Common Objections (and how to handle them) for Real Estate Agents
The most frequent ‘why I can’t be your client right now’ stories you’ll hear — and what to say next
BY AMBER TAUFEN Staff Writer
LAS VEGAS — “With all of my objection handlers, it’s really about educating the consumer,” said Anne M. Rubin at a session at One21, Century 21’s conference. “It’s not about giving them what they want.”
She offered common objections that potential clients might offer up, along with responses for each of them.
1. I need to talk with my significant other first.
This objection is entirely avoidable, noted Rubin. “Make sure you’re meeting with everybody who needs to be part of the decision making,” she advised.
What you say: “I can understand that; this is an important decision. Would later today or tomorrow be best for me to meet with both of you and answer any questions and review our plan?
“When will you be speaking to your significant other? Let’s set up a time to meet afterward so I can address any questions and concerns.”
2. I don’t like using a Realtor.
There is likely a history here, warns Rubin. “You can’t answer this objection until you understand what the objection really is.”
What you say: “Can you share with me why you aren’t interested in using the services of a real estate professional? What have your past experiences been with real estate agents?
“I understand how you feel — because if I were not in the business and wanted to sell my house, I probably would do the same thing you are doing. However, statistics show that 84 percent of sellers who start out marketing their house on their own end up using an agent when they recognize the benefits of listing with an agent. Would today or tomorrow be best for me to stop by and review those benefits with you?”
3. You are asking questions I don’t feel comfortable answering.
This one likely comes from buyers who haven’t yet been qualified, notes Rubin.
What you say: “I apologize if anything I said made you feel uncomfortable; my intent is to gather information so I can help and guide you through the process and find the right home for your needs. Can you share with me which question made you feel that way and why?
“You probably didn’t intend to answer any questions when you called to learn more about the property — I understand that. Our sellers are assured, though, that we will not just walk anybody through their house, but that we will do our best to confirm who the prospective buyer is and that they have the financial ability to purchase the house.”
4. No other agents have asked me to sign a buyer’s contract.
What you say: “I’ve heard before that agents are willing to allow buyers to believe they are being represented when there is resistance to signing a representation agreement. In our area, though, if there is nothing in writing, an agent is not legally representing you.**** Do you want to work with an agent who’s willing to ignore the law?
“In this market, it’s imperative that you work with the most professional and knowledgeable real estate agent available. I’m one of them. I apologize that others in my profession have not educated you about the law. Don’t you want an agent who’s knowledgeable about the real estate contracts and laws in our area?”
**** Check your local laws — any information should be 100-percent accurate if you are sharing it with a client.
5. I want to look at houses but I don’t want to commit to a specific agent.
What you say: “What’s your concern with making a commitment to a specific agent?
“I can understand that you might be uncomfortable making a commitment to someone you don’t know. Why don’t we make the representation agreement for a short time frame so you have the opportunity to see how we work together?
“Let’s just make the representation agreements specific only to the properties that I show you and give you time to feel comfortable with being represented by me. Will that work?”
6. I am just gathering information for a friend.
Don’t give any information to someone with this objection, suggests Rubin.
What you say: “Your friend is so lucky to have someone willing to do the legwork! Are you going to be involved in the buying decision or participate in the purchase with your friend?
“If not — often the house you call about might not fit your friend’s needs. Can you see why getting some information directly would be advantageous? And your friend’s name is …?
“I have a list of questions that need answering — once I have the information, I will be able to send you a whole list of properties that might work. Would you like to get me the information from your friend, or would it be best to contact your friend directly?”
7. I don’t want to give out my contact information.
What you say: “It sounds like you might have had a problem in the past with giving your information to an agent. Would you mind sharing with me what your concerns are regarding giving out your contact information?
“I can understand that you might be concerned with what could happen to your email address or phone number. Let me share with you what I will do with it and how it will be used.
“May I follow up with you in a couple of days to see if you have questions or need any additional information? What method of contact do you prefer?
“I have a free newsletter that keeps you up to date on the market, interest rates and real estate trends. What email address would be best to send that to?”
One more pro tip from Rubin: “When it’s a seller, you have a house. When it’s a buyer, you have a home. A home is a heart; the house is the head.”