clients vs prospects

What Exactly is a Real Estate Client in Sacramento?

real estate client

Not every person who calls an agent is a real estate client.

Working primarily with sellers as my specialty in Sacramento real estate, I can honestly say that each and every seller I represent is my real estate client. Of course, I spend more hours with some clients than others because not every client needs a lot of personal attention, but some do, and I’m happy to provide that service. In addition, it is common to represent a real estate client who does not understand the entire home selling process, so it can take more time to explain protocol and what will occur.

During this time with a real estate client and all through the showing process and escrow, I am generally in constant contact with my sellers. I send them feedback from showings, let them know about market shifts or changes that could affect their sale, and I try to make myself consistently available for chats when needed.

By the time escrow closes, I often know a great deal about each real estate client. We have an established relationship that is not only fiduciary while in escrow but it can be personal after closing.

On the other hand, you’ve got the buyer’s agents and their so-called buyers. Many of my sellers come to me through referrals. These referrals are from my previous clients and from other Realtors. Buyer’s agents don’t always have that luxury of referrals. Sometimes they find buyers because a buyer happened to slam a cart into them at the grocery store. Or, they met a potential client at an open house.

Or maybe the buyer called on one of their listings and it was sold, so they converted that lead into a buying prospect. But the point is these “clients” are often strangers. Just some guy off the street who says he wants to buy a house. So when a buyer’s agent calls to say his real estate client would like to make an offer, I may ask how the agent knows this buyer. I’m trying to figure out if the earnest money check is gonna bounce. Many do.

How long do you have to spend with a buyer for that person to become a client? It varies among agents. Some buyer’s agents call a buyer a real estate client after one telephone conversation. I’m pretty sure that’s not a client. That’s a person inquiring about buying a home.  A potential prospect. A lead. It’s hard to put a lot of credence into a buyer’s agent statement about a buyer if that buyer is not what you or I might call a real estate client.

Every agent says: “My client loves the home,” when what they mean is I would like this offer accepted so we can try to close. Not only may the buyer NOT love the home when it comes time to negotiate, it might turn out that the buyer is not a real estate client after all. This might be an agent who showed one home and scribbled a contract. Does that make the  buyer a real estate client in Sacramento?

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