As a real estate agent, sometimes you have to deliver bad news. Not everything will go your way and not all transactions work out in your client’s favor. Maybe a buyer withdraws or a seller rejects their offer. Are you ready to deliver that bad news to real estate clients?

It’s certainly a part of the job, but it’s not fun. Delivering bad news isn’t an enjoyable thing. However, it must be done. Let’s look at some of the things you can do to make delivering bad news to your clients easier.

5 Tips for Delivering Bad News to Real Estate Clients



1. Remain Calm and Positive

Often, your clients will play off your energy. If you’re uptight and stressed, they will feed off that. Staying calm and positive will help you with delivering the bad news. This can help to soften the blow, especially if it’s just a bump in the road for a buyer or seller.

2. Don’t say “Bad News”


As soon as you say to a client you have bad news, their heart will likely drop. Try to avoid using this phrase as it will cause your real estate clients to become defensive and put them in a bad mood before you even deliver the news.

Instead, try saying something, like, “we have to overcome a challenge” or “there is a decision that needs to be made.” This will communicate that bad news is coming, but it will keep things positive. Just this small change can help keep things from becoming negative.

3. Honesty is the Best Policy

While it’s bad news and you might want to tiptoe around it a little or sugar coat it, being honest is the best policy. Make sure you get to the point and tell your clients what’s going on. Then, you can move forward with them and help them look at what’s now in front of them.

4. Help Clients Move Forward

When you give bad news, you might have clients that feel demoralized. They might think things don’t look good and it can cause stress in their lives, especially if they just lost their dream house. 

Have a plan of alternative options to offer. Give them solutions to the bad news and help lead them down the right path as much as you can.

5. Be Reassuring

It’s best to remain reassuring. Ensure your clients there will be a positive outcome. It might not be easy to deal with the news now, but there are other options and ways to go. Remind them that the process isn’t over and thank them for putting their faith in you with their real estate needs.

Common Types of Bad News You’ll Have to Deliver

As a real estate agent, you will have to deliver plenty of bad news to buyers and sellers. Let’s look at some of the common types of bad news you might deliver to sellers and buyers.

Bad News For Sellers

1. Contract Being Broken by a Buyer

When you have to tell a seller that a contract has been broken by the buyer, it’s a rough day. This is some of the worsts news you can deliver to a client. It means, the home will have to go back on the market and the process will start all over again.

2. Buyers aren’t Interested at this Price

While it’s certainly bad news, telling a seller nobody is interested at the list price is a fixable problem. You will have to work on convincing them that the price is incorrect and needs to be changed. It’s not easy to deliver this news, but it’s a fixable issue.

3. The Buyer Under Contract Wants a Repair

Some repairs are reasonable and not such a big deal. However, if you have to tell a seller that the buyer wants a ridiculous or expensive repair, it can be difficult to deliver this news.

Bad News For Buyer

1. The Sellers Refuse to Amend the Contract

While it’s not a massive issue and can be overcome, telling a buyer that the seller won’t amend the contract isn’t easy. This might happen with the closing date, a repair, or with something else. Often, it can be worked through, however.

2. The Buyer’s Dream House Just Went Under Contract

When you have to tell a buyer their dream house is under contract. While there’s the possibility that the contract will fall apart, it’s more likely this house isn’t going to be available for the buyer. This isn’t fun news to deliver, but usually, buyers have other homes they like, too.

2. The Buyer’s Offer has been Rejected 

A very common type of bad news you have to deliver to a buyer is the news their offer has been rejected or another offer was accepted. If it’s a rejected offer, a few changes might be able to be made to make it better. However, if another offer was accepted, it’s not nearly as easy to deliver this news.

Bad news is never fun to deliver. It’s not going to be an easy conversation, but it is a part of being a real estate agent. Use these tips to deliver bad news in a better way and always have alternative options for your clients.

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