How to create a sense of urgency for buyers

Show properties, prices and terms your clients can't resist

Question: When is the last time you sold a home when the buyer had no urgency to buy the ones you showed?

Notice I did not say, "No urgency to buy a home." I said, "No urgency to buy the ones you showed."

My guess: Not recently, if ever.

Let us ask this another way. Why would your prospects submit an offer if they saw no benefit or had no fear of losing the homes you showed them to another buyer?

"There is no way I can create urgency if it is not there," say some real estate agents.  

Uh … that is exactly what we do for a living. We help real estate buyers find deals so good that the self-imposed pressure is so great — they have to buy it if they can.

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Stay with me on this, because I am about to help some of you make huge commissions by tweaking your showing schedule.

Usually "urgency" has to do with the action the other party needs to take by a certain date or time period. When it comes to buyer urgency, the buyer must have a strong desire to make the purchase, or the urgency factor will not be a factor.

If there is no fear of losing the house if they do not act soon, there is no urgency. So after you have developed trust and determined their needs, including a vision for their lifestyle, your showing schedule must meet or exceed their expectations.

We are talking buying pressure here, but not sales pressure. We are talking about the buyer’s urgency, their desire to make a buying decision before they lose the opportunity.

The best sales I ever made were ones where I put no pressure on the prospects, but showed them properties, prices and terms they could not resist. It makes it a lot more fun this way.

Experienced, successful agents know what I am sharing is the truth. Case in point:

I recently helped a couple purchase a presale home from a production builder. They both liked the home. In this case, the home was not the urgency. The price of the home was not the urgency. How can these be urgent when they are building 300 homes in that location, and my prospect would be buyer No. 3?

The builder offered them a substantial upgrade allowance package. We all knew that all the builders were offering something close to this number, so while the offer was competitive, it was not a reason to buy NOW. So far, we are still ahead of the builder.

But when the on-site agent reminded us one more time, now that we had settled on the house we got into a serious financing discussion with a couple who planned to pay cash for the home.

If the couple used the builder’s mortgage financing, they would get a $5,000 contribution towards closing costs, IF they were one of the first five to purchase in their new community. So far, one person had bought two homes, so my couple would be the third.

So, with just that, they quickly understood that they could lose $5,000 by just being the sixth person to purchase.

The "urgency" phase of this presentation was just getting warmed up.

It was time to see the actual home sites, to get an idea of the view. At this point, the on-site consultant knew that the couple had a dog. The builder had only a few home sites available in this phase, one of which was directly across from the dog walk.

The wife, who was constantly taking the "I don’t know why we are moving" stance, commented on how she could walk her dog and sit on the front porch watching others walk their dog. She got so excited that she turned to her husband and told him to write a $15,000 check "right now. We don’t want to lose this home site." Fear of losing something she had not a vision for, until she visited the site.

Her husband didn’t move that fast, but within two days, they were signing a contract, which the builder prepared, and now are taking care of every detail of a presale, while I am off doing other things, waiting on a nice commission check in December.

As I have thought about first-time homebuyers or those coming back into the market, I can see why with cash contributions and incentives "new homes" are projected to be a preference over short sales.

It is not hard to see why qualified, cash-strapped homebuyers at any level might buy a new home.

Showing new homes requires a GPS, an automobile and the ability to make an introduction, and giving your prospects time to understand the complete deal, price, financing and incentives.

This not only will help you close more new homes, but it gives your buyer prospect a real price baseline from which to judge the value of resales. This cannot help but help your resales’ closings ratios.

For too long, the real estate industry has wondered why prospects would shop new homes, then buy a new one, many times without using the broker.

The reality is that the only urgency you have going for you is the urgency or perceived urgency residing somewhere in the prospect’s mind. You can affect "urgency" by showing them homes they get excited about living in.

You control no urgency tools nor have you exposed your prospects to any that would give them a solid reason to purchase soon. Thousands of dollars are riding on the buyer’s decision to act or not to act.

You must give the buyers decision-making tools that help them feel good and smart not only about the home they buy, but also about themselves.

Many prospects will end up preferring a resale to a new home, but it does not matter. What matters is that they closed on a home you showed them and are happy with the deal.

Make sure your buyers get the "urgency" story. It is an urgent imperative in your showing schedule. What are your thoughts?

David Fletcher, a licensed real estate broker and lifetime achiever, is founder of EMentoru, a company dedicated to helping real estate agents and homebuilders help each other make sales. Contact him by phone or text at 407-234-2349, or by email at davidf@ementoru.com.

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