference them and talk about your training and experience.

Some of your authority may come from outside the real estate industry; perhaps you used to work as a contractor or an interior designer and can offer assistance with envisioning upgrades and repairs to a home. Or maybe you used to be a teacher and have insider knowledge of the local school districts. Whatever the case, make your case for why you, personally, can get the job done better than anybody else.

Compare and contrast

Oftentimes when a client asks about a discount, it’s because they heard someone else talk about how they got a rebate or a discount on their own home sale or purchase, or perhaps they heard an ad on the radio or saw a commercial on television. It’s time to pull out your list of what it takes to buy or sell a house and start pointing out where your discount-offering competitors are cutting corners and why.

It might be worth your time to create a table that lays out everything you offer compared to your competitors if you find yourself having this conversation frequently. This will make it very easy for your clients to see at a glance what kind of value you add and what they’re getting out of the deal.

Show them expired listings

Sellers are more likely than buyers to object to paying the full commission (again, probably because they are paying it). One excellent way to showcase how the cutting commission can hurt a seller’s opportunities on the market is to show them the expired listings in their area and ask them to look at the commission rates on those listings. The odds are pretty good that your potential seller clients will notice a pattern there without you having to explicitly point it out or what it means; then you can use this as a jumping-off point to talk about their preferred days on market and how serious they are about selling. If your possible client is at all motivated to sell, they will probably also be more motivated to adequately compensate their agent once you show them that there are real consequences if they don’t.

Outline your marketing game plan

A seller might think that marketing a house is as simple as putting the listing up on Zillow, but experienced agents know the price advantage you can gain by being strategic with when you list, the price you list at, how long you’ll accept offers, and what the house looks like when buyers walkthrough. And marketing tactics aren’t just constrained to sellers; buyers might also want or need to know how to tug a little on a seller’s heartstrings to get their slightly-lower-than-asking-price-but-the-most-we-could-afford offer accepted.

Give your potential clients a clear, specific game plan for how you personally are going to help them get to the closing table with a positive outcome for their situation. After laying all of this groundwork, they should have a clear idea of your value and what you can bring to the table, and hopefully, this should be the last piece of the puzzle that helps you cement your relationship with your newest client.

If nothing else works, don’t hesitate to walk

Sometimes a buyer or seller is adamant about getting a discount when it’s not warranted, and instead of taking the listing or representing the buyer and then regretting it later, why not just walk away? This is a step that some agents hesitate to take, but if you’re spending time arguing over commissions that could be better used helping out another client who’s happy to pay you what you’re worth, why fight that fight?

As discount real estate alternatives become more prevalent (and advertise more frequently) to customers, agents should expect more questions around commissions and discounts, but those are really opportunities to talk about the value that you bring to the table.

house for sale sign with home in background

Buying A House With Bad Credit

Some people are under the mistaken impression that you must have good (or even great) credit in order to buy a house. That’s truly not the case — there are plenty of opportunities for people with poor credit to start on the journey toward homeownership and end with a set of keys to their very own home in their hands. But it’s true that buying a house with bad credit can be a challenge that not everybody is equipped to face.

If your credit isn’t exactly shiny and pristine, there’s still hope for your dream of owning your own house. Assess your situation, do what you can to improve it, and you’ll be working on the fun part of home buying (the shopping part) before you know it.

Face the music

Maybe you don’t know your exact credit score or what’s on your report … you just know it’s, you know, not great. That’s perfectly understandable and nobody is judging you for shrinking from the truth a little bit, but the first step toward fixing the problem of a poor credit score is understanding exactly how bad the situation is so that you can start addressing the low-hanging fruit and easy-to-tackle issues first.

So if you don’t know what your credit score is or have access to what’s on it, now is the time to procure a copy of your credit report, which you can request for free. You might be nervous about what’s on the report, and that’s entirely natural, but refusing to look at it isn’t going to solve any problems — so if it helps, just tell yourself that your score is as low as it could possibly be and you owe millions of dollars on your credit report. Maybe that’s true, but if your situation is even a little bit better, you’ll feel pleasantly surprised!

