Now is not the time to try to take advantage

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If you are a real estate professional and your clients are thinking of unloading their assets or looking to acquire one, here is something we should ponder on during this crisis.

Now is not the time to take advantage

Buyers might be tempted to throw out low-ball offers at sellers as how it is usually done before. This has to stop. However strong the urge is, don’t.

While they certainly can negotiate, trying to rub rock salt in the wound of what’s already a difficult time will not be appreciated or celebrated. Don’t approach an offer with the intention to exploit a seller’s vulnerabilities. This should always be approached in the stance of helping.

Everyone is in unknown territory, and this is an uncertain time on many levels. No one is exempt. That is why buyers should consider making a fair offer. You might be surprised to find that you will get further with a seller that way, versus starting ridiculously low that could possibly insult the seller.

Giving a fair offer, the seller could respond in a pleasantly negotiable and flexible manner, perhaps a bit more than they normally would. Buyers could get a reasonable discount from the asking price by taking a more level-headed and respectful approach instead of trying to squeeze all the blood out of the seller.

I also believe the karma you put out there is the same karma the universe will give back to you. Buyers will be sellers some day, and you never know what kind of financial position they could find themselves in.

They also don’t know how this economy could affect their life long after the closing. They might have money in the bank and a secure job now, but if this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that every day is a gift and we should be grateful. What we have today might not be what we have tomorrow, next month or next year.

Accept that you might not have all the answers

We’re living in unpredictable times. No one has all the answers — and that includes real estate agents and brokers. While people are doing their best to obtain information and updates from their company’s real estate leadership, associations of real estate boards, along with the Colliers and Jones Lang of the world, this situation is rapidly changing. What predictions we have today might be totally different tomorrow.

Even if outcomes are uncertain at this time, there are things we can control. That is staying with our goals and not reacting in a knee-jerk manner to every headline or “breaking news” update. It’s all breaking news, no matter the channel, it’s designed to get mesmerizing attention 24/7.

While things might appear to be doom and gloom right now, it could be a dramatically different and positive picture a few weeks from now. Sellers don’t have to suddenly pull their homes off the market. Buyers don’t have to abandon their property search right now.

Client’s can also put the bank’s low interest rate to work for them. Never before have buyers been able to leverage their purchasing power, and for sellers, this same purchasing power may enable a buyer who is able to get into their first home, a move up property or their ultimate luxury dream home.

No matter what, it’s important to remember that everyone has to live somewhere. Our homes have never been more important to us than right now. They are a place of solace, respite, work and the ultimate shelter from the storm — no matter what kind of storm that is.

At the end of the day, our home is our refuge where we can work through our deepest fears and challenges, as well as a sacred place to rejoice in the happiest of times and simply relax and be who we are without fear.

I hope you find this helpful.

Randall Pena is the owner of South + Main,  a boutique and tech savvy brokerage focusing in Cavite, Laguna and Central Business Districts of Metro Manila. You can follow him on Facebook.

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