Sometimes, interactions with sellers go smoothly, but that’s not always the case — especially now. As an agent, you should anticipate these common seller concerns and respond to them appropriately.
While most seller calls are smooth and easy once a seller has decided to meet with you (that is, as they say, “When can you come over to give me a value on my house?”), not all will follow that pattern — especially in our new normal. You need to be prepared for these types of situations with the following objection handlers.
My previous Inman article delved into common buyer concerns and a few objection handlers to master. Objection handlers are the keys to your confidence as an agent. They help you improve your ability to articulate your true value to any client.
As I mentioned in the piece, “to put it simply, objection handlers are essentially answers to the most common concerns and excuses clients have for not wanting our services or a hesitation to meet with us. They will mostly come after the client wants what we have, but a few do come earlier.”
In this article, you will find the three most common seller objections you need to know how to overcome this fall.
1. ‘I have questions about your commission’
Now more than ever, you’re going to talk to people whose first question will have something to do with your commission. Whether your sellers are trying to save their money, don’t see your value right away, or don’t want to pay for the value that you give, the most common objection you’ll face will lead back to your commission.
As I mentioned in this past Inman article, it’s crucial to communicate your value, whether it’s to your clients or your agents as a team leader. When your sellers ask you a question regarding your commission, explain to them that your purpose is to offer value. Value is communicated through your systems, support, education and expertise.
We work with a few different aspects of human psychology around decision-making to make it easier for agents to articulate value in a way sellers can easily understand.
What to say: “Well, we have a few commission options available, ranging from (low percentage) to (highest percentage). Without seeing your house and being able to determine the marketing required to get it sold properly, I wouldn’t know which is the best option for you. When is the best time for us to come over and discuss the options so you can choose which option works best for you?”
2. ‘I need to consult with … ‘
If your seller needs the approval of their spouse, partner or someone else before deciding, then figure out the concerns or objections of the third party and address them while you still have the original seller with you. (This is also a common problem with buyers, which I mention in this Inman article.)
Set a tentative date and time that will work best for both parties, and give a call to the seller the day before to make sure that it still works. This will give the seller a chance to speak to their spouse or significant other. Not to mention, this way, you’re in control. Instead of having them call you back, you can pick up the phone and call them.
What to say: “What we will do is set a tentative time that usually works best for both of you. I will call you the day before to confirm that the time still works. This will give you the chance to speak to your spouse, and this way, you don’t have to call me back. What is better for you — weekday mornings, afternoons, evenings or weekends?”
3. ‘The house is not ready yet’
Uncertainty is in the air, and now more than ever, sellers might feel as though their house is not ready yet. If it’s less than three months’ prep, you can follow the objection handle below to encourage your seller to get educated about whether they should sell now.
Explain that as a real estate agent, you are trained to offer an evaluation of their home as is, and additionally, you can offer home staging services.
Let the seller know that you don’t mind evaluating their home and giving professional advice about what to do or what not to do when getting the house ready for sale.
What to say: “Well, this is great for you. As a real estate agent, I’m trained to overlook the issues you are going to fix and still be able to provide you with an accurate evaluation of your house. What is even better is that we will provide you with professional advice about what to do and maybe what not to do when getting the house ready for sale.
This could save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Also, doing this now will give you time to get ready and will give us time to prepare the marketing plan properly so we hit the market perfectly when you’re ready. What is better for you — weekday mornings, afternoons, evenings or weekends?”
All objection handlers
Dealing with seller’s concerns and excuses is by no means an easy task, and it can be tiring at times. However, as an experienced agent, you should have answers to these common seller objections at the ready. As I mentioned in my previous article, here are three key rules.
- Agree and have empathy for where the potential client is coming from.
- Turn the objection, in part or whole, to a legitimate solution for the potential client.
- Assume that there’s no other reason not to move ahead, and ask when would be a good time to talk or meet.