bump-in-the-roadIn the course of a “normal” real estate transaction there are more ways for something to go wrong than the general public can imagine.  It’s one of the many reasons why the general public doesn’t find value in the work a good Realtor does on their behalf.  It’s also not the stuff they show on HGTV.  The potential bumps in the road are numerous.  The good news, however, is that, if handled correctly, these bumps in the road can be handled.  Most aren’t fatal to the transaction.  So, where’s the “but”?  The “but” is whether or not you handle them like a butt or like a professional.

Through properly setting expectations with a client, proper presentation of the problem to the client, and cooperation with your fellow professionals, most bumps in the road in a transaction can be overcome.

Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t problems that can’t be overcome.  There are, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, you will.  That is, unfortunately, a part of the business and something that has to be dealt with from time to time.

Setting Expectations

In a previous post, we talked about setting expectations at length.  So, I am not going to rewrite that post for the sake of this one.  The bottom line is this: people don’t like surprises, especially in what can already be a stressful situation.  So, don’t let it be a surprise.  Setting expectations from the beginning and reiterating those expectations throughout the process will keep your client both prepared for these situations and aware that you know about them and are working on their behalf.  Building value in yourself is the bonus.

Proper Presentation

The hidden beauty of setting expectations is that it allows you to present a problem as it arises in a way that doesn’t come as a surprise to the client.  How you present a problem to your client, either buyer or seller, is key.  If you freak out, they’ll freak out.  If you come in laying blame, they will too, and most likely on you.  If you come in bad-mouthing the other agent or other party to the transaction, they will feel like you are not in control.

The correct way to present a problem is to, first, go back to the expectation you already set.  For example, “Remember, Mr. and Mrs. Seller when we talked about (fill in the blank)?  Well, here is what’s going on.”  Second, you review what you have already done or are doing to resolve the problem.  This, again, builds value in you and what you do.  Finally, you leave them with the plan and what could or could not happen in the end.  Set a time to follow-up and be very communicative throughout the process.  How you present the problem to the client will directly influence not only the way they react to the problem, but how they deal with the problem as you work through it.


Yes, I know, it is hard to be as good as you are.  I know that there are very few agents capable of the level of awesomeness you bring to the table daily.  I completely understand.  However, from time to time you are going to have to entertain these other agents in an effort to serve your clients and make the money you’ve earned.  We’ve also talked about cooperating agents in other posts before so I won’t get too deep into it.

Being able to creatively solve problems with the other agent, lender, and/or title company is how you will successfully navigate the treacherous path that pops up when there are difficulties in a transaction.  The ability to bring all parties and vendors together to create win-win situations is how you show your true professionalism in times of need.  That’s what makes you awesome, not only to your client, but to your fellow professionals as well.

Anyone can navigate their way through a simple real estate transaction.  Anyone can also screw up a somewhat difficult transaction.  Don’t be anyone.  Be better than that.  Show your value to your clients.  Be the agent that other agents want to be like when they grow up.  Having processes and systems in place in your business to deal with difficult situations, unforeseen problems, and less than stellar vendors, agents, and parties on the other side of the transaction is paramount to your success.  That’s how you differentiate yourself and become an all-star.

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