Check for errors

Believe it or not, there are mistakes on credit reports just like any other document, and if you haven’t been paying attention, then you might find some on your report. Getting mistakes removed can feel tedious and time-consuming (and, let’s face it, it is), but you’ll be improving your credit without having to spend any money doing it, and that can be a solid payoff all on its own.

Take that copy of your credit report and run down it line by line to see if you can find anything that’s worth disputing. Obviously, larger line items are going to be worth more time than smaller ones, but everything that doesn’t belong on your report is worth disputing. It might take some untangling to get there, but it’s going to make a difference in the end on how quickly and easily you get in the door of a home of your own.

Do what you can to improve where you can

You can still buy a house even if your credit isn’t perfect or very good — and we’ll get to the specifics of how in a minute. But the fact of the matter is that you’re going to get the very best deal on your mortgage loan if your credit is in decent shape. That’s important because it affects how much money you’re going to pay overtime on the house; the lower your mortgage rate, the less you’ll pay, and you won’t be able to get a low rate with poor credit.

So instead of throwing your hands up and accepting your fate, start looking for ways to improve your credit score right now. First and foremost, if there are any bills you can pay automatically, sign up to do so; late payments will wreak havoc on your credit score. Once you’re paying all your current bills regularly and on time, start tackling the highest-interest debts first. If you’re in default, see if you can set up a payment plan with whichever entity now owns the debt; that may take some investigating to figure out. But any efforts you can make to improve your financial situation and your credit now will benefit you later when you’re actively looking for a house.

Meet with a housing counselor and take classes

The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers resources for buyers (especially first-time buyers) who are struggling with credit issues and affordability. It’s well worth checking out because they can often direct you to additional resources (even grants and loans for down payments) that could make all the difference in your ability to reach the finish line. Visit https://www.hud.gov/buying/localbuying to see if HUD offers any programs in your area.

Know your loan options

There are a few different types of loans that are specifically geared toward buyers with poor credit or financial struggles, including FHA loans, USDA loans, or VA loans. If you’re a veteran, then it’s a good idea to contact the Veterans Administration and ask for information about VA loans, which require a credit score of 620 and often offer very good rates even for borrowers with credit challenges, and you can get a loan with no down payment at all and with no private mortgage insurance (PMI) penalties.

If you have a credit score of at least 580, then you can qualify for an FHA loan, which is a loan with a lot of flexibility — it’s not restricted to first-time homebuyers, for example, and the loan requires just a 3.5% down payment (although if you can put more down, you’ll get better terms. Employment qualifications for an FHA loan can also be looser.

A USDA loan is available only in some rural areas for some borrowers who have a low-income range for the area. These also require a credit score of 620 and don’t require a down payment or PMI, so depending on your income and where you’re buying, they can be a good option for some borrowers.

Private mortgage loans are also available even to borrowers with poor credit, but you may need to make one or more of the concessions listed below.

Pay upon PMI

If you don’t have a full 20% down to bring to the sale, it’s standard procedure for the lender to charge an additional mortgage insurance every month on top of your payment. This is usually calculated as a percentage of the total loan; it can be well worth it for buyers to pay PMI if it means building equity and working up the homeownership ladder.

Offer a bigger down payment

Alternatively, if you have poor credit but you happen to have good access to a lot of money, then it might make sense for you to offer a larger-than-average down payment to offset your lack of credit. Some lenders will accept a riskier borrower with more skin in the game, so to speak, so it’s worth a shot if you’re able to come up with those large amounts of money before your home purchase.

Bring a co-signer to the table

Borrowers whose credit isn’t good enough to get a loan on their own also have the option of bringing a co-signer to the table who can also be financially responsible for the loan. This is a big deal, and most co-signers will be family members — all of the normal advice about entangling yourself financially with family members applies even more stringently here, but if there are no other options, bringing a co-signer in can get a deal to close that was otherwise lost for good.

Be realistic about your price range

It’s incredibly important for homebuyers who are more financially challenged than they would prefer to be ultra-realistic about the budget they can afford and how they plan to pay for it. The last thing you want on your credit report is a foreclosure, and the best way to avoid one is to make sure you’re not getting in over your head in the first place by shopping aggressively within your price range and aiming low if at all possible. You aren’t obligated to stay in the home you buy with poor credit forever; it can be a jumping-off point to something better, but you have to get your foot in the door first, which might mean compromising here and there.

