On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, how to help your buyers win in this hot seller’s market without buyer’s remorse without a bunch of tears without blaming you for why they didn’t get the house without firing you halfway through the process, without them Ghosting you. And without you having to write a ton of offers, get your headphones on. This is a good way. The one on today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, we’re talking about how to Helping Your Buyer Clients “Win” in a competitive seller’s market and not end up having buyer’s remorse.
So when I say “win”, I mean, regardless of what the outcome is, whether they win or lose the house, you want to create an environment with your clients where they’re, or they feel like they won no matter what. And I have a grad school student, so the longest-running student, 10 years, 11 years now, Amy, it’s funny. She is winning offers all the time for her clients. And so I brought her on. So you can listen in on our conversation about how she’s doing this, how she’s standing apart with her clients, creating lasting, impactful relationships with our clients.
And oftentimes many times even getting clients that I guess getting a lot of clients where real estate agents have been fired also, and now people are coming to you to help them win the offers. So welcome Amy, back again to another episode of the podcast. Thank you for being here. Hi, thanks for having me. So where do we even begin? You know, I think when, when we talk about how to win, how to make a winning offer for a fire, a client, oftentimes I think a lot of real estate agents think that we’re going to give them like tactics on literally how to write the offer, which we are going to do a little bit later in this podcast.
But more importantly, and before you get to the offer, a writing point, all these steps need to happen so that when you get to that point, you can make a winning offer. So Amy, why don’t we start there? What do you think is the number one first thing when you have a new client and obviously, they’re coming to you to help them get a house, what do you think is the number one thing to do or to talk to them about when they first meet with you or with a real estate agent that’s so important that essentially creates and begins that relationship. So by the time they’re ready to write an offer, it becomes a winning offer.
What’s the first thing that you do? Yes. So the first thing that I do, well, I meet people on zoom, but I used to meet people in person, but, and I’m hoping to go back to that soon, but definitely having an appointment with a client right away. And, you know, once I, once they reach out to me and scheduling something and either whether that’s a virtual or in-person, hopefully soon. And the number one thing to do is to sit down and look them in the eye and start first, you know, asking them basic questions kind of. So they feel comfortable wherever you might be meeting, you know, you know, just kind of gathering some information about them and their address, things like that. And then, you know, I go, I have them, well, one thing that we took away from agent grad school, I have what’s called thoughts to dwell on.
So I send them that before I meet them. That’s actually the first thing I should say that has a lot of questions that ask them, you know, it gets them thinking about what’s really most important to them because every buyer thinks they know what’s most important to them. Three bedrooms, two baths, X location, X price, you know, easy peasy. Right. And it’s so not that easy if it was, we wouldn’t be here. Right. So that’s the first step is sitting down with them and going through and they bring their questions. They fill them out, they bring them in. They usually, if it’s a couple, I have them read separately and let the other partner listen, because I think partners don’t know like what, what their partner actually wants either sometimes.
So this is a good way to first get them to say like, oh, I didn’t realize, you know, you had a garage on your list of most important, right. Or I didn’t realize that you didn’t want to be XYZ neighborhood. And so it, and it helps me I’m collecting information the whole time, but it makes them feel good too, because I’m asking them what’s most important to them. What’s so funny about what you’re saying, as I’m thinking back and thinking about, and not a negative way, but it, in a, in a way that like all three of us are surprised sometimes by like, oh, you want that? I didn’t realize that was so important to you. And I think that opportunity gives, especially when there’s more than one person buying, that moment to be able to be like, oh, I didn’t have the conversation about what’s important to one person versus the other.
I think so often real estate agents, when they meet with new clients, they assume that they, or if there’s more than one person, if it’s like a couple that they’re on the same page and oftentimes it’s not the case. And so what you’re describing, I think also helps a lot. Like aluminate what maybe they, a one person is more important, thinks is more important or, or, or not kind of thing that also comes to light. Yeah. I specifically asked them when I send it to them to each fill it out separately in the beginning, sometimes they were filling it out as a couple and it was like, no, Nope, let’s do it separately. You know? And so then they were kind of really like, all right, well, here’s my, I think it makes both people feel special and heard, right.
Because you know, they’re each deciding what, what is most important to them? So that’s a very first step. And so they read it out to me, I take notes and we talk and just kind of warms them up and gets them, gets me, you know, to know them better. And what’s really important to them beyond a three bedroom, two bath home at X amount of dollars, you know, that’s all top-line stuff. But we, we had agent grad school know, that’s the least of what we need to know. Right. Yeah. That’s like surface stuff and it’s so much deeper than that. And also never, ever, ever meet clients at houses. I know so many people buy online leads and their expectation is to meet at the house.
We do not recommend that we do not practice that. And so, because that conversation is so, so, so important. It’s so funny. Like whenever I have these conversations, oftentimes like when they come in, think like, they’ll say something like, oh yeah, we want, like you said, three bedrooms, two bath in this location. And by the end of the conversation, like it’s not at all that thing at all. Does that happen to you too? Yeah. They’ll say often people will say to me, I’ll ask them a question. I’ll say, I dunno, like, have we thought about it? I don’t think we’ve thought about that. And I will go, okay, well take some time to think about it. You don’t have to answer right now. You know, it’s, it’s there. And it’s that, that starting things where they’re like, oh, she really knows, you know, she is, she knows what she’s talking about.
