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We all know that objections are part of the real estate landscape. However, have you ever asked yourself what causes your clients to object? Understanding the psychology behind the objection will allow you to overcome the objection like a pro.
Our guest this week on Real Estate Coach Uncensored is White Plains, New York, agent Aaron Wittenstein, aka “The Script Master,” whose Facebook group (Lead Gen, Scripts, and Objections) has over 61,000 followers.
3 reasons clients object
When it comes to working with buyers, objections are buying signs. In other words, your clients are seriously considering transacting, but they have concerns. Your role is to uncover their concerns, address them and move your clients forward in making the purchase.
A second category of objections occurs when you fail to show your value. This is especially true when it comes to commission objections. Sellers object to your commission when they don’t see the value in the service you provide. Two ways to approach this problem include:
- Document all the steps you take to close a transaction upfront, and share it as part of your pre-listing package. If you consider all the required federal, state and locally mandated forms and regulations, it often exceeds over 100 steps.
- Create a unique value proposition that explains the services you provide that differentiate you from the services your competitors offer. Suggestions include using a “never-miss-a-call” chatbot (IMRE.ca), marketing your listings in 18 different languages (immobel.com and Real-Buzz), plus a social media marketing plan that markets their listing using a customized Facebook business page for their property. Also, share how you will market their listing on Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Oodle.com, Pinterest and YouTube.
Wittenstein has identified a third important category: “Objections are questions left unanswered.” Below you’ll find seven questions that underlie many of the most common objections you will encounter — plus 11 scripts to help you overcome them.
Today’s toughest objection: ‘I have nowhere to go’
When confronted with this objection, agents often suggest the following options for locating a replacement home.
- Sell your current home and live in a rental until you find a property to purchase.
- If you find the right house to purchase but you are unable to close on your existing home concurrently, take out a bridge loan.
- Sell your current home and arrange a rent-back with the buyer while you search for a replacement residence.
Script No. 1: ‘You don’t have to sell first’
Agent: Seller, would you like to become an all-cash buyer on the purchase of your next home and not sell your existing home first? Two companies in our area, HomeLight and Knock, will qualify you for a mortgage on your next purchase.
When you find the home you want, you can write an offer without a loan contingency since you will already be preapproved. When the deal closes, you can move into your new home while the company prepares your existing home for sale. Would you like to see if your current home qualifies for one of these programs?
‘What do you charge?’
Another version of this objection is, “How much is your commission?” Here’s how Wittenstein responds to this question.
Script No. 2: ‘How much would you like to pay?’
Agent: How much would you like to pay?
Seller: We would like to pay X.
Agent: You want to pay X in commission. I’m certain we can work something out. When would you like to be moved into your next home?
Please note that he acknowledges that he heard the seller’s question, but then shifted the conversation by asking another question without debating the amount of commission. If the sellers raise the commission again, use the following script to overcome the objection.
Script No. 3: ‘What matters most to you?’
Agent: What matters most to you — the amount of the commission you pay or how much you actually net when you close?
If they reply by selecting the latter, reply:
Agent: Let me show you how our 18-point unique marketing plan helps you achieve the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.
The next three questions are common when you are cold calling, door-knocking and prospecting owners of expired listings and FSBOs.
‘How did you get my phone number?’
If you are cold calling, it’s important to follow the do-not-call rules. The best way to do this is to work with a company like theRedX.com or Vulcan7 that can provide you with lists of expired and for-sale-by-owners (FSBO) listings whose numbers have been scrubbed against the do not call list. Wittenstein recommends using the script below.
Script No. 4: ‘How did you get my phone number?’
Agent: I use a service that provides me with the phone numbers of owners of properties who are not on the do not call list.
‘Do you have a buyer for my property?’
Wittenstein recommends telling them truth: “I wish I did — that would make both of our lives so much easier.”
Script No. 5: ‘I’ll go to battle for you’
Greg McDaniel has used the following script for many years.
Agent: I don’t have a buyer for your property at this time, but when you list with me, I put on my armor and go to battle for you by cold calling, knocking on doors and using proven marketing tools to get your property sold as quickly as possible at the highest possible price.
‘How come you never showed my property when it was on the market before?’
There are a number of great ways to address this objection. Wittenstein approaches this issue by deflecting.
Script No. 6: ‘What caused your property not to sell?’
Agent: This is such a great property. What caused it not to sell?
At that point, the owner will probably complain about their agent or some other issue. Wittenstein recommended moving quickly to the close by saying:
Agent: I could meet with you Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning or Saturday to discuss how you can get your property sold now. What time works best for you?
Script No. 7: ‘I focus on getting my listings sold’
This oldie but goodie from Mike Ferry has worked for thousands of agents for over 30 years.
Agent: I focus on getting my listings sold. Isn’t that what you would want if I listed your property — that I focus on getting your property sold rather than another agent’s listing?
‘Should we sell now or wait?’
Another variation of this objection is the person who tells you, “We’re not looking to make a move right now.” Always remember that people’s circumstances constantly change. The sellers may want to stay put until their son or daughter graduates high school, they hit retirement age or some other reason.
When you connect with someone whose property you would be interested in representing, remember what The 2020 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers says: The first person who sees the seller face to face when they decide to sell has a 75 percent chance of obtaining the listing.
Script No. 8: ‘Is it business or personal?’
When McDaniel encounters sellers who say they’re not ready to move right now, he asks the following question:
Agent: Tell me more about what is keeping you from selling right now — is it business or personal?
McDaniel then follows up by going “three deep.” That is, asking three more questions to understand the root of what is keeping them from moving now.
Script No. 9: If they opt not to sell now, provide value, and stay in touch
Agent: Since you don’t plan on moving until your daughter graduates from high school, would you like me to keep in touch with regular updates on what the market is doing, whether interest rates are trending up or down, and how much the market statistics say your house is worth?
If they answer “yes,” put them into your email marketing system, and send them monthly updates on what’s happening in the three important areas listed above. When possible, reach out in person or by phone to make sure you’re constantly top-of-mind when they do decide to move.
‘We already have an agent’
Since the average seller knows 12 agents, it’s common for potential clients to say they already have an agent. You can circumvent this issue in several different ways.
Script No. 10: ‘How awkward would that be?’
Oftentimes, the other agent may be a close friend or family member. Assuming the other agent is the person’s sister-in-law, here’s how Wittenstein counters the objection.
Agent: Do you have Thanksgiving dinner with your sister-in-law?
If the lead says “yes,” then go ahead and ask:
Agent: How awkward would that be if something really went wrong in the transaction?
Wittenstein went on to explain that you can offer the friend or family member a 25 percent referral fee, especially when the agent isn’t active in the seller’s local area.
Script No. 11: Get the highest possible price
Agent: If you’re like most people, your home is your most valuable asset. Please compare my 18-point marketing plan with anyone else you may be interviewing about listing your home, and decide which agent can help you obtain the highest possible price for your most important financial asset.
Consequently, the next time you encounter an objection, ask yourself, “Is this a buying sign? Did I fail to show the client the value I bring to the transaction, or did I leave a question unanswered?” Then use the appropriate scripts from this article to overcome the objection.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.