If you’re in real estate long enough you may have a buyer walk in the into your office and buy the first or second home you show them with no fuss at all. It can happen but it’s rare.
Usually you’ll have to show them several houses. Hopefully, with each home you show them means you’ll get a better understanding of what they really want.
If you’re paying close attention you’ll probably know when you found a home that meets their stated criteria and the criteria they don’t even recognize themselves.
That’s the point when you should certainly ask for the sale.
Asking for the sale when you know you’ve found the right home for them is easier if you qualified them properly. That includes things like knowing where their finances are, helping them get pre-qualified, and asking them questions like “if we found the right home today are you willing to make an offer?”
What new agents fail to realize is that if they don’t ask for the sale this is if they’re putting ‘no sale’ in their clients mouth.
Although most people really want to buy they are often conflicted as well. They don’t quite trust their own judgment or recognize that what you showing them is a home that would work really well for many years. They actually need you to ask for the sale in order to help them make the decision.
Not wanting to be turned down, a.k.a. the fear of rejection, is probably the main reason real estate agents fail to ask for the sale. Although this is more likely in new agents it can also happen to agents with real experience. It almost seems as if we human beings have a rejection quota and once that’s filled up we work hard to avoid situations that are likely to lead to more being more rejection.
Sometimes rejection fear can be unconscious. If you notice that you’re not asking for the sale see if you can pinpoint why. You don’t need to know why however to make a change.
There are, of course, many ways to ask for the sale. Questions like “shall we make the offer now?” and “are you ready to make the offer now?” are standard closing questions and they’re very direct.
If you’re feeling shaky about asking closing questions you can ask more subtle ones. For instance, when the buyer is explaining how much they like a particular feature, you might ask quietly, “do you think this is the one?” That allows for more open-ended response which may make it easier for you.
Giving people choices can act as a more general approach to closing, and it can be very effective. Two choices is usually best.
You might ask something like “is the house on A Street better for you than the house on C Street.?” You won’t be told no in this example. You will, however, get the buyer to state a preference and sometimes it’s a definite preference. When they indicate a preference, you can then move to a more direct closing question.
Another choice close example might be “you could move into House B sooner than you could House A. Does that make a difference in your decision?”
Again, when the buyer answers you know he’s closer to making a decision which should make it easier for you to move to a more direct closing question.
In many ways the choice is when to risk hearing ‘no.’ Even if you never asked for the close and the client drifts away, you’ve been told the buyer is not ready to buy from you. The only way you’re likely to hear a real ‘yes’ is when you asked for the sale.
Probably the best way to get used to the possibility of rejection and the reality of it is to risk it more often. With some practice you will learn that you don’t die from rejection and that sometimes the answer is ‘yes.’ You don’t want to miss any ‘yes’ because you fear the ‘no.’
How do you handle rejection?
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.