Refinance when you’re settled

Homeownership can help boost your credit in a big way; that financial stability and equity building will only benefit you over time. And after some time, you can take advantage of your newly polished credit to refinance. Depending on what mortgage rates are doing, you might even spend less money every month on your mortgage, be able to get rid of your PMI, or otherwise tweak your payment to your best advantage.

There’s no reason why you can’t buy a house with poor credit. It just is going to require a little extra work and planning on your part, but the end result — a home of your own — will be worth all the sweat and tears you put into it.

kitchen sink faucet

5 Gorgeous Kitchen Trends That Won’t Disappoint

Your kitchen is more than just the heart of your home. It’s become the hot-spot of most households as a multi-functional space for entertaining, work, of course, dining. A well-designed kitchen will go a long way in increasing your home’s value and upping the enjoyment of the room you spend most of your time in. While many trends come and go, some stand out. Here are five gorgeous kitchen trends you’ll love.

1) Rethink Standard White Cabinets With Gray

If you’ve grown tired of looking at white cabinets, the next color that’s ready to pass white as a favorite kitchen cabinet color is gray. Gray is clean and sophisticated and can be a timeless option for both traditional and modern kitchens. It’s a neutral color, that’s close to white, so it can have staying power for years to come.

2) A Classic Subway Tile Backsplash

When it comes to backsplashes, you can have a ton of fun, but the options can also be overwhelming when you realize backsplashes can come in all kinds of tile shapes, colors, and sizes. You can’t go wrong with a classic subway tile. Even in clean and elegant white, this simple update will give your kitchen a finished and timeless look. Don’t forget about the grout color either—using a gray or dark-colored grout will show off the tile lines and will give you the bonus of being much easier to clean than white or lighter colored grouts.

3) Quartz Countertops

In the past, granite and quartz were neck and neck as the most popular countertop options. Today, quartz is gaining popularity and for a good reason. Quartz is one of the toughest countertop materials, stronger than natural stone and will resist chips, scratches, and burn marks, making it more durable in the long run than granite counters. If you take a close look, some quartz countertops look just like granite ones. Manufacturers mix resin with crushed quartz stone to craft great-looking countertops that can be solid in color or look just like real granite. Besides being pleasing to the eye, quartz countertops are also easy to clean and maintain. And unlike granite, you won’t need to reseal it every year.

4) Sleek Black Appliances

While stainless steel appliances have been at the top of many people’s kitchen wish lists, all the sheen of stainless appliances can overwhelm a small kitchen. Many appliance manufacturers have been getting ready for black appliances to make a comeback. Today, you can find many refined and stylish shades like slate gray and granite black. Dark appliances are also easier to clean and don’t show fingerprints and dirt like stainless appliances.

5) Lighten Up With LEDs

Light will never go out of style, and a well-lit, bright kitchen will give you a welcoming feel every time you step into the room. Check out LED lighting and work one of the many styles into some of your kitchen spaces to show off your favorite kitchen features. Find LEDs along toe kicks as nightlights, inside kitchen cabinets to illuminate your favorite dishes, and even tucked into crown molding to brighten ceilings. You’ll find LEDs that complement your kitchen design perfectly with colors ranging from bright to soft white, red, green, and blue.

They don’t emit heat, so you don’t need to worry about damaging your cabinets or fixtures, and they’re also energy-efficient—they can last an average of 50,000 hours!

If you’re thinking of giving your kitchen a makeover, and want to know what kitchen design trends will work best in your area, get in touch!
signing papers

Be Informed: What is Escrow?

The first time you heard the term, “escrow” you may have been thrown for a loop. While the word may have had you confused the first time, here are some essential things to know about escrow–what it is, what it’s used for, and how it works.

What Is Escrow?

Escrow is a legal notion where money or assets are held by a third-party on behalf of two other parties in the middle of completing a transaction.