She is beyond just coming here to tell me what’s on the market and how, how much I can afford to buy and showing me houses, she’s asking me something like that. I had not thought of myself. Whoa. You know, and, and that is where you see the light go off with them. Like this is going to be a different experience. You know, then probably what my friends are telling me maybe, or what I assumed it would be totally. You have to start it at that very first meeting. And it’s not like you go into that meeting trying to astound the people or trying to like give them some kind of like a light bulb. It just always happens when you follow the process and you ask the right questions and you can do the right kind of initial consultation. And you aren’t just meeting people at houses because meeting people at houses is kind of like, I don’t know, it’s like order taking.
It’s like they say, they want this. Then you’re showing them that. But being a good real estate agent and really adding value to your buyer, is all about adding value in ways that they can’t figure out for themselves. So this initial consultation is so crucial and we have a very specific way, a very specific set of questions to ask a very structured way of doing it. So that happens automatically. The next thing that happened, anything else you want to add on that piece, Amy, before we kind of go to step two on how to write winning offers, which is the finance piece? No, I would say I would just, I mean, beyond just saying, you know, really come prepared that day.
You know, if you’re, if you’re meeting folks, you know, don’t come frazzle, don’t come after showings all day, unless you absolutely have to, you know, but give yourself a little bit of downtime, you know, to sit in front of someone and really ask those questions and take notes and listen and pay attention. I try to, you know, think of like you and I always talk about elevating real estate in the industry, you know, lawyers or doctors or people who provide expertise in their field. You know, we don’t want to come running into like a coffee shop, you know? Oh, sorry. And slam our stuff down, you know, to really just be prepared for each meeting and treat it very serious. And that, you know, this is, this is a big part. Cause it’s, it’s the initial conversation you’re having with folks the first time.
They’re really seeing you, you know, listening to a hearing you everything, the whole, the whole package. And I think, you know, I always try to come really prepared and really professional and friendly to obviously a very friendly and all of that. But, but to know that I’m, I’m taking this seriously and not just, you know, Hey, you know what, or you want to do buy a house. Great. Okay. Where, all right, thanks, bye. You know, right. This meeting sets the tone for everything else that happens from here on out and truly is where the relationship begins. So I’m at the end of the initial consultation, we always tell our agents to tell them what happens next and what happens next. And so many agents skip this step is focusing on the finances.
So before you go start looking at houses, remember with your clients, remember the basic like thing, what buying a house is, is actually a huge financial decision. Yes. It’s fun. Yes. It creates the life. And it does all these other things. But at the end of the day, the finances have to have, you have to have, they have to have, and you have to have absolute clarity in black and white about what I’m the finances behind that looks like. And the approach that we take is a, what do you want a pay per month? How much cash do you have? And from there, have the lender, tell us what loan programs or best.
And, but the purchase price is because so many of our clients come in saying they want to buy a house for 500,000 or 300,000 or whatever that big number is. But so often, I mean, I don’t know if this happens to you also, when you say, okay, great. Well, how much you want to pay per month? And how much are you planning to put down the math doesn’t work out? Like it’s not always like there’s a needs to be an alignment of what they want a pay per month, how much cash they’re putting in and what that equals in purchase price. Anything else you want to talk about that piece? That part, because we haven’t even started looking at houses yet. Yeah. That peace is the next piece that always happens.
And I don’t leave it to them. I don’t say, well, here are three lenders you can call I email. And I remember an agent grad school. And when I first started working with you, you were like, Nope, you don’t, you’re going to do this. And I’m like, oh, what wait me, like, I have to like do the email. Like, I didn’t know w I was not that I didn’t want to do it. I just didn’t know. She’s like, you’re like, yes, you don’t leave it in their hands because you know, you take control. So the next part is me putting an email together with the lenders or lenders that I’m, you know, recommending and introducing them. And in that I establish trust again, because I repeat what they’ve told me, you know, Jenny and Jon, or a house in XYZ neighborhood, they’re looking to keep their monthly budget about X, Y, Z.
They would like, you know, move. Yeah. Per month they would like to move in X amount of time. And this is the money we think that we have for savings down payment. We would love to schedule, you know, like they’ll do an application with you’d love a scheduled time to talk. And so I think again, they’re like, well, actually she knows what we said to her. Right. Because I’m repeating it again. Yeah. And makes them feel heard. And if you have a hard time, if any agent listening is having a hard time getting the air at this point, this level of clarity, I know there’s agents out there listening that are like, I can’t believe you so much. Show them a house. Don’t the people just want to run out and show the house. This isn’t going to work in my market. You know, that people want to get to the house.
What is your, what do you say to those agents, Amy listening, who are thinking this isn’t possible to slow down your clients. You know, I’ve never had anyone say to me, I’m not going to do that. Like a, you know, they might, if, you know, if I introduce the lender, they, and if they really don’t want to work with me, then they probably won’t pursue this next step. Right. So a, you know, I’ve never had anyone say, yeah, I’m not, I refuse for you to introduce me to this lender, you know, or they’ll say, or occasionally people might say a, I want to think about it. And then maybe we would work in a, on the very few times that this happens.
But, but what I would say is you’re going to waste a lot of time. If you let them, but if you let the buyer lead the process, you’re going, and, and it’s very tempting to skip, right? Oh, lets go out there. Let’s look looking as looking is not how you make money and when offers right. Opening doors and letting people through houses, that is not that, that is not the way that it’s not what I was taught. And it’s an a, it’s just not the way to become successful. So I know. And it’s a way, a way to waste a lot of time. Like you said, a lot of, and a lot. And also too, in the end too, you know, before I met you and with other clients, you know, I fall into these traps because I didn’t know what I was doing, you know, necessarily, I was always thinking, I was looking out for the client’s best interest, but you know, I was driving kind of blind.
