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Does the Hard Sell Still Work?
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Homes Will Still Sell

Despite the current market turn, make no mistake: millions of Americans still want to purchase a home.  Across all demographics – from first-time buyers to investors to business relocation clients – agents should remain poised to assertively engage all parties in order to obtain the best possible deal for their clients.

But at what point does that respectful assertiveness become an unwelcome aggressiveness, producing nothing more than irritation and exasperation?   The concept of a “hard sell” has merit, but not in the context of belligerence or antagonism.  Most consumers long to be treated with respect, like real people, and buying a home can be a stressful, emotional process.  Tensions can run high at times, especially during moments of decision, where the consequences of ill-informed mistakes can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In these moments, the Area Market Specialist, fully-trained in professional seller agency, can swiftly execute a plan and maintain composure, resisting the temptation to allow goodwill to take a backseat to impatience and frustration. 

Resist the Gab

As supply rises and agents begin to feel the squeeze, The Seller Agency Council offers some fundamental advice. Deny the urge to dominate the conversation when showing a home.  Give your prospects the time and freedom to explore and discover every nook and cranny of each home on their own.  Most people like to “try on” a house, imagining themselves snuggling by the fire on a cold snowy night to wondering how the furniture might be best-configured for maximum space and movement.  Hasty agents may unknowingly impede that crucial mental process by following their clients around, constantly pointing out improvements or “special features”.  In fact, that proximity may backfire, causing them to overlook the singular feature that could very well sell the home.  Offer space, and your clients won’t feel the need to yank that monkey off their back.

The agent’s primary role during the showing is to rapidly strengthen and codify the relationship with each buyer, clearly determining needs and desires.  Armed with that knowledge, an agent can spotlight the attractive features matching those desires, rather than deluging clients with hordes of information that only serves to distract them.  Push for the close too early, and the ship may sail.  For the most part, buyers are more informed and empowered than ever before, so they know what they are looking for.  Open a genuine dialogue with probing, pre-closing questions like:

  • Will this home work for you?
  • Is this property what you had in mind?
  • Is this house like what you have now?
  • What do you least like in your current home?
  • What is the most important thing you are looking for in a new home?

Closing with Candor & Respect

As agents proceed to secure a buyer’s commitment, questions like these will bring the slowly massage the central issues into the forefront.  After asking a question, remember to wait for the answer.  Active listening is the most effective closing strategy in the history of salesmanship.  The non-stop sales pitch, chatter and closed-ended questions that drive clients toward a decision, on the other hand, will consistently undermine any remaining sales potential.

When moving buyers from expressing interest to making an offer, timing is critical.  Look for verbal and non-verbal signals that demonstrate more than a superficial degree of curiosity.  An agent’s capacity to identify, properly interpret and respond to these signals will determine their success in obtaining the offer.  Shake off any temptation to press too hard, but close the deal with candor, respect and at the sum of things.


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