Despite the current economic uncertainty spreading across the United States, the housing market remains hotter than ever. This uncertainty, combined with the fear of an overheated market, has led many first-time and even repeat home buyers to hold back from stepping into the fray.
While they may be unwilling to engage with a real estate agent or broker at first, it often doesn’t take long before their desire to test the market wins out. This typically happens when the agent or broker can address their concerns with sensitivity and tact. A great agent views objections as opportunities, quickly turning the unwilling prospect into an engaged client. To move the buyer along their journey, an agent must be prepared with market data at all times and should be able to use this data to respond to the buyer’s concerns with sensitivity and thoughtfulness.
Here are some of the most common objections raised by buyers, along with suggestions of how real estate agents can respond.
6 Common Objections — And How Agents Can Overcome Them
1. “Can you lower your commission?”
When a potential buyer asks a real estate agent to lower their commission, they often don’t understand what an agent does, and they are simply grasping at straws to lower their overall costs. Many real estate agents react to this objection by reeling off their responsibilities to prove their worth, but that can make you look desperate and insincere.
Instead, focus on ways your assistance can save them money overall, which reinforces your value and shows how committed you are to safeguard their interests, including their finances. In your initial client pitch, include a guide describing the services that you provide, with the pros of working with your group. If you have some impressive sales stats include those in the document, or if you have team support, mention that. Sometimes it can be worthwhile to compare and contrast against other agency rates and your strengths as an agent against the competition.
2. “I’m not preapproved yet, but I’m not worried about financing.”
One of a real estate agent’s responsibilities, especially when working with first-time homebuyers, is education. When buyers meet with an agent before the preapproval process, they either don’t know how important this step is or believe that getting a preapproval obligates them to follow through with that agent.
To help overcome this objection, agents should reassure potential buyers that preapproval is a necessary first step to submit a serious offer. Still, it does not lock them into any decision. Having this freedom will help them feel more in control and reassure them that you’re on their team. Finally, the stress of not having a pre-approval puts your offer of not being accepted into a seller's market.
3. “I’m not ready to buy yet, so there’s no need to meet now.”
Whether your prospect is uncertain about buying now because of their financial situation or because of insecurities related to COVID-19, this concern is very understandable.
Instead of letting them walk off, offer to set up an auto-search for them or ask whether you can check-in after a set period of time. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with the market and offers reassurance that you’re willing to work with them on their schedule.
4. “I’m working with a friend (or family member) who is an agent.”
When a potential buyer is determined to work with a friend or family member, that commitment should be respected. However, you can offer to provide additional value by working with the prospect’s loved one to get them the best possible deal. For example, you could help them by generating a targeted lead list or custom property search from PropStream.
5. “I’m not sure my credit is good enough to buy right now.”
Most potential buyers aren’t aware that they can take measures to repair or improve their credit. Educating them on their options and pointing them towards resources on evaluating their credit report, and disputing any errors can help them realize that their credit is much better than they originally thought. At the very least, it can help them find ways to improve their credit and prepare for a purchase in the near future. A good real estate agent has sources and a network of trusted referrals. If you haven't already, start building a network of resources you can offer your client to research and evaluate.
6. “Do you have enough experience to help me get what I want?”
Questioning your experience may seem like a slight, but it’s an excellent opportunity to prove your value. Start by using comps data that you can pull from a tool like Propstream to illustrate your marketplace experience. That way, prospects don’t have to take your word for it — they can see for themselves with hard numbers. Then, tie your success into your values, illustrating how you’ve been able to succeed in your work so far and how you can help them.
Be Prepared To Overcome Objections
With a tool like Propstream, brokers and agents have multi-sourced market data at their fingertips, straight from public records and the MLS. This makes it easier to connect with new prospects and encourage them along their buying journey with useful, targeted information.
Being able to answer questions promptly, with nuanced information provided by features like the robust property search or accurate comparable sales will set you apart from the crowd. You'll reassure nervous first-time buyers and even experienced clients that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to guide them through the current market.
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