And then sometimes at the end it would be like, well, you know, we didn’t know about this or we didn’t think, you know, you didn’t tell us about this, you know, extra fee or whatever, you know, we didn’t want to live near whatever. And it’s because I didn’t take the time they were excited. They were, they were referred. I was ready to go, let’s go. You know? And none of these were like, you know, like career breakers or anything. It wasn’t like that. But, but I wasn’t walking away with the feeling of like, these are lifetime people. Those people were seeing me as a door opener and a conduit to write a contract and get what they want. But not as an expert, it’s two different things. Right. And I think, yeah. And just to be clear, oh, sorry, go ahead.
Yeah. And, and that’s not, and that’s not a way I was gonna, I wasn’t repeating business. Those people were nice to me in that moment and in that time and for what it, what it was, but they were not coming back to me saying, help me again, Amy. Well, right, because you were not providing value. You were just following their lead on how they thought this should go. That’s not going to get you a referral. That’s not going to get you get people saying, oh my goodness, you have to work with Amy. She’s so different. She’s so great. She really liked, changed our mind about, you know, I know, I know the, for a fact about you because I’ve heard your clients say it, you know, she, she helped us not make a million dollar mistake. You know, things like that.
You don’t get those kinds of reviews and accolades by just doing what everybody else is doing and rushing to show houses and rushing to writing contracts. Now let me just make sure it’s clear. So Amy and I have both been, well, I’ve been in real estate since 2003. I’m in a strong market. Amy’s been, I think you’ve been since 2005. Is that right? And 2006/2007 is when I really started. Yeah. Yeah. And so, and we, we both operate in the Washington DC market heavily competitive, not just highly competitive among the buyers and sellers, but highly competitive among the real estate agents.
So this works in the most competitive, the most fast-paced markets. And we’ll also work in slower markets as well. So I tell you that only because I don’t want people to think, oh, that doesn’t work in this, in this market. Things are moving so much more quickly. That is also true in the Washington DC market where we’re both Amy and I have built our businesses. So, and this isn’t just a now thing. It is Amy is using this right now. I’ve used it for the last 15 years. Amy’s used it for the last 10 years. So regardless of what the market’s doing, this works. So I just don’t want any agents to think like this isn’t going to work in my market or this isn’t gonna work in this market like that we’re in right now.
We’re, we’re talking about things that like are actually being done right now, but the response I typically yeah, and this, in this very busy sellers market and, you know, my, I guess my advice to any agent who might think that is, you know, try it, just try it and see, try once, even give yourself a chance to try it and see what the response is, you know? Exactly. So, so this, by the way, it’s all leading up to how you write a winning offer. All of these steps are a part of the process. So the next step in the process is having what we call a loan summary meeting with your clients.
And I dunno if you want to talk about just quickly about how that goes, or at least the takeaway Amy, how you do those meetings. I mean, like you said, we work in the Washington DC market, generally the clients that I work with, you know, and I don’t know how it is across the country. Like, you know, pretty much went pretty extensive details in financing before we hit the ground running. Sometimes when people will say, oh, I did an online calculator, but I know it’s not right. And yeah, it’s probably not right, because it’s not set up to be. And so again, going back to where the budget wants to be another thing about reaching out to the lender and saying, this is how much someone wants to spend say $3,000 a month or whatever is that people are always afraid when we send them to lenders that we somehow are going to tell the lender, are the lenders going to end?
The lenders do qualify them for a lot more than they want to spend sometimes. And it makes them afraid of the process. I think because they think they want us to a house and we only want to buy a $700,000 house. So I always the lenders that I work with, I make sure that when we’re looking at estimates, we’re looking at, you know, that the low end of the budget, the middle and the high, and that’s it. Even if they’re qualified for more, we’re looking at their budget and where they want to be. So again, listening to them, this is what you’ve told me you want. And then, you know, sometimes they’ll say, eh, you know, I think we could go there either surprised they could maybe go a little higher when they see the estimates, or maybe we go a little lower and this is critical too, because you’re, you’re, you’re getting them to see on paper.
Okay. We make this commitment to the house. We go see you on Tuesday at 800,000. Our payment is this amount. I tell clients, when we go out to look at houses, I want you to be condos or townhomes, whatever people buy. When we walk in, I want you to be able to look at that and go 2,500 a month, 2000 a month, 3000 a month. You’re going to know, you know exactly where your payment is. We’re not going out and looking at houses with no sense of how much money it is. That’s just silly. Exactly. Because, oh, sorry, go ahead. Go ahead. You’re saying everything so perfectly. What are the estimates? So they understand like their cash out of pocket, right. And at different. And we talk about different percentages down.
We also talk about really specific to the lender will say, how long do you think you’re going to live in this house? Because that dictates what program they might choose. Okay. You know, how much money do you have? Do you have saved? Would you, do you have other sources? You know, really talking through all the different options for them. So they understand what their options are. A lot of times people think that whatever cash they have in the bank, that’s their only option. Right? We can just save, save, save, save, save. And they don’t know that they can, lots, people have no idea that you can get a loan on a 20%. You would be surprised how many people do not know that, or how many people think that, like the rate’s going to be terrible or private mortgage insurance is going to be through the roof for like that.
