Does it ever feel like you’re tackling the same obstacles when negotiating with new homebuyers? The faces change, but the objections are the same. “I need to think it over.” “This is more than I wanted to pay.” “I need to talk this over with my spouse.”
Human behavior is predictable, at least when it comes to negotiating a new home. You can be prepared to promptly counter these obstacles and increase your power to prevail.
1. “Why don’t you just pass this verbal offer by the builder and see what he says.”
If your buyer isn’t serious enough to put an offer in writing, there is no reason to pursue such a non-offer with the builder or developer. Try this:
“In order for an offer to be considered, we need a valid agreement. If you are serious about purchasing this home, let’s do the paperwork. Without that, I would get an automatic ‘no’. If I present your offer in writing, the answer could be ‘yes’. At the very least, you’d get a counteroffer. So, shall we proceed?”
2. “I want to think about it.”
Your buyer is hesitating, so he’s not yet convinced. You need to determine the underlying problem.
“I understand. I can put together some information to help you make your decision. Let’s see. We determined that you love the area and this community. You like the home. So what do you need me to give you to help you make up your mind?”
3. “The house is too expensive.”
Is your buyer trying to communicate that he can’t pay the price or simply doesn’t want to? Assuming you have prequalified the buyer, then this price resistance issue is the value perception. Your buyer doesn’t think the home is worth the price—or is pushing for a discount. Rather than concede, offer this response:
“Certainly you can find a home for a lesser price, but you will also have to accept a lesser home, location, or both. Now if you take the price difference and calculate it with today’s interest rates, a $20,000 difference translates to $4.67 per day. Do you think the price of a cup of coffee should keep you from owning the home you really want?”
4. “I need to talk to my [spouse/lawyer/accountant/other].”
This is usually a delay tactic or a response from someone who fears making such a big decision. Whether you’re dealing with a procrastinator or commitment-phobe, here’s what you can say:
“Of course! But just to be clear, am I correct in assuming that you are totally satisfied with this home and the offer we have here?”
When the prospect agrees, you add:
“It’s unfortunate that your [spouse/lawyer/accountant/other] isn’t here today, but since you are so pleased with the home and the offer, we can do the paperwork so that it’s contingent on the approval of your [spouse/lawyer/accountant/other] so that you don’t lose this opportunity.”
As soon as you let your prospect leave without a signed agreement, you create a widening gap between that buyer and the home you are trying to sell. Aim for the commitment and prepare yourself to achieve that goal.