As the real estate market continues to shift, it is only natural that buyers and sellers are feeling anxious. Buyers are concerned about rising mortgage rates and how that will impact their ability to purchase a home. Sellers are concerned that they might have missed out on an opportunity to sell their homes for top dollar. And for agents, many of whom have never worked in a so-called “normal market,” it’s a whole new environment, as well.
There is still ample opportunity in the market for buyers and sellers, as well as agents, said David McGhee, vice president of coaching at Buffini & Company. What will be different is the skill set agents need to develop to succeed.
A “pro’s market”
As the market shifts, it will be a ‘pro’s market,’” McGhee said. “It will be the agents that have sharp skills and knowledge in areas like negotiation and leading a client through the ups and downs of a transaction.”
James Bell, a longtime Buffini & Company coach, agreed, noting that newer agents who have not had this type of training should consider it now. In doing so, he said he feels that their business will greatly benefit from it, positioning them for future success.
“I believe that there are probably 10-15% of [those newer agents] who will look back at 2023 and 2024 and say, ‘Those were the years that turned my career around,’” he said.
Allison Oster, another longtime Buffini & Company coach, agreed. “Brian Buffini [the company’s founder and chairman] is reminding everyone about the importance of the ‘three-legged’ business model,” she said. “That includes sales and marketing, customer service and financial management.”
Oster said she also stresses to the agents she works with to “keep in front of your database and take good care of your clients.” She adds, “People don’t buy or sell because of mortgage rates. They buy or sell because of what stage of life they are at, such as having a new baby or becoming empty nesters. Stay in touch with them, because you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.”
Keeping the right perspective
It’s up to the agent to set and manage their clients’ expectations, McGhee said. For buyers, this is still a good time to purchase a home, because there is less competition. Homes are staying on the market for weeks now instead of just days, which gives buyers a bit more breathing room. It also gives them options to ask sellers for concessions, such as paying for points.
And for those buyers concerned about paying a higher mortgage rate, McGhee said this is another area the agent can advise them on.
“You need to learn all about the different loan products that are out there,” he said. “Reassure buyers if they take out a mortgage now, they can always refinance in a few years.”
“Before, clients were settling for a house because the market was so hot and things were going so fast,” he noted. “And with less competition now, remind them they can really focus on finding a house they love.”
For many sellers, there may be resistance when it comes to pricing their home.
“Sellers need to know if they price their house right, it will sell,” McGhee said. “But they also have to keep perspective on how things have changed over the last few months, too.”
Experienced coaching through every market
McGhee noted that although it’s a new market for many agents now, it’s not for Buffini & Company. “We have been coaching clients for over 26 years, through every type of market, including the Great Recession of 2008,” he said. “And we know that training and coaching gives you the important skills so you can succeed and be the trusted professional that your clients will come to rely on.”
To learn more about Buffini & Company’s coaching programs, visit www.buffiniandcompany.com/coaching.