It’s a bad thing. And when you’re able to show people, in black and white on a piece of paper, here’s what it looks like. They’re like, oh, so what starts to happen right here? Right? At this moment, you’ve already had two meetings with your people, maybe three, because maybe you’ve been involved with the lender and you haven’t even shown housing yet. Again, I know there’s agents listening who don’t think that’s possible. This is how I have sold literally hundreds of houses and how Amy has sold hundreds of houses in any kind of market. And that’s the reason this is so crucial is that not only does it help create clarity for your client. So they know exactly what the finances are, but it also removes a ton of fear.
And it often comes from a lack of information and fuzziness of information. So if you get really clear and your clients get really clear about what the financial piece looks like, I always say to my clients, once they get that piece done, not the hardest part. Honestly, once you have clarity there, looking at houses becomes way more fun because you know exactly what you’re going to pay every month and how much cash this house is going to get a take. And that once you know that, then the house hunting becomes fun. If you have, if you have nervous buyers, it’s because you’re not removing the fear of the finances before you start showing houses. Yeah.
And we’ll get that financial information upfront to you as an Asian or doing yourself a disservice because you know, we really do need to know that our clients are qualified to go out and be looking at homes. You know, you don’t want something to come, oh, oh, well, our credit scores XYZ. You know, because even if your credit score is below where it needs to be, we always see this as an opportunity. Great. So let’s make a plan, let’s make a plan. Here’s how I’m going to help you. Right? So we’re always helping clients no matter where they are in the process. But if you don’t even have this conversation or if one partner or spouse doesn’t know, the other partner’s credit score is lower and the banks take the lowest credit score and that excess amount of a program they really need.
Now we have a marital fight on our hands, no house. And we’re starting from scratch again. And you know, it could be three months into the brine process, you know? Yeah. Well, we should have a whole episode on those moments before we learned to do this process, we should talk about the last moments. Like my first year, when like people were getting married and ended up not getting married because of when it came out, when they pulled their credit or not, we avoid all that drama. So now your client, you and your clients are primed and ready to start looking at houses.
And the other reason that this is so important that you get the finances clear is because it prevents your clients and you from wanting to see houses that are completely out of budget. And if they start trending towards going to a different price point or something like that, you, before you start showing houses, you go back to the drawing board and you say, okay, great. I’m happy to show you houses at this new price point before we go. Let’s just make sure we touch base with a lender and let’s get a new updated approval and a loan summary sheets. You know what those numbers look like. You’re always dancing between these two places.
Yeah. And because of conversation, I think that it’s easier if they’ve, you know, maybe slept on the numbers and they’ve run some budgets in their house and they’ve talked and maybe they’re like, you know, we think we maybe want to go up 25. Can we see that estimate? And it’s like, oh sure. The lender gives them an estimate easily, you know? And then they can say, yeah, okay. We feel comfortable because they can see it. It’s no longer hidden. Right. It’s all the cards on a table. We know what’s what, and they can say, oh, okay, well, yeah, we feel comfortable or opposite. Like, wow, we didn’t realize how far out of whack we are. Or we don’t know that we forgot about homeowner’s insurance and taxes and things like that. Right. Because now they see it. Right.
Yeah. Right. And on that note, like 25,000 going up in price always feel like a huge for people, for example, or 50,000 or whatever it is. But then when you actually look at the numbers, you know, my rule of thumb is like $10,000. A mortgage is whatever the interest rate is. So for right now, it’s just the way the interest rates 3%. So every 10,000 is $30 a month. So then when you say to clients, oh, that’s like 150 bucks a month difference. They’re like, that’s it, that’s like a couple of meals out. Like that’s easy versus $25,000 feels like this. We’re breaking our budget. No, it’s 150 bucks a month. Like don’t rent the runway, you know?
Okay. So now finally, we’re here. We’re looking at how, and by the way, guys, all this can be collapsed within a few days. We’re not talking weeks a year. Sometimes it is a week. And that’s why, you know, we always say like, we want to train your buyers to come to you. Well, before they’re ready. And that’s something that like, we always teach inside agent grad school on your marketing. Like, that’s how you want people to come to you. Well, before they’re ready to make a move. So you kind of have time to do this, but if they are in a rush, this is going to happen in three days, two days. I just did it last week. I just did it last week. It was about 48 hours of all of this. Yeah. Yeah. And then we went out looking at homes, but we got it all accomplished within a couple of sessions on zoom probably in two days.
Yeah. So this is a very flexible time period. It can expand or collapse depending on what your client’s needs were, I think is really helpful for a client because they’re like, oh great. I’m like, I’m getting all this done. I don’t necessarily, I’m ready to buy a house. And you’re like, that’s great. Let’s just go through this process. I’m going to put it aside. And in two months when you’re ready to start looking like we got it, let’s go, okay. So now you’re ready to S show houses. I know this is a very long way of how to write a winning offer, but this is how you write a winning offer. I want people to get, but like this all is how you, you get to the point or are you writing, winning offer anything you want to mention? There’s so much we could talk about when it talks, talks about showing houses, but as it pertains to writing, winning offer any words of wisdom, advice on that piece of the process, on the showing house process actually being, yeah.
