5 Types of Difficult Homebuyers & Secrets to Transforming Them Into Lifetime Clients

As professionals in the real estate industry in Malaysia, it’s always a priority to make a sale as quickly as possible, trying to please both the buyer and seller in the process. Yet, there will be difficult scenarios when certain kinds of homebuyers will make a seemingly easy deal hard.

It’s not surprising that home buyers want to get their hands on the best deal possible, where their need to find the “perfect” home can often land a real estate negotiator (REN) in rather unwanted scenarios that they’d better avoid.

Homebuyers who will most likely cause trouble can be identified by keeping your eyes and ears open for a few telling characteristics. Here are 5 of them:

  1. The bargain hunters
  2. The picky ones
  3. The ‘Ghoster’
  4. The ‘It’s Complicated’
  5. The ‘Peacocks’

1. The Bargain Hunters

Homebuyers will fight for every cent when encountering a deal, always looking for a good bargain but sometimes they can take it too far.

Some buyers can constantly quote a low price, sometimes even when it’s not justified. It’s not as if the property is overpriced or even that something is missing. It’s just that the customer wants to pay less, at any cost.

All realtors have seen such buyers – instances where clients will bid low on a home they like and then lose it to someone else. When you realise your client is heading in that direction, it’s always wise to remind them to have realistic expectations when they decide how much to pay for a home.

A secret from IQI Agent, Yen Tan:

“We need to seek to understand their problem, then, analyse the problem from their point of view and segregate the issues if any, this way you will understand the reason for their concern. So, seek, understand, analyse & solve is my approach.”


2. The Picky Ones

If you find that some homebuyers aren’t too concerned about the price, they could probably be fussy about the choice of homes. This could mean hours of your time spent looking at the property after the property they would most probably not like or will find fault with.

Or sometimes, they could be too specific. Your potential homebuyers might want a four-bedroom home with two balconies, with large living areas on both floors and a pool to go.

By the time you find something that fits their interest, they might have changed their preferences to something else! Or, they might even end up buying something that is the exact opposite of what they had initially asked for.

A secret from IQI Agent, May Soo:

“When dealing with the fussy buyers, imagine them as your family relatives. You would want the best for them, am I right? So by having that persona in place, try offering them not more to 3 solutions, to avoid the fussiness. Remember, the homebuyer’s objections may come from genuine concerns, so as agents we must be creative and offer good solutions.”


3. The ‘Ghoster’

There is always a client who constantly emails you about a real estate deal or someone who only wants to text and is entirely unavailable when a call is needed.

This is a little off since texting is probably useful to set up a meeting or to convey something when the person is not available on the call.

There have been instances where buyers have withdrawn offers after texting and accepting them. It ends up being very frustrating for the seller as well as the real estate agent representing them.

It’s important to make sure that deals and negotiations happen over a phone call and the real estate agent must insist that the customer follow this particular rule. That way, everyone can avoid miscommunication and save a lot of time.

It is also a good habit of documenting your discussions with potential buyers, starting communication over the phone and then doing a follow-up either through text or email or to ensure that the same understanding has been achieved.

A secret from IQI Agent, Wayne Lim:

“When we meet clients, both of us are strangers to each other. I might have the reputation of an established real estate agent, but the client does not know who we are beside our name and occupation. So the bad communication can come from two strangers who do not know what to say, simple as that. Get to know the client, meet them at Starbucks, buy them coffee and have a nice chat before talking business.”


4. The ‘It’s Complicated’

There will be times where clients bring their complicated personal lives and finances to the table, making it an awkward situation for everyone involved in the deal.

Either their finances are unstable or they are waiting for other opportunities for the initial down payment. Everything will be all right if the process goes smoothly and on time, but if their papers are a mess and whatever loan does not lend them the initial payment, then time stops for everyone involved in the deal.

There have been occasions of couples striking a deal to buy a home and move in together but breaking up the night before the deal is signed and making the payment. Ouch! Now that’s something that you’ve got to watch out for!

A secret from IQI Agent, Victor Lim:

“Here at IQI, we believe in selling the value of the property and not the number of zeros. When approaching this type of client, empathise with their situation and listen to their stories. Yes, we are agents selling a product, but we are also selling the IQI name and what it stands for. Once you have all the details, emphasise why the property is most ideal for the homebuyers and suit what they need.”


5. The ‘Peacocks’

It’s normal for buyers to take a look at the house before they decide to buy it which can happen during an open house.

Sometimes, buyers get a little too excited and try to measure and explore every inch of the house. They bring their designers who study the place with a keen eye or even a psychic sometimes, who declares that the house has ‘negative’ energy.

This is alright if they are sure about making a deal but doing this at one home after the other could be very frustrating for the seller and time consuming for the real estate professional.

It takes a lot of time, effort and money to handle such clients and it would be helpful to remind them that they are also sometimes not respecting the seller’s home and their sentiments when doing this.

A secret from IQI Agent, Sean Lee:

“While the frustration is understandable for any real estate agent, we must remain a sense of professionalism with all our clientele, new and old. My method of handling the know-it-all homebuyers is to ensure our knowledge on real estate is good enough to counter any arguments these clients have. But have compassion when delivering it; we still need to maintain that rapport for them to be lifetime clients.”

Final Say

This is just a broad outline of a variety of personalities that you will face as real estate professionals when you’re trying to sell homes.

Some buyers take several months to complete a purchase and they require a lot of hand-holding. They are also the kind that makes lots of requests. Others are more self-sufficient, and only bring in the agent from time to time. A good real estate agent should be able to accommodate any kind of buyer.

So, always watch out for some telltale signs right at the beginning of the deal and figure out a sound strategy to handle them without losing customers on both ends!

Now you are well-informed how agents feel about meeting problematic clients – why not take a look at what home buyers are looking forward to while dealing with property agents, where we interviewed agents as well as homebuyers to better understand each other’s needs.

Click on this link to read more.

The real estate route can be a very difficult career if the training and work ethic fails, but it can be a seriously rewarding career if you are self-motivated, hard-working, honest, and enjoy networking and helping people.

Has your interest been piqued? Take a chance and join us at IQI and become the next successful agent we are proud to call our own.

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