Real Estate Objections (and how to handle them)
The most frequent ‘why I can’t be your client right now’ stories you’ll hear — and what to say next
BYAMBER TAUFEN Staff Writer
1. We’re not ready to list yet because we’d like to find a new home first.
What you say: “Let’s figure out what you need. Do you need to sell your current house to purchase a new home?
“If I help you find your dream home before you’ve sold your current house, that offer would be contingent on the sale of your current property. Most sellers don’t want to deal with a contingency, and even if the sellers accept your contingency offer, you’ll have to pay more. Do you see why that’s a weaker negotiating position?
“Also, if you’ve signed a contract to buy a home and then you put your house up for sale, you’re more likely to take less money for your current house because you’ll want to get it sold in a hurry. Do you see how buying before selling could lead you to losing on both ends of the transaction?”
One note: Always end with a question and make sure you’re leaving time for the client to respond. Don’t ever ask a question and then keep talking — wait for a response.
“The reason you end with a question is you don’t want to tell them what to do,” noted Rubin.
“You can’t tell the buyers and sellers what to do; you have to help them understand and get to the answer themselves, so you demonstrate and then you ask them the question.
“And then the hardest thing for all of us is to what? Keep our mouth shut.”
2. We’re interviewing other salespeople and we’d like to think over the decision of listing with you.
What you say: “I’ll call in a day or two to see if you have additional questions. Is there something in my presentation you’d like me to cover in more detail right now?
“I understand this is a big decision — but I know you’re looking to sell quickly. If you sign a listing agreement tonight, I’ll have the time to do an open house this weekend.
“Here’s a thought: We can do the paperwork now, and I’ll postdate it. If you don’t want to work with me, I’ll rip it up. And if you do, we’ll be ready to go.
“I can appreciate that you want to compare real estate agents. Let’s set up a follow-up appointment so I can answer any concerns or questions you may have after you meet with the other agents.”
3. Another agent said they could get us more money.
In this scenario, said Rubin, “you need to have run the stats. It’s not about what you say or what the other agent says; it’s about the market.”
What you say: “Here’s exactly what’s happening in the market. We have X houses on the market right now, and we have X selling per month. That means we have X months of supply for buyers to choose from. You told me you wanted to sell your house in X months — correct?
“With X properties coming on the market every month, not to mention the number of foreclosures and short sales, wouldn’t you agree that accurately pricing the property is important today?
“Your home does have many upgrades; and many of the houses I showed you have similar upgrades. That demonstrates what buyers are willing to pay. Do you have any reason to believe that buyers are offering more than the recent closed sales?
“The MLS data is all the same — but some agents will tell you what they think you want to hear just so they can get the listing because they’re desperate to land your business. What kind of agent do you want to work with?”
4. Even though we like you, you’re the first agent we’ve talked to. We should probably interview others.
What you say: “I understand — your house is probably your most valuable asset and you want to make the best decision. I do have a favor to ask, though: I really believe I can do the best job for you, and I’d like a chance to see if there’s anything else I can do for you before you make a final decision. Would you be willing to meet me again tomorrow after you’ve talked to the other agents?
“What would you like to see in the marketing plan or in the representation of your agent and their company that I didn’t discuss with you?
“What would make it possible for you to make a decision tonight?
“Is there anything you believe another company or agent could do for you that I haven’t offered to do?”
5. Zillow told us our house is worth more than you’re stating.
What you say: “Are you familiar with how Zestimates work?
“Zestimates take the deed recordings in a geographic area to determine the number. That includes refinances and deed transfers from family members, and they don’t include the condition of the home or any upgrades. They can often be too high or too low.
“I will supply you with accurate information from the MLS, which includes interior photos, of the properties that are most likely to be seen by buyers when they are also looking at your house. In addition, I can show you the recent sales in the area that appraisers will look at when they’re determining the value of your house from the buyer’s mortgage company.
“Don’t you want the best information available when you decide how to price your house and when to place it on the market?”
6. We only want to give you a 60-day listing.
What you say: “I’m sorry, but our company policy is X months.
“What concerns you that you are only willing to sign a shorter-than-normal listing contract? Let me review our seller service pledge*, which actually turns the contract into a 10-day contract. Does that make you feel better?”
* The seller service pledge Rubin referenced is specific to Century 21.
7. We decided to save the commission and sell it ourselves.
What you say: “I agree that you can save on commission by selling it yourself — but did you know that today there are X houses for sale and that last month only Y actually sold?
“That’s an X-month supply of houses if no other homes come on the market, and only 2 percent of all houses sell by owner, which means 98 percent of houses listed are sold by real estate agents. Don’t you want more than a 2-percent chance of selling your house?
“Most top agents and ‘A’ buyers** will never look at a FSBO [for sale by owner], and the buyers who will consider buying a FSBO will want to save the same commission that you’re trying to save. Statistics show that FSBO’s sell for almost 10 percent less than houses listed with a professional. That means you could have me market the house and pay my fees — and still walk away from the settlement table with more money in your pocket than you would if you sold on your own. Are you ready to put me to work?”
** You may need to explain the concept of an “‘A” buyer.