So, I mean, I think, you know, a good reminder is because again, going back to the initial consultation notes that you have people get in this particular market too, I think real compromising really fast. Cause they feel nervous. You know, there’s a deadline in two days or we’re going to have to put an offer right now. I don’t know, or walking through the house quickly, not paying attention and you know, for better or worse, you know, I think for better, you know, pointing things out, reminding them, well, the yard isn’t that big here. And you said you wanted a really big yard for your dog, you know? Or are you going to be okay with that? You’re not saying don’t buy it. You’re just reminding them that they told you that, you know, and is that okay? Or, you know, you really said you wanted the garage for XYZ.
This one only has one car. Is it going to be okay? Is it a compromise you’re really willing to make? Right. And I just want to make sure before we move forward, because we’re the whole time, like we’re trying to avoid buyer’s remorse and we’re trying to remind them that, Hey, we listened to you. We pay attention. We know you’re going to live here. We care about you. We want you to have what you want, but I want to just remind you don’t get caught up because right now people feel like they have to rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, you know, fast, fast, no, they don’t the house they go, but there’s more houses. Like these are things that I’ll say to clients in the showing phase is like, there’s always more houses. Always, always, always, always. In fact, Amy and I are talking about this yesterday, when you’ve been doing this, as long as we have, sometimes the house is the same house comes up three times, right?
Like there’s always more houses. The house will always come back. And so, you know, trying to work from this place from abundance and yes, there’s those moments where it’s like, this is a good deal. Or this is a great opportunity. Yes. You want to strike while the iron’s hot or when there is a good opportunity, but only when, and if your clients are ready for that moment, you know, so not rushing to the point and really making sure that as your clients are looking, they don’t get caught up in this like frenzy and the chatter that’s happening, especially right now in this market that it’s like, this is a house or nothing. No there’s houses come on. Every single week. Lots of them.
And yes, they all are going to sell and a few days, but there’s another batch that’s going to come. And if they don’t come this week, they’re going to come next week. You know, like it’s okay. Have you ever had the tightest,tightest, not a lot of inventory moment? It doesn’t last more than a month or two, like during the holidays or something, you know? And that’s another thing is like really understanding the flow of the market. Like we always talk about to say, yeah, this is just a moment in time when there’s not a lot on the market, but doesn’t mean you should buy something that you’re not going to be happy with. It just means there’s not a lot of inventory right now. Yeah. And he never had a fear right. Out of a, you know, and I feel like there’s a lot of that going around and like you said, fear and what, that, there’s not enough.
There’s just not enough. There’s not enough. You know? And there is enough. I know it feels like it in the moment because the inventory is low, but it’s low. It’s not, non-existent, you know, it’s low. And in this market, we’ve had low inventory for a long time. Yeah. It’s not, we’ve never, I mean, it’s been a seller. It’s been a leading sellers markets since what, 2013. Maybe 2012 at least. Yeah, yeah, yeah. A long time. That’s seven, eight years of this we’ve gone through. Whereas I think the rest of the country, like this is more of a new phenomenon and that’s why I think this podcast is so important to really speak to people who are not experienced in a market that just is kind of frenzied to really say you are the expert.
And if you want to keep clients through the long haul, you’ve got a slow them down and to slow them down. Yeah. Well also, you know, rewarded for that too, because for sure, for sure, for sure. I can tell you that, you know, that I always, I think you, and I’ve talked about it. I say, you know, these are the markets where, or where you make the solid connection for life because these are tougher markets, you know? And so these are the ones that if you can rise and shine for your clients, like these are the ones that they’re gonna refer. They remember you, and forever, because it’s tough. It’s really tough. And their friends are having a tough time and they’re talking about the agents to each other and all of that good stuff.
So see, this is an option. Yeah. Yeah. See this as an opportunity to stand out, even when you’re, even when you’re not making money, even when it’s really, really, really hard, you know, there’s an opportunity here. Yeah, for sure. And so now you’re at the point you’ve gone through this process. You were at the point where you’re in alignment, as we always say in grad school, right. We’re in alignment, what they want, where they want, what they want to pay. There’s an opportunity. They feel ready. If there’s something not quite right. You’ve reminded them of it. They’ve consciously made a choice. You said you didn’t want a bunch of the stairs. This has the stairs. We know we’re okay.
The only people going upstairs is our kids or whatever it is. And there is a conscious choice. So now the next step is write an offer. So Amy, what do you want to say about that part of the process? So I want to say the first thing that I think is so very important and I, you know, I can’t express it enough called the listing agent. Like I know it’s a cool, I know probably a lot of people do, but I know a lot of people who do not call the listing agent, I think, you know, I’ve heard listing agents. I had a listing agent tell me recently that she had like 13 offers on a place.
And she didn’t even realize that like she was going through her trash and she found someone’s offer in her trash. Like, and luckily it wasn’t like the best or highest or whatever, but that person just never called even confirmed that the offer was there and talked to her. And so it just went to her spam. She never even saw it. I mean, you know, it’s like, that’s crazy, right? Because I think, again, you get you’re in this frenzied state, just gotta write a book. I’m going to have to write 10 off or so let me just write this one up and throw it in the pile. And you have to, again, do slow down, call the listing agent on the way home from looking at it, you know, engage, be super polite and nice. And you know, how are, you know, what a crazy market? And I’m sure you have lots of offers, you know, what is it that’s most important to your sellers?
