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A nice and easy guide to home selling and buying

Realtor Showing Mature Couple Around House For Sale

By Marilyn Kennedy Melia
CTW Feature

Linda Levin has unusual advice on selecting a real estate agent: “Arrive late for your first meeting, or call to change the time.”

Then, suggests Levin, an agent with Jameson Sotheby International Realty in Chicago, observe how the agent reacts.

Is he or she obviously miffed?

If so, then you might want to keep searching for an agent who can react more politely. Many people, according to Levin, mistakenly think that an agent who is aggressive, or even rude, is a good negotiator. But what’s really needed is an agent with high emotional IQ, who can smooth over the often-rankled emotions of buyers and seller.

“A seller might be insulted by an initial offer, or a buyer gets angry if he can’t get a showing at a convenient time,” she said. Then, a transaction that could benefit both is sabotaged by unbending anger.

“[Today’s] limited supply of homes in many markets is sparking more antagonism, leading to the high rate of purchase contracts that don’t go through to closing,” said Brian Etheridge, broker at Wilkinson ERA, Asheville, N.C.

“Sellers feel that they can get top dollar, while a buyer may feel think they’re overpaying,” he said.

Yes, agents do need the ability to mediate anger, agrees Bennie Waller, Longwood University real estate professor. But other key skills are a good understanding of what is reasonable for the market and the ability to honestly communicate to a client.

“Sellers have to hear from their agent that what they want to list their home at is too high,” Waller said.

Once they select an agent they believe knowledgeable, sellers and buyers should tamp down their emotions and listen to his or her advice, he adds.

Another way both buyers and sellers reduce the chance of alienating the other side to respond to emails and other communications within a reasonable time, according to Levin.

“Otherwise, the other side thinks they’re playing games,” he said.

© CTW Features

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