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How to Handle the Most Common Objections

May 7, 2015

Posted by

Tom Hopkins

My life's work has been to change the image of the stereotypical salesperson into that of sales "professional." Selling real estate is an honorable profession in which you get to help people make Read more

Objecting is a normal stall in the buying process.  It’s just a way of slowing things down.  Most people engage it when they’re feeling compelled in some way to move ahead with the purchase of a home.

The best news about objections is that people won’t waste their time objecting to something they have no interest in.  They mentally put on the brakes when they’re preparing to make that big decision.

Let’s say a typical home has a list of 50 features such as central air conditioning, a covered back patio, fireplace, pre-wired for a security system and so on.  When viewing a property, if your potential buyers only object to one or two things, that’s okay.  Your job is to find out if those concerns will prevent them from considering the property at all.  If those features are important, be glad when you find this out, rather than getting upset later because they’re unhappy with a property you chose to show them. Their objection is helping you narrow down your selection process in finding them just the right home.

If what they’re objecting to would keep them from owning this property, as long as they continue to work with you, you’re in good shape.  They may be writing-off this particular property but they haven’t yet “fired” you.

When you’re well-trained, you’ll welcome objections.  They tell you that you’re still in the game.  You just need to clarify their needs further or help them see that the concern they have is not all that important when compared to the other benefits of a property.

Reviewing Common Objections

Let's go over some of the most common objections you'll hear when demonstrating property and how to overcome them:

•  "We really wanted another bedroom."

When they say this, what does it really tell you?  They don't need it.  They were really hoping for it, but the odds are good they can't afford a home with that fourth or fifth bedroom.  What you need to do here is to change their base.

"John, Mary, I know when we first talked you were hoping to find a home where you could possibly have a fourth bedroom.  Knowing inventory the way I do, I've done everything in my power to find a property with that fourth bedroom.  But I have to weigh something like that with what is most important to you -- having that fourth bedroom, or having a home with the three bedrooms that you need and can afford.  I don't want to put you under any financial pressure.  If I do that, I'm not doing you justice, don't you agree?"

If you’ve evaluated their financial situation properly with them during your qualifying sequence, they’ll likely agree with this rationalization and give the property another look.

•  "I don't feel we've seen enough homes yet."

You will almost always hear this objection when you have found the right home.  They start second-guessing how they’re feeling about it.  It’s all happening too fast for them. They probably expected to have to see half a dozen homes or more.  When you're good and you find that right home quickly for them, it can scare them.

When that happens, say these words, "John, Mary, I feel that you're rather apprehensive because I've found a home that's suitable so quickly.  I don't blame you for that.  I hope you realize, though, in essence I am your eyes.  There are more than 300 homes for sale in this community.  Rather than show you all of them, which is ridiculous, I decided to show you only those homes that meet your needs not only financially, but physically.  In watching you preview this property, I think you’re feeling the same.  You are envisioning your family living within these walls and enjoying that nice yard.  That's why I'd like you to consider getting you and your family happily involved in this particular property rather than wasting your time proving for yourself that this is truly the best home for your needs."

You are the voice of calm in the squall of emotions they feel when the right property is found.  They want it.  They are afraid they’re missing the boat and there might be something better.  Yet, they don’t want to lose this home to someone else.  Their emotions are a jumble.  You are the professional advisor helping them settle down so they can make a wise decision.

•  "The third bedroom is too small."

They would never say this unless they were considering the rest of the home.  Ask them to help you understand what they mean.  When they elaborate, try to change their base.  Perhaps the children have a lot of things and they don't think they'll fit.

In some cases here, if the husband objects and the wife loves the rest of the home, she'll overcome the objection for you.  If you must go into it yourself, here's what to say, "John, help me to understand.  On what do you think we'll base our decision today:  the livability of the home and everything you like about it, or a few inches of space in the third bedroom?"

In other words, you are asking which is more important to him.  If they absolutely must have a larger third bedroom, then you need to find them one.  However, the majority of the times you hear this objection, those words will help you overcome it.

•  "The home across the street is in terrible condition."

I love it when they say this.  Here's how to turn this concern into a benefit:  "I’m so glad you noticed it."  When they ask what you're talking about continue with, "You saw one of the advantages I saw when I first looked at this home.  You see, the average American moves every three to five years.  I don't know the people in that home, but there's a good chance that they'll be moving a lot sooner than you will.  I'm sure the condition of the home across the street has reflected on the value of this home today.  When the new homeowners move in, they'll probably fix it up, just like you would.  That will, in turn, enhance your property, giving you the profit to overcome the challenge that we have right now.  That makes sense, doesn't it?"  Almost anything that is a concern has a good side to it.

•  "The home doesn't have a dining room."

Many homes today do not have formal dining rooms, but it seems everyone today is determined to buy a formal dining room set.  You will encounter some people like this who will buy a piece of furniture they love and then try to find a home where it will fit.  What you have to do in a case like this is to take a room that's not used very much and help them see how it can work.  In many homes today the living room is unused.  It's a showplace, isn't it?  Why not showcase their beautiful dining room furniture there?

Another suggestion would be to use the living room as the family room -- with the television and other equipment.  Most family rooms are adjacent to kitchens and convert nicely to formal dining areas and could easily be partitioned off with a folding screen if they’re concerned about seeing the kitchen from it.

•  "We did want a fireplace."

If this is the only objection, mentally put a fireplace in for them.  Help them visualize one there.  Suggest that there is room for them to design and build one.

A home with a fireplace may cost more to purchase.  And with that additional amount financed over a period of 20-30 years, they'll be paying so much more for it than if they added a fireplace on their own.  It will also increase the value of the property for resale. Hopefully, you have the name of a good contractor you could refer them to who could build them the fireplace of their dreams.

Eliminate Those Roadblocks

Working with concerns and objections can be fun.  When people object to something, it gives you something to work with -- feedback to steer the sale in the right direction.  You are a professional problem-solver.  Don’t let objections stop you.  Feed your clients’ needs back to them when appropriate.  Be creative with other objections.

Remember, again, you are the professional, the real estate expert, they are relying on to help them make one of the biggest decisions of their lives.  Be that expert advisor and you’ll overcome more objections, and get more people happily moved than you ever have before in your career.