Do you find it easy to turn your listing appointments into signed business? Do your buyers normally purchase from you after showing them no more than 10 houses? If not, it may be time to brush up on the "language of closing."
While there are hundreds of great closing scripts, there are a few key principles that apply in almost every closing situation.
1. Shut up and sell
Agents often blow the opportunity to close their buyers simply because they talk too much. For example, many buyer agents carry on a nonstop monologue when they show a house. They’re busily pointing out all the features of the property.
In fact, some are eager to describe all the cool things a buyer could do to update the property. The result is they draw the buyers’ attention to the one feature that is a deal killer, or they talk the buyers out of buying the house because updating is too overwhelming.
A better approach is to keep your mouth closed. Don’t waste your breath pointing out that "this is the kitchen" and "this is the laundry room." Instead, let your buyers walk in front of you and listen for their comments.
If there is a feature that isn’t obvious, such as extra insulation or a hot water circulation system, then it is certainly smart to point that out. Otherwise, "shut up and sell."
2. WAIT for sellers
Another version of "shut up and sell" is called "WAIT": Why am I talking? On your last listing appointment, if you talked more than 50 percent of the time you were talking too much.
A better approach is to ask "how" and "what" questions and to take notes on what your sellers say. Taking notes is the best way to let your clients know you really heard what they had to say.
3. Emotions, rather than features, sell houses
Most agents focus on describing features rather than creating emotions when they write their ads. "4-bedroom, 3-bath, great view, large family room" doesn’t cut it in today’s marketplace.
Instead, create an emotional response by describing what it’s like to actually live in the property. "Cozy up with a glass of wine and your favorite book in front of the crackling fireplace."
4. Use tie-downs
When your buyers do make a comment about the property, avoid talking at them. Instead, use a question to "tie-down" their response. In other words, reinforce what they are saying.
To illustrate, when your buyer says, "This house certainly has a beautiful view," a great tie-down would be, "It is a beautiful view, isn’t it?"
5. Objections are closing signals
Many agents mistakenly believe that when buyers object, the buyers are not interested in the property. Instead, objections are almost always buying signs. The reason buyers object is that they are imagining what it would be like for them to live in the property.
For example, when the buyer says, "This purple carpet is the ugliest carpet I have ever seen," instead of replying, "Well, you could replace it," ask a powerful closing question: "Would you expose the hardwood floors or would you replace the carpet with a different color?"
No matter how the buyers answer, they are responding as if they are already own the property.
6. Alternative choice close
This is a tried and true strategy. Always give your clients choices and then say, "It’s your choice, what would you like to do?"
For example, if you have a seller who is thinking about putting a property on the market at $25,000 over the highest closed sale price in the neighborhood, offer the following choice: "You can price the property where it will sell next month or you can price it where it will still be listed next month. It’s your choice, what would you like to do?"
If you’re setting an appointment say, "I’m available tomorrow at 10 a.m. or on Saturday at 2 p.m. Which time works best for you?"
7. Agree, counter, close
This is another tried and true strategy. When a buyer says, "I’m worried that prices may fall another 5 to 10 percent," rather than trying to convince them that prices have stabilized, use an agree-counter-close to overcome the objection:
Agree: "Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, let’s assume that prices will come down another 10 percent. On a $250,000 price that means that they will drop by $25,000."
Counter: "On the other hand, if interest rates go up just 1 percentage point, you will pay 25 percent of the loan amount in additional interest over the life of the loan. That’s $50,000 in additional interest on a $200,000 loan."
Close: "So you now have an important decision to make. Are you going to buy now or will you wait and run the risk of paying $50,000 in additional interest on your loan. It’s your choice, what would you like to do?"
8. Always be closing
Some agents don’t seem to know how to complete a sale. A simple way to ask for the close is to use this question: "If you had to write an offer today, which house would you select and what was it about that house that made it your top choice?"
Ultimately, closing boils down to pinpointing your client’s emotional triggers, asking plenty of questions, and always remembering to "shut up and sell."