That is key. What is most important to your sellers? You know, don’t ask her how to write the offer him. You know, you don’t have to ask them that, but what’s most important, you know, do they need to sell or rent back because, you know, give them everything in one fell swoop when you make your offer, right? Don’t have someone come back to you and go, well, you’re the highest offer, but they need 60 day rent back and they also need this. And this doesn’t convey. Make sure you have all of the information. So you make it as easy as possible in the listing agent. And that’s why you called the listing agent or not. So that the listing agent can tell you how much they’re going to take or how many offers there are. That’s not her job. Right. But your job is to find out what is most important. How can I give you the best complete offer and package?
And that’s from getting information from the agent, you know, and also sometimes agents say some things that help you, you know, make a better offer. Just things a, when they are talking about their sellers. Do so, just get the listing agent talking. And also I think that creates a connection. So whether you’re the winning deal or not, it always helps to be, you know, to talk to the agent. There’s a connection there when you’re offering, but don’t ask me the obvious stuff. So for example, if you’ve asked for disclosures, read the cover letter, that gives you all the information, don’t ask the same questions, ask other questions that are important.
So do your homework, then call the agent. Not the other thing that I always recommend is, you know, this is a contract for people. So I have a very specific process that I use to write offers. And yes, again, it’s long-winded, but it is hugely helpful. And that is, you know, if there’s time, not often there is, but even the amount of time is one hour, schedule a time with your client to talk through the terms of the offer. It is so crucially important that you pause and do that. Now that the fed, there are some people in New York, Chicago, I think there’s other markets like that where obviously the writing of the offer part goes to the lender, a excuse me.
So the lawyer in our market, we right, the offer using standard forms. We don’t want to pretend to be a lawyer. We’re not saying that at all, but there are decisions that you need to help your clients make. Like if you make this decision or if you make that decision. And so you want to spend some time having that conversation with your client and you don’t have to have it every time. I always say like, do it the first time you make an offer, spend the hour or two it takes so that they really understand what the decisions are. The pros and cons are, give them a copy of the contract to look at before you meet it again, if you have time, but it’s crucially important to have a substantive conversation about what they want to offer and what your recommendation is.
Anything you want to add to that, Amy, especially because I know that’s something that I think a lot of agents, I don’t know, void or skip or don’t think there’s enough time for, or I don’t know what it is. But when you got into that habit, did you see a change in the way that the offer process went with your clients? Oh, for sure. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, it is an hour of time, right? But again, that’s our job, you know, to, to spend time with our clients and it, it shows value and it shows a connection, but it eliminates a lot of, again, questions once you go under contract, you know, and it also helps them understand, for example, the appraisal process that can be confusing right now, what, what choices they have with the appraisal process, even I’ve explained it to clients before, but even I can, you know, later they have more questions it’s confusing.
They don’t understand. And there’s a lot of different components and different ways to write the contract with, you know, an appraisal contingency in, or not, and summer or something in between. So really taking the time to go through. So they understand exactly what, what, what the consequences of that contract is because it’s a binding contract, you know, this market just goes so quickly. And, and, and there’s so much, I mean, there’s lots of money exchanging hands right now. And if you don’t have an hour, you know, to go through a contract with, with a, with your client, I just don’t think you’re giving them, service me, to expect them to Adelaide, to understand all of the legal ease and to, and it’s not our job to interpret, but it is our job to, from a real estate point of view, you know, provide them with context and, and, and what it means and, and, or defer them to someone if they have serious legal questions, but it’s, it’s important.
It’s so, so, so important. Yeah. And I only say, if you don’t have an hour or two to help your clients make good decisions, when it comes to the contract, then you’re just going to be writing more contracts and spending more time showing houses, because they’re not going to make good decisions if you don’t spend the time helping them do that. So, and if they could, again, if they could then where, what, for any agent listening, who’s saying like, you know, well, I don’t have time for that. Or I can’t do that. Or we can’t do that in this market. Then you need to really be asking yourself, what value are you providing? Right. If all it was filling out some blanks on a page, which it technically is, then they could do that on their own.
So what value are you providing during this contract writing? Now, we, I don’t want to get into a long conversation because every market is different. Every contract is different, but there are some things that I see over and over, I know you see it over and over. And there’s one thing in particular, if you get nothing else out of this, or if you do nothing else different then I would like to have a conversation about the escalation clause, Amy, would you like to take it from here? No, but I’m going to say, I know what you’re going to say. That’s why I was like, do you want to take it? Or you don’t want to share, oh, no, go ahead. You already know what to say. Yeah.
Well, I guess I dunno for a whole audience. Like, I don’t know if they use the same clauses, but so in my market, in DC, there’s something called the escalation clause, basically boiled down is I’m willing to pay X amount more than the last highest bid up to a certain amount. So you have two blanks, you have to fill out, you have an escalation factor. And I always say, that’s how much you’re willing to leapfrog over another person, right up to an escalation cap. So let’s say if something $650,000 and you or your client says, I’m going to go to $700,000, you have, then what’s called an escalation factor.
And that escalation factor is like, I don’t know, would you call, what are the things that are ignored in life? Like, it’s like the ignored. It’s like one of the most valuable pieces. And it’s just ignored kind of like people don’t understand. Yeah. It’s looked, yeah. It’s looked over and it’s, it’s not a people don’t feel like most real estate agents don’t know the importance of how to make or break that one decision is, especially because people are going to be hearing this saying, well, what about the cash offer? There’s also a source of cash offers this. What we’re about to tell you to do we’ll beat out cash offers. Amy, tell him what to do. Now. You’ve got a lot less pressure on me.