An escrow company provides two parties the service to make sure everyone does what they say they’re going to do. The escrow company acts as a middleman to protect the assets while the home purchasing process is happening.

Applied to real estate transactions–when buying or selling a home, escrow is the trusted third-party, who is someone other than the buyer or seller, who will hold money to make sure you execute the transaction correctly.

The key thing to remember here is that the third-party is a trusted party. This is a neutral entity that doesn’t care whether a home buyer or home seller comes out ahead of the other. The primary role of an escrow service is to make sure each party in a real estate transaction holds up its end of the deal.

Search for a reputable escrow company, or ask your real estate agent for a recommendation to find a trustworthy service.

How Escrow Works When Purchasing A Home

When buying a new home, you agree to pay the purchase amount within a certain time, and the seller will provide the home they’re selling. Your home purchase is probably contingent on a few things; namely financing and a home inspection. While you’re securing financing and scheduling a professional home inspection, you will make an escrow payment, or an “earnest deposit,” writing a check to an escrow provider in an agreed-upon amount that shows your intent or seriousness of purchasing that home. This gives the seller some reassurance that you’re serious.

Escrow opens when a buyer and seller sign an agreement for a real estate transaction, then deliver the agreement to an escrow officer who helps make sure everyone meets the contract conditions.

Escrow closes when everyone did everything they agreed to do, and the homeownership is transferred to the buyer.

Once the escrow provider verifies everyone held up their end of the agreement, they’ll either give you a refund, apply it to the purchase price or the home, or pass the money along to the seller (if the buyer doesn’t satisfy requirements).

Escrow Accounts For Homeowners Insurance And Property Taxes

The other time you’ll hear about escrow may be for an escrow account–which is slightly different than for a real estate transaction. When making your monthly mortgage payments on your home loan, you may also be paying for additional home expenses like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance as part of one lump sum.

Property taxes are usually an annual expense, and sometimes homeowner’s insurance is as well, though many insurance companies accept monthly payments. To alleviate the lender’s risk of you not budgeting properly for these payments, they make sure tax and insurance get paid by adding them to your monthly mortgage payment.

This portion of your monthly payment is deposited into a separate, escrow account. These funds are kept in escrow (by a company outside of both you and your lender) until their respective payments are due once a year, then they’ll make the payment on your behalf. You’ll discuss this with your lender when you finalize the purchase of your home, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

If there’s a difference in how much you owe and how much you’ve contributed to the escrow account, your lender will let you know. You’ll either receive a refund if you overpaid, or if you didn’t contribute enough, your lender will pay the difference, then send you a bill for the additional amount. You may be able to pay the bill over the coming year.

If you need help finding an escrow company or have any questions about the escrow process for real estate, get in touch!
frustrated worker at computer

Client Red Flags: How You Know The Seller Will Be A Nightmare

When your job is heavily tilted toward customer service, you know that you have to deal with all kinds of people — and you aren’t going to like all of them. That’s just part of life! But there’s a difference between having a slight personality clash with a client or rubbing each other the wrong way every now and then, and a client-agent relationship that is downright toxic.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a client is going to be a difficult fit or a downright nightmare for you. If you’re new to the business or just need a refresher, here are some big red flags that your seller client, in particular, is probably going to be the latter.

They don’t understand the market

Let’s be clear: By itself, this is not an enormous scarlet flag that should send you running for the hills. However, it’s usually one of the first indications that a seller doesn’t have the best judgment, doesn’t like to let facts get in the way of their opinion, has an ego problem, or some other more serious issue that could be a dealbreaker.

On the other hand, it could just be an indication that they haven’t been paying attention to the market and don’t know what to expect in terms of pricing or timing. So take this one with a grain of salt, unless it’s accompanied by several other questionable behaviors.

They think quirky renovations increase the home’s value

Every once in a while, a listing comes to market that’s so weird and out-there that the photos go viral on social media. It could be something as relatively innocuous as an, um, intimate dungeon in one room, or some rather unusual choices of color or decoration or what-have-you. And you know what, who should anybody be to judge? The whole point of homeownership is to have a placet o call your own and shape into exactly what you want.

