The Pros Weigh in on Answers to Common Objections

We’ve collected some great ways to handle awkward comments and questions from clients and leads. Here are our favorites. What are your favorite ways to handle objections? Leave a comment below.

Objection: I have a friend/relative in the business.

Expert Answers:

  • I understand your feelings, but consider this: You may have to reveal more private information to your friend than you would like. When we get into discussing the sale, your life, your finances, and your bottom line are going to be laid out in the open—warts, blemishes, and all. Do you really want to expose that much to your friend? Plus, as nice as you are and as perfect as we all try to be, things happen. When you get irritated or mad, would you rather be yelling at your friend or yelling at me?
  • Do you feel obligated to have your relative/friend represent you, or are you able to freely choose who you work with to find your next home?
  • If you didn’t have a relative/friend in the business, you would be one of the few. Did you know that 90% of the sales in our market are handled by just 10% of the agents? Is your friend in the 10%?
  • Are you willing to risk your relationship if the job doesn’t get done or if something goes wrong? Or are you looking for an objective professional that you can put to work for you?

Objection: We want to try selling it ourselves.

Expert Answers:

  • Many people like to try a for-sale-by-owner. The main reason they do this is to save money on the commission. But also keep in mind that most buyers will offer a lower price for your house because they know you’re not paying a real estate professional. The challenge isn’t in writing up the sale. The challenge is to find a buyer who is willing to pay your price for your home. I can find a buyer who will pay your price. In fact, you may net more money than if you do it yourself.”

Objection: Another real estate practitioner says he can get more money for our house.

Expert Answers:

  • I know you are probably interviewing other real estate professionals, but it is not a good idea to select someone to work with based on home price. I could guess right now at your home’s value and say it’s worth twice what anyone else says it’s worth. You could list with me based on that, but perhaps I couldn’t sell it. It’s your home, Mr. Seller, and I can list it at any price you want, but it’s better to find out what the market is likely to pay. I’m going to come back to you with a CMA - a competitive market analysis. That will show you what the market indicates your home will sell for. We’ll discuss the offering price at that time. Is that all right with you?”

Objection: Will you lower your commission?

Expert Answers:

  • I’m sorry, but I just can’t take less. Here’s why: if you took $6 and laid it here on the table, $3 of that would go to the buyer’s company, $1 goes to my broker, and $1 goes to all the marketing work I do. Do you want to take the last dollar away from me?
  • No. But the good news is that you don’t have to pay me a commission.  A home seller will have an agreement to pay their agent a commission, and then that agent shares a portion of it with me. So you don’t have to pay me anything!
  • The good news is that you don’t have to pay me a commission.  The agent that represents the seller of the home you ultimately purchase will share a portion of their commission with me for finding a buyer to purchase the home.  So you don’t have to pay me a thing!
  • I want to be up front with you and say NO, I will not cut my commissions, and for one very simple reason. As a professional my time has a certain value of my service, and before you say anything, think about this: if an agent is willing to cut his or her commission - just like that - how well do you think they will hold up when it comes to negotiating the best possible price for your home? I want to demonstrate up front how tough I am going to be for you.Therefore, cutting my commission is not an option. Does that make sense?"

Objection: We are just looking right now

Expert Answers:

  • That’s good to hear.  You should look thoroughly before you buy anything. Out of curiosity, what type of home are you looking for?
  • That’s Great. Are you looking to purchase a home?
  • Absolutely. How many homes have you looked at so far?
  • I understand. How did you find out about this home?
  • Good idea. What are you looking for?
  • Great! One of the first steps is to make sure you have your financing in order. Have you spoken with a lender yet?
  • Well then I’m glad we met now.  Have you had a REALTOR® explain the entire home buying process and current market conditions to you?
  • It’s a great time to start! What are you looking for?

Objection: Our credit isn’t good enough yet

Expert Answers:

  • I understand. Have you spoken to a lender to find out?
  • That’s very common. I’ve also had many clients find that their credit is better than they thought after speaking to a mortgage lender.  Plus a lender can help you can start working to fix any credit issues sooner that way. Could I have a lender that I trust at least give you a call?
  • OK.  Did you know that there are many loan programs available that have very different credit requirements?  Wouldn’t it make sense to at least meet with a lender to find out exactly where you stand?

Objection: We have to sell our house first

Expert Answers:

  • So do you need to sell before you can buy?
  • Would it help to know how much you could sell your current home for while you are looking for a new home?
  • That’s very common.  When would you like to move into your new home?
  • Have you met with a lender to see if you qualify to buy a new home before you sell? Or do you need to sell your current home first?

Objection: We aren’t ready to work with an agent yet

Expert Answers:

  • Do you have a home you need to sell first?
  • I understand.  How are you planning on finding your next home?  Would it help if you could see all of the homes for sale that fit your criteria at home on your computer first?  That way you could just contact me when you want to see the inside of one?
  • I see. Have you spoken to a lender to determine a price range and monthly payments yet?
  • May I ask what expectations you have for the agent that ultimately represents you?
  • Many of my clients have felt the same way at first.  Until they discovered that searching for homes by driving around and looking at scattered listings on line was not very efficient.  What if I set you up on your own customized online search so that you could see all of the homes for sale by all REALTORS® that fit your criteria? You would also receive email notifications for homes the instant they come up for sale so that you would be one of the first to see them before they sell?
  • I see. What specifically are you waiting for?
  • Do you have a home to sell before you can buy?
  • When do you want to move into a new home?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 meaning you want to buy as soon as possible, where do you think you fall?  And why?
  • Understood. There is a lot to get in order before buying a new home: preparing your current home for sale, meeting with a lender, insurance, inspectors, repairs, finding a home and etc.. Would you like some help with all of that?

Objection: We don’t want a pushy salesperson

Expert Answers:

  • Good.  Because I consider myself a customer service professional, not a salesperson.  My job is to address your needs and provide you with professional guidance and assistance during the home buying process.
  • Perfect. I would never want to be pushy. I believe in listening to a client’s needs and helping them to find the perfect property for them.  So what are you looking for in a home?
  • I wouldn’t want one either.  But I would want an agent this is proactive in finding me a home I want to buy, and also assertive on my behalf in negotiations over the home’s price. Does that make sense?

Objection: I have to keep my promise to the agent from whom I originally brought the home."

Expert Answers:

  • That's great, I can appreciate your loyalty and that is a quality that I can respect in people. I am curious, has there ever been a time when you decided to buy something rather than checking around, you just took a friend’s advice, but in the end you really didn't get what you wanted? Have you ever been there before? I think you might find that this is one of those times. With that in mind, I'm sure you can see the importance of having me over to give you a second opinion. That wouldn't hurt anything, would it?"

Objection: "I want to find a house before I put mine on the market."

Expert Answers:

  • The longer you wait, the chances are greater that both the sales prices and interest rates will be higher on your new purchase. Plus, with this market as active as it is, you’re better offer being in a position of being able to buy right away without contingencies. We can discuss leasing options so you know how to handle a sale and a buy in this market. Let's get the listing agreement signed right now and get to work on getting your home sold tonight, so you don't have to wait any longer than is necessary to get moved into your new home. Sound good?"