I know it’s a very simple, you know, so for whatever reason, sometimes people want to, so your escalation factor, you choose what it can be. So again, we’re using example of 650,000. You’re a client says I will go to $700,000 to beat the next person up to 700,000 to beat the other 10 offers, let’s say, right. We don’t know what other people are offering. We don’t know what their factor is. We just have to decide on what we’re willing to pay or what your clients are willing to pay for the house. So let’s say there are four or five other offers that are up to 700,000, right? And their escalator factor might be 1000 or 2000 or, and yours is 5,000.
All things being equal. If you’re all going up to 700, the person with the highest escalator factor will win the offer. And people don’t understand that. So whenever they say, well, I don’t really want to, lets go low because I don’t want to overpay. Then that’s another chance that I say, if you’re willing to pay seven, then you’re not really willing to pay $700,000 for this. And I don’t mean that in a crappy way. I mean in a nice way, like then we need to talk about this because that’s another thing that I hear a lot of agents talking about and I’ve heard a lot of listing agents and buyers, agents talk about like, oh, I didn’t think I’d really have to pay that much. No, you really do. You know, if you put it in there and the, they, it’s kind of a gamble that they lose and then they feel remorse about it.
So really have that conversation with your client. Are you really willing to go to a $700,000? If you are then, do you care? If you paid 5,000 more than what you might’ve paid from the last highest person, it just doesn’t make sense to go 1000 above and the escalator factor. Cause you could literally lose it over a couple of thousand dollars. If you really want this house and are willing to pay 700,000, make your escalator factor large, make it 10,000 yet. I’ve had people seven, five, seven. I’ve had people. You told me one time make a 20,000 Amy. I don’t care. We’re going to pay a million for this house. We love this house. We don’t care. Okay. You know, I’ll pay them, I’ll pay 20,000 over that.
Like, you know, some people aren’t going to do that, but don’t make it a thousand dollars. You’re not going to win for a 1500000, $500. I mean, that’s not even worth the time. And so I think agents aren’t spending enough time with that either. They don’t understand it or they’re not talking to their clients about why the factor is much more important than even the cap to some degree. Yeah. And those two go hand in hand. So the top is, is important. Which one tip on that? I always say, don’t stop your, don’t do a cap at a, obviously a number. So for example, if you’re talking 700, my magic magical formula would be AB three.
So never stop at seven five, right. Stop at seven oh three, seven oh eight. You know that kind of thing. Yeah. Like I went last, last year, lots of deals last year. And this year it’s 703 or five, a five oh five or something like that. Yeah. So always stop at an odd number. That’s important for your escalation cap and make sure your escalation factors are large. And this also is how you be catch offers. I know that if you don’t have any, let’s just say the have two offers, contingent one’s content. One has no contingency. The other has no contingency one’s cash. And the other is not cash. If your escalation factor is small, there’s no reason you’re giving no reason for the seller to pick your offer.
That has a loan. But if your escalation is $10,000, because most likely there’s going to be a cash offer your for $10,000, your seller might say, I’ll take a non-contingent well, you know, an offer with a loan over a, a cash offer because it’s $10,000. I’m not gonna do it for a thousand dollars. Yeah. Okay. So this is how you make winning offers. All right. On that note, it’s crucially important that you have a long conversation with your clients about where they want to draw the line. So that’s something we always talk about with our clients about where do you want to draw the line?
And I always say, draw the line in a place where if somebody’s going to pay a dollar more than you, you were happy to let them have it. That is where you find that balance. So that regardless of what your, the outcome is, whether they win or lose that, they’re happy with the outcome. And I have so many clients that go to a man and say like, oh my gosh, thank God we didn’t win that house. I didn’t want to pay a dollar over that. And they’re fine. And they move on and they’re like, totally happy. Cause you put the power in the choice and the power in their hands. So it’s not a mystery guys. How to make your clients happy with writing offers, you put the power in their hands.
You make the choice there’s and yes, sometimes there is a disappointment, but when you go through everything that Amy and I have been talking about, they may be disappointed, but they’re ready to get back on that horse because they still feel empowered. And like, this is possible for them. I mean, anything else you want to add to that as we wrap up? Yeah. I just want to add, you know, like you said, if you don’t do any of those first things, if you don’t do any of this or things, you know, your, you, you might sell a lot of houses this year. Right. But this is a long game. And I always think of my career, my, no, I’m the CEO, as we always say the Agent Grad School of my company. Right. And like I’m in it for the long game.
I’m not in it for, and you’ve been in real estate. Oh, a long time, Jennifer, you’ve probably seen, you know, people have great years and then you don’t know where they went to, you know, like where did that person go? And it’s not about, you know, for me personally, what I’m trying to build, I want something for the long game. And I, and I want a build trust and build value and build a business and, and be a professional. And if that means, you know, putting in a lot more extra time, then, you know, it’s, like I told Jennifer, we’re talking about it. Say the least of what we do is show at a house. That’s the least important thing that we know. I think, you know, what’s most important is understanding our client’s needs, understanding their wants, helping them get what they want, but not in a cost.
