A potential customer calls your office and tells you she is thinking of selling her home and moving up to something bigger. You make an appointment right away to visit her home for a listing appointment and send out a nice pre-listing package to introduce your services. At the appointed time, you give a strong presentation and show her and her husband authoritative information to help them price the home competitively (just as we showed in the last few articles). There’s no reason they shouldn’t list with you. But they don’t! They sign on with some other agent, or a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) service.

What happened? Perhaps you lost it in the objection phase. Here are five typical objections and answers to help you handle them, drawn from the responses top-performing agents use in the business.

“I’d like to talk this over with a friend who is a real estate agent.”

Answer: “I understand your feelings about working with a friend, but consider this: You may have to reveal more to your friend than you would like. When we get into this, your life and your finances and your bottom line are going to be laid out in the open, warts and blemishes and all. Do you really want to expose that much to your friend? Plus, as nice as you are and as perfect as we all try to be, things happen. Business relationships can hurt friendships. When you get irritated or mad, would you rather be yelling at your friend or yelling at me?”

“We’ll call you once we fix up the house a bit.”</p>

Answer: “That’s a good idea. We want your house to be 100 percent ready when it goes on the market so we can maximize its impact. Let’s get the paperwork signed right now, then we can pick the target date for putting it on the market. Let me get my calendar out. When do you think you’ll be ready?”

“We’re going to try to sell it ourselves.”

Answer: “I understand many people like to do a For Sale by Owner. The main reason they do this is to save money on the commission. But consider this: buyers who look at FSBO houses want a lower price for your house because they know you’re not paying a real estate professional. So in the end, you don’t save any money. The challenge here is not finding any buyer; it’s finding a buyer who is willing to pay your price for your home. I can find a buyer who will pay your price. Chances are it won’t cost you to use my services, because I can help you get the best price. In fact, you may net more money than if you do it yourself.”

“Lots of agents are selling for a lower commission. You need to drop yours.”

“I’m sorry, but I just can’t take less. Here’s why: if you took $6 and laid it here on the table, $3 of that would go to the buyer’s company, $1 goes to our broker, and $1 goes to all the marketing work I do. Do you want to take the last dollar away from me?”

“We want to think it over.”

“That’s fine. I’ll tell you what, why don’t we sign all the paperwork right now, and I just won’t turn it in until 9 a.m. tomorrow. If you feel uncomfortable before that, or decide not to put your home on the market at this time, just give me a call. I’ll just tear up the paperwork and have it delivered to you if you like. But it will save us both time if we can complete everything right now while I’m here, and if you’re comfortable in the morning, we’ll have everything ready to get started. Is that fair enough?”

Howard Brinton is a real estate sales motivational speaker and the founder and CEO of Star Power Systems, a sales training organization that offers tapes, books, videos, conferences and a club that distributes selling techniques from the nation’s top producers.


What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to opinion@inman.com.

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