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Reasons Why Your Clients Wont Move Forward

Sometimes, buyers and sellers will not tell you the real story. It’s up to you to determine the truth about a client’s hesitation.

A savvy practitioner can deduce a lot from the objection and determine how to proceed effectively. Here’s an outline for responding to common client objections:


Buyer: $500,000 for this? I won’t and can’t pay that much!

(Money may or may not be the real issue: Flush out the truth. Try this approach when a buyer says money is the obstacle to moving forward.)

You: What do you think the house is worth, Milo?

Buyer: At least $25,000 less.

You: Fine. Why don’t we make that offer right now for $25,000 less? They can either say “no” or counteroffer. Whatever their response, we’ll know exactly where they really stand, won’t we?

Buyer: Yeah, but you’ve rushed me out to see all these homes and I’m feeling hurried.

(You’ve uncovered an issue of trust: The client may not feel he knows you well enough and could be thinking that all you want is a quick sale leaving him in the dust. Always use the soothing phrase “I understand” until you have more information.)

You: Milo, I completely understand. Why don’t we go back to my office, have some coffee, and take a break? I’m sure the house will be there tomorrow.

(Your next behavior should leave space for your client to talk: Listen hard and pin down what is at the root of his misgivings. Avoid yes-or-no questions such as “You do want this house, don’t you?” Ask open-ended questions. )


Seller: Sell this house?! They’ll have to carry me out of here on a stretcher before I sell!

(Every house is for sale: It’s the first thing you learn in this industry. Again, your job is to weed out the truth behind the stated objection.)

You: I know you’ve said you’d like $2 million for this house, but what realistically would a buyer have to offer for you to think about selling?

Seller: Bring me an offer of $800,000, and we’ll discuss it.

You: Well, you’re saying $800,000 in this market?

Seller: Oh, I know that might still be a little high, but they’d have to offer me at least $750,000. That would get my attention.

(You’ve accomplished two outstanding things: You’ve found out that the seller will indeed sell under the right conditions, and you’ve nailed down an approximate sale price that may motivate him to list with you.)


Buyer: Buy a home now? I can’t even consider buying real estate!

(A client’s personal life may be in turmoil: Even if it is, that does not mean he’s completely disinterested in real estate. Use the parrot technique.)

You: Can’t consider buying now, Jack?

Buyer: Absolutely not. Not now while I’m in the middle of a divorce!

(If you’re listening, you heard his reference to a time frame loud and clear: Once you decide the stated objection is the real reason, you put this client on your warm leads list and stay in touch with him until his personal circumstances improve. Send him nothing but positive market information and make regular phone contact.)

You: When do you think buying might be feasible?

Buyer: Not for at least six months.


Buyer: I’m starting a new job and I feel like I work 24 hours a day. Seeing homes is impossible.

You: You work 24 hours a day, Jim?

Buyer: Yes. Plus I get about 10 postcards a week from real estate agents.

You: About 10 cards a week?

(The parrot technique is an outstanding way to respond to many objections: But it must be accompanied by your most attentive listening. The clues to the truth are usually contained in the client’s words and nuances.)

Buyer: At least. And you agents are all the same—just want that commission!

You: I understand completely, Mike. And there are agents who are like that. I’ve met them. But what would you say if I told you that I don’t accept clients until I take them to dinner at a nice restaurant, decide if I mesh with them, then give them my referral list of satisfied clients? You’d be free to call them, and I’ll be very comfortable with what they say about me.

(You’ve uncovered an issue of trust: Now cross over and begin establishing your integrity.)


Buyer: I sort of like the house, but I think I’ll hold off until prices come down further.

You: You’re going to wait for prices come down more, Kathy?

Buyer: Yeah. Besides, look at that miserable roof.

(It takes time to develop a relationship with a client: Whenever she expresses negativity about several different things, use the parrot technique to get to the truth. Then listen hard.)

You: The roof is another issue for you?

Buyer: I won’t pay this price for a house with a roof like that.

You: Kathy, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll write a contract subject to your 100 percent satisfaction for either a new roof or a roof credit. If the sellers don’t agree, you have a bona fide way to back out.

(KEEP DIGGING: You’ve uncovered the buyer’s negative feelings about just one of the property’s amenities. But there could be more.)

Buyer: Yeah; then there’s that eyesore storage shed in the back yard.

You: We’ll also include a request that it be removed by close of escrow. Again, subject to your approval.

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