Most top agents have had experiences with buyers and sellers who have met and things were promised and not delivered or misunderstandings took place. It happens all the time. And sometimes this can lead to problems during the transaction and at closing. In fact, many times it does.
But there can be benefits to having the clients meet and talk.
Yesterday my wife met with some buyer-clients for their home inspection and afterward the sellers and the buyers sat and talked. They poured wine and just talked for about an hour. It wasn’t planned and there was no negotiating done but it gave them a chance to get to know each other. There are some issues being negotiated right now and my wife says the opportunity to have the clients meet really went a long way by allowing everyone to see each other as people and not simply opposing sides of a deal.
I wonder if there would be a benefit to having a scheduled time during every transaction where the clients could meet for an hour or have luch and just get to know each other a bit, ask questions about the area and neighbors, hear all the stories about the home and memories made there, and just have the chance to connect. The agents could make sure things aren’t said that shouldn’t be- and if anything is agreed to verbally, the agents could put it onto an addendum and get it signed so there are no misunderstandings around it.
Being a managing broker over the years I’ve mediated dozens of transactions where, once both sides get together and talk it out, things can be solved without going to court or arbitration. When I was a broker in Colorado it was common practice for the buyers and sellers to attend settlement at the same time, where they could exchange keys and talk a bit before closing. In Utah and California (in the areas where I’ve worked) buyers and sellers close seperatedly so they usually never meet.
I don’t know how it would look exactly, but I wonder if it could help smooth over some things and help ease buyer’s minds a bit. I’ve had clients meet before of course, in fact a lot of times they meet (when first seeing the house or at the walk-through) but not in this capacity, where the whole objective is to get to know each other and discuss the house as a home.
The idea has merit- I wonder if anybody else does this already and has experience with it?