5 Tips for Real Estate Agents Looking to Close a SaleAugust 25, 2017
Follow these closing techniques and sales tips to sell more homes
As a real estate agent, the process of guiding a buyer through purchasing a home can be as arduous and frustrating for you as it is for your client. Despite all the time, effort and skill you put into each and every search, it is your client who has the ultimate authority to make or break a sale.
But good agents are also trusted advisors to their clients, and with a few tried-and-true sales techniques it is possible to successfully close every sale and get your clients into the home of their dreams. And since every buyer is unique and responds to specific techniques differently, it is wise to have both focused scripts and general tips in mind when negotiating a client into a sale.
Know what your client needs
The foundation for closing a sale begins far sooner in the home buying process than you might think. When a potential client steps into your office, you might be tempted to ask those same standard questions, input your client’s responses into an MLS and schedule a viewing. But those stale inquiries do not always speak to what the homebuyer is really looking for—which is how we end up with clients who somehow hate properties that seem to check all their boxes.
Instead of those tired questions like, “How many bedrooms do you need?” ask open-ended questions that encourage your client to talk about how they plan to use this home. Questions like, “How do you use your kitchen?” and “What is your favorite room in your current home?” encourage your client to show you what is important to their hearts, not just what is important on paper.
And when it comes down to closing time, this same technique can help you gauge what is most important for your client and the seller: information you can use during negotiations. Knowing your client and seller’s timeframe, if they are able or would prefer to pay cash, home warranty needs and physical additions needed or wanted for the property. Knowing each party’s primary goals and objectives will help you negotiate a sale that is impossible for both parties to refuse.
Never facilitate a single-issue negotiation
Never whittle a negotiation down to a single issue—especially not when that single issue is price. The worst mistake you can make as a negotiator is to create a win-lose dynamic between buyer and seller. This means one party is going to come out a winner, and the other will feel as though they lost. And negotiating down to a single issue is the surest way to create that dynamic. This goes double when the issue is price.
Instead, create a win-win situation in which both parties feel as though they gained something through the negotiation. This is where that information you gathered about the buyer and seller’s primary goals comes into play. Use this knowledge to get both parties what they want—earning both parties a “win”—and dropping an issue that was not high on either’s list of priorities.
Headlines are your friend
Chances are your client has seen those articles and news clips about the state of the real estate market. Headlines quoting statistics and shouting phrases like “seller’s market” and “hottest market ever” are impossible to escape, especially when you are in the market for a home. Stay up to date on these numbers and stories. And when an indecisive client is dragging their feet—and you know they need a helpful push—there is no harm in reminding them of that statistic or news clip. Of course, you have, no doubt, had that brief discussion about the competitive nature of the local real estate market with your client, but there is nothing like a shocking number in a national headline to lend authority—and a bit of urgency—to the situation.
Stay positive, even when discussing negatives
There are tons of sales and closing techniques with catchy names designed to help salespeople succeed in every sale, and they all have one aspect in common: positivity. Whether you are helping a client weigh their options with a pro-con list or creating urgency with an assumptive close—”Sounds like you are getting everything you need! Should I come over with a contract now, or would the afternoon be better for you?”—a successful agent always highlights the positive aspects of any property.
This means your pros-and-cons list should be heavy on the pros or contain the heavy-hitting items on the client’s wish list. Your sum-it-all-up technique should list all the amazing aspects of the home. Even when your client is stuck on a single negative issue, spinning their perspective to the many positive aspects of the home—and your negotiating skills—can assuage their concerns. And in an emotional close, agents appeal to the client’s affection for their family and the pathos of the homebuying experience to elicit positive associations with the property.
Yes and no are a spectrum
Great agents know that, in the case of sales, yes and no are not always hard-and-fast answers. And they know how to gauge where a client is at on that spectrum. So do not panic when your confident tactics are met with unexpected hesitation. Back up and assess the issue your client is having. Utilize a different technique to inch them closer to that yes. And remind them that negotiation is part of the process; if they are not happy at this moment, you have the opportunity and skills to make them happy.
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