That’s so great that they will turn around and say, why didn’t you let us do that? Why, you know, we, we have, we knew we shouldn’t have done it. And we did it. And you know, I mean, we don’t know what the future holds for the market, if you know where prices will go, where they won’t. And, and, and, and so, you know, really taking that time to understand your clients and to guide them and let them know by your actions that you are looking out for their best interests, because, you know, Jen and I talk about this all the time, right? People think that this market is money made hand over fist. Easy-peasy, you know, agents are just opening doors and writing contracts and reason through. And, and you know, that’s not an image that, that we want to, the image that we like, it’s not a true image and you know it, and it’s, and so I think it’s even more important to do that right now, more important than ever.
So don’t be that kind of agent, right? Like if you don’t want to be seen as that way, that don’t be that kind of agent and doing this process and having a structure and having a system and knowing what to say when, and knowing when to slow people down is a skill that you need to learn and to, to have a long-lasting, scalable, profitable business. And one thing I always say to clients is like, you know, I don’t want to sell you a lemon, or I want, I don’t want you to overpay for this thing because you’re telling me you want to sell this thing a five years or seven years, and I want to be the one to sell it. So it’s not in my, into the best interest or yours for me to help you overpay for that kind of stuff.
Right. I’m planting a seed that I am in this with them. And I expect to help them sell the house. And so I have a vested interest in make sure that they get it right. And I truly mean that. So that as the approach that you want to make, when you are writing offers, you don’t want to just get the house sold. You don’t just want to get them under contract. Yes. That is the by-product of having a business like this, but that is not the goal. It is just what happens. And then you have clients who are so much happier. You’ve created an experience for them that they’re so pleased with that. Of course, they’re going to tell all their friends about you and use you again, without you having to pop, buy, give them gifts, do a lunch, call them.
If you have a business where you’ve actually provided value and given them the experience that Amy and I are talking about, you do not have to do any of that stuff to get referrals and get repeat business. And you never have to ask for them to give you a business. They will do it automatically. This is how you do that. It just comes to them. It just comes to you. I have a client now whose closing I’m at the end of this month. And he was, I was talking to him yesterday and we were laughing because for four or five of his friends have bought through me. Right. The referrals. And so he’s like, yeah, I have Luna’s boxes. She has a pack now. So now I have them and he was like, this is so great. We’re like helping the environment or being, or a recycler upcycling.
And I was just laughing, like, and I was thinking literally, it’s been a process of friends, one to one to one to one. Who’ve told them that about me. Right. I didn’t do anything but service the clients and, and provide value. And they sent their next friend and their next run and the next run. And to the point there, they’re like passing boxes along. So we made a joke about like, okay, you’re next? You have to send me a referral so you can pass the boxes along to keep them out of the box. It’s going to go next. Or like, you know, we have to, but it’s true. And that’s just from one client that these five now referrals have come from one person like this year, right?
Like over the last couple of months, a year, like over the last four months. I mean, maybe one in a few more I started talking with, but yeah, so they just keep passing and then they go under the under contract and it takes 30 days to close and it takes a couple of weeks to move and then they hand it off to their head, their friend. I love it. I love that. That’s great, yeah, Amy, I’m so glad that you use this process and I’m so glad that you were let your clients for your clients because you’re using this process and how happy they are. And I know, I know what a tough, tough, tough market this is. And so all of the things that Amy and I brought to you today is not to help you, not to give you more to do. It’s really truly in the end.
This is how you save time. This is how you make happy clients. This is how you make lasting relationships without having to do more and more and more. It’s actually working less to have more. It sounds like more, but it’s not. It’s less. So definitely. All right. Thank you. Really appreciate you sharing your experience. All right. If you like what you heard in this episode, then what are you waiting for? Become an agent grad school student, because what you heard today is just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to learning how you can truly help your buyers, avoid the tears, avoid the buyers, remorse, avoid Blaming You or why they didn’t get the house and avoid writing contract.
After contract. When you become an agent grad school student, we give you everything you need to help your buyers from how to generate buyer leads in the first place to what to do. Once you have a buyer lead to convert them into a client, we even give you marketing materials and templates that you can use to implement our step-by-step strategy into your business. And the result is you create a one-of-a-kind experience for your buyer, clients that they will want to tell everybody about that is how you get referrals and repeat clients without having to ask for it. You should not be having to ask for business. It should come to you automatically. And that is what you learn, how to do inside agent grad school.
So if that kind of business interests, you go to agent grad, school.com forward slash and role and become a student today. And if you aren’t quite ready to become an agent grad school student yet, no problem. There’s no hard feelings here. I still want to be able to help you. You can join the Agent Grad School inner circle, where you’ll get free, actionable real estate strategies to grow your business every single week. And you’ll never miss an episode of this podcast. You’re listening to. So go to Asian grad school.com forward slash inner circle to join that for free. I’ll see you next week. On another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. And I’m going to share with you how I recently bought a home using a very secret tool that I love, love, love, and have helped my clients use many times.
I used it on myself to beat out all the other offers and I even wasn’t the highest offer. So I’ll show you how to, I did that in the reason I want to share this with you is because I want to explain this tool that I used so that you can help your clients use the same tool as well. So stay tuned for that one. I think you’ll love it. It’s a really, really fun strategy to help buyers in this hot seller’s market win offers. See you then.
Agent Grad School is the best online business school for modern real estate agents. We teach a proven system to have a successful real estate career using smart, unconventional strategies and modern marketing methods to attract clients.
about your instructor
Hi, I'm Jennifer!
I'm a real estate agent, creator of Agent Grad School and host of the podcast Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to become one of the top 1% of agents in the US using online marketing and modern, out-of-the-box business strategies.
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