The problem arises when sellers insist that their interesting and not very common taste enhances the value of the house. Not only will some sellers refuse to shape their homes a little more closely to buyers’ tastes, but they might also decide to price their home well above neighborhood comps because “it has something none of the neighbors’ homes has!” That’s true, but so is the fact that not every buyer wants a house with a creepy mermaid mural in the bathroom or a stripper pole in the corner of the bedroom.

A job well done is a reason to complain

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to identify this seller until after you’ve done something amazing — sold their home quickly, and possibly above asking price. Even though they made the decision to accept the offer, they might decide later on that you advised them poorly and they could have made even more money if they’d decided to leave it on the market for long. Who knows where people get these ideas?

They can’t agree — with each other

Hopefully, none of your clients will be real-life incarnates of George and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but it’s possible that you might run into a handful who clearly aren’t used to agreeing with one another and expect you to mediate their differences. Maybe one wants to sell quickly while the other is content to wait. Or one likes the idea of reducing the price and the other thinks it’d be better to just take the house off the market. You may have a lot of skills as an agent, but you’re not expected to be a marriage counselor for basic decision-making.

They look for reasons to personally dislike people they don’t know

If your seller suddenly starts to develop animosity toward the buyer before they ever meet face-to-face at the closing table, watch out. Unless the buyers are being the nightmare — it happens! — you may find yourself having to placate the seller and soothe ruffled feathers, or even convince the seller not to drop a nuke on the deal because they got an idea that they couldn’t work with the buyer. You need to be especially careful if sellers begin espousing ideologies and opinions about the buyers that could get you into Fair Housing trouble.

They think they know better than you do

There’s nothing new under the sun, including home sellers who seem to have an idea that they could do your job better than you, in fact, are doing your job. The attitude itself is common enough that you might not want to make it a hill to die on, sad to say — where it becomes a real issue is when your clients completely disregard your advice because they’re confident that they know more than you do. Why? Because that’s when you find yourself in a situation where a client is blaming you for an action they took against your advice.

They micromanage

Just about everybody has had a bad experience with a micromanaging boss who won’t let them do their job, and it’s more than probable you might end up with one of those clients eventually. Maybe they think the listing photos or marketing materials could be better and want to adjust the typeface or ask you to retake the photos. Perhaps they’re nitpicking a word choice in the listing description. Those things are more tolerable than clients who want to micromanage the contract or negotiations, areas where they really should be leaning on your guidance.

They don’t want to compromise

Whether it’s refusing to budge on the price, not wanting to work with buyers who ask about repair credits or other concessions after the inspection, or throwing a temper tantrum if the appraisal comes in below their contract price, a seller who won’t compromise doesn’t give you a lot of room to maneuver as the agent. Maybe you’re really good at getting deals done without wiggle room, but for some agents, this can very reasonably be a reason they don’t want to work with a client again.

They don’t want to spruce up … at all

This one is another flag that might mean the seller is a nightmare, but it could just mean that they aren’t in a financial situation to do much around the house. Usually, though, you can tell the difference between someone who has pride in their home but can’t afford the latest upgrades, and someone who simply doesn’t care that the walls are practically falling down around them. If the seller has the financial means to make necessary repairs but refuses to do it, or won’t negotiate on price even though the place is below the standards for most of the market, then you’re most likely working with someone unreasonable.

They find fault with everything you do

Selling a home can be a very emotional time, and when a seller nitpicks at you or berates you, it’s not something you ever have to put up with — but it’s also at least somewhat understandable sometimes. When a seller can’t help but pick apart everything you do to find fault with it, though, that’s a good sign that this relationship is probably going to be a lot more trouble and stress than it will be worth for you, financially and otherwise.

You aren’t comfortable

We don’t always pay enough attention to the alarm bells that sound in our head when someone dangerous or predatory is around, and hopefully, you’ll never encounter a seller who could fit that description. But … but. Real estate can be a dangerous business, and you won’t do yourself any favors by ignoring your gut instinct and hanging around a client who makes you uncomfortable. If alarm bells start ringing in your head and you get that “get out” feeling, you know what to do — get out.
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