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There are a few things a client can say that will make you cringe every time. Here is our list of the top 10 things real estate agents hate to hear from their clients, with some suggestions on how you can appropriately respond. We’ve also included a gif so that you know someone else has felt your frustrations!

Special thanks to Bill Gassett and Elizabeth Newlin for the inspiration for this list.

1. “No, I haven’t been pre-approved. Can we see this property anyway?”

The truth is, helping someone out with one favor isn’t that big a deal. But make it clear on that first viewing that it can’t become a habit. List all the benefits of getting pre-approved (creates a budget, peace of mind, etc.) and explain that you will line up a lot of great showings after that step.

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2. “Well I called the listing agent…”

This is annoying because it feels like the client went behind your back a little bit. Plus, they aren’t realty-savvy enough to optimize those calls. The best thing to do here is explain that you want to make the process as easy as possible, so you can be their one-stop-shop for all things real estate. They don’t need to (and better not!) be calling other agents.

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3. “I know I’m approved for x amount, but can we go check out this house that costs y?”

No you can’t see a house $100,000 dollars out of your price range! That’s why you got the pre-approval in the first place. Try to make it clear that you can find a home that meets all of their desires within their price range, and it won’t do anyone any good to waste time looking at something else.

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4. “Let’s offer this significantly lower figure, and see if they bite.”

This one has to be a firm no from you. Say that low-ball offers are offensive, will be ignored for the sheer fact that they seem insulting, and will hurt your reputation as an agent.

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5. “I can make an offer with the contingency that I sell my home.”

Make it clear than an offer with a major contingency is basically not an offer; it’s a hypothetical situation. A contingency about a cracked window or loose door handle is reasonable. A contingency about selling an entire other property is absurd.

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6. “Is your commission negotiable?”

The truth is you should just say no to this question; your commission is set at the industry standard. But if you want to have some fun with it, just let them know you can lower your commission if they lower their expectations out of you.

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7. “What are the ‘good’ places to live?”

What does this question even mean? Are they concerned about school districts, crime rates, something else entirely? Is this a racially fueled question? You have to counter this question with another question. “What are you looking for? What are your priorities? What are your top concerns?” Also, if does turn out to be a race (or any minority) charged question, just refer them to the crummiest agent you know.

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8. “Maybe I’ll just rent instead. Can you help me find a place to rent?”

This is a judgment call. Can you help? Sure. Should you? Probably not. It cuts your commission considerably and is outside your realm of expertise. If you need the cash, however – or just really want to help that particular client – then you can obviously make a rental property happen.

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9. “My [insert relative] says, …”

Make it look like you’ll consider what the person is saying. But the truth is, so-and-so’s dad isn’t a real estate agent, and he needs to hush. At the end of the day, you know what you’re doing better than any third party. Be confident in yourself, and your clients will be confident, as well.

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10. “We’re actually going to go with an agent we met at an open house.”

Feel free to spiral into a blind rage.

Or, more appropriately, assure them of the perks you could have offered that set you apart, hope they’ll reconsider, and gracefully step aside so as not to burn any bridges.

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Did we miss any? What other questions do you hate to hear? Let us know in the comments below!


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