Fear of the Unknown
We as humans have a natural tendency to fear the unknown. The psychological term for this is “xenophobia.” In modern usage, the word has evolved to mean the fear of strangers or foreigners — but its original meaning is much broader. It includes anything or anyone that’s unfamiliar or unknown.
When we help buyers purchase their first home, we frequently run into this phenomenon.
And perhaps rightfully so. Buyers are often transitioning from the relative comfort of renting a home, and the nomadic lifestyle that goes with it—being able to uproot and move to a distant job opportunity at a moment’s notice.
Moving to a more permanent situation with the financial commitment that accompanies the shift in lifestyle can be intimidating.
One of the paradigm shifts we made many years ago was to focus on relationships, and not sales.
Early in our careers, as many new agents do, we would chase every lead at every open house hoping that someone out of the throngs of open house visitors would buy a home from us.
We quickly learned how flawed this model is for our business.
Today, we only work with clients that appreciate what our 30 years in the business brings to our clients—the deep understanding and expertise about our industry—the homes, neighborhood nuances, microclimates, and the powerful relationships that we have with our colleagues that help us help our clients to get the home they desire.
We commit to our clients the fidelity of our attention, and ask nothing more than reciprocity in kind. The agreement we work with spells out our duties, and what is expected of us and our clients.
This agreement benefits our clients in many ways they do not understand.
First, it enables us to focus 100% on our clients, and not waste time chasing down new leads for business. This allows us to work with a small number of clients at a time, to concentrate on our responsibilities of finding the ideal home.
For example, we can target mail to specific neighborhoods that our clients are interested in, to uncover a seller considering a move.
The agreement also ensures that the buyers will not be forced unwittingly to work with the seller’s agent through a process called procuring cause.
Most inexperienced agents are afraid to ask for a commitment from their customer, for fear they could lose their lead.
What buyers may not consider, is that any agent working without an agreement will undoubtably try and coerce a buyer into purchasing a home sooner than they might like to, as the agent fears the buyers will wander off to purchase through another agent.
Lets’ face it, it’s tough representing buyers in our current seller’s market. The last thing a buyer should want to do is work without a mutual agreement as what is expected from the relationship. Absent this understanding, an agent will mostly likely be less than excited at the prospect of working unpaid for months on end, only to have their customer inform them. that they just bough a house from another agent.
Rather than fearing the commitment involved in working with an agent dedicated to their best interests, if they are to fear anything, it should be working with an agent so inexperienced or desperate for business that they do not ask for a commitment.
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The information contained in this article is educational and intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute real estate, tax, insurance or legal advice, nor does it substitute for advice specific to your situation. Always consult an appropriate professional familiar with your scenario.