Great real estate agents know an objection is little more than an opportunity hidden in plain sight. In fact, handling real estate objections with empathy and expertise might just be the quickest way to turn uninterested prospects into engaged and loyal customers.
But with local markets and homebuying preferences shifting at lightning speed, how do you memorize objection-proof replies to hundreds of different responses?
Two words: you don’t.
While there are countless variations of real estate objections, the real reasons behind them are few. All you need to do is to find the core reason your prospect is resisting so you can answer their deepest questions and help put them at ease.
In this article, we’ll share four main types of objections and twelve scripts to help you generate more opportunities from every interaction. Ready to nip those objections in the bud and boost your bottom line? Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- The Money Objection: Overcoming real estate commission objections
- The “Not On The Market” Objection: Responding to leads who have already made up their minds
- The “Other Agent” Objection: Building trust and rapport with your prospects
- Other Scenarios: How to handle unforeseen real estate objections
How to Handle Real Estate Objections in the Age of Uncertainty
The scripts you’re about to see are responses to a combination of the classic real estate objections that have been around for decades and new, game-changing factors like the influence of Zillow and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before we launch into each of the objections and scripts, we wanted to offer up some advice from real estate coach and ace objection handler, Dale Archdekin.
Here’s Dale’s take on handling objections in a post-2020 world:
“Coronavirus has taught us all a new level of objection handling in our business. Dealing with ‘I'm not doing anything until the crisis is over’ is a pretty tough statement to handle for most sales people, or even just people in general. We have had to really improve and upgrade our ability to not be selling but instead be helping and consulting with clients. It requires that we uncover what a person's true desires and needs are and reconcile that with real life obstacles. That is the nature of today's professional salesperson. It's not about selling, it's about helping people achieve success in spite of adversity.”
Before you pick up the phone, remember that we’re all in this together. And if you need help creating a sales strategy fit for a whole new normal, check out our free users-only resource platform, Conversion University.
The Money Objection: Overcoming real estate commission objections
Naturally, the majority of your prospects will want to save money. Problem is, some of them will see a real estate agent as someone who’s taking off their plate.
The good news is, the financial objection can be one of the easiest to overcome—if you play your cards right. Let’s cover some of the different forms the money objection can take.
1. “Can you lower your commission?”
When you are faced with the “lower commission” scenario, the natural instinct is to start proving your worth by explaining what you do and why you’re worth it.
But doing this can make it seem like you’re making excuses.
Instead of turning the whole conversation into self-presentation, focus on the prospect and their main goal: saving money while working with you.
Prospect: I’m not sure I can afford your services right now. Perhaps we could rearrange your commission?
You: I understand your desire to save more money, but let me ask you this: would you want to work with an agent that sells your house or would you want to work with an agent that will sell your house for the best price on the market? At every step of the process I’ll be in your corner, making sure that you are paid your fair price, but I can only do that when I know that you trust me and know my value. Do you want to sell your house for the best price?
2. “Other agents are willing to take less.”
The truth is, most of the time there are no other agents. Prospects typically assume they can find a cheaper agent, because many view real estate agents as a service that they can receive elsewhere, for less money.
Your goal here is to reframe their mindset. Show prospects that you’re not a service, but an opportunity.
Prospect: I’ve talked to other agents. They like me and are willing to lower the commission.
You: Got it. Thank you for being direct with me, and I perfectly understand your intent to save money. I am always honest with my prospects, so there’s a reason I won’t be changing my commission. You see, when I work with you, I bring many promising buyers to your doorstep. But to be honest, almost everyone interested will want it for less. I intend to negotiate the best price for your house every time. In a way, I will protect my earnings the same way I’ll be defending yours. Does that make sense? If you want someone in your corner who won’t back down, I’m the agent for the job.
3. “I want to sell it myself.”
This one frequently means a prospect has underestimated the amount of work real estate agents do in order to sell a house.
They probably read about the process on the internet and decided that it doesn’t seem that tough after all. Or, maybe they had a negative experience with an agent in the past. Whatever the case, try to gently uncover why they want to sell on their own and encourage them to see how they can win bigger if they choose to work with you.
Prospect: Honestly, my house is so good I think I can sell it on my own. It’s just a yard sign and a couple of phone calls, after all.
You: Hey, I’m going to tell you the same thing I’m telling everyone who is willing to sell their house on their own: do it. Because I know you’re not doing it for the money. My work is to help you get the best price for your house and earn you more on the sale. The selling process takes quite a long time so let me send you a cheat I’m using to keep everything organized. It's on me.
Or, follow with a question to prompt them to get more specific.
You: Oh, sure! Listen, you have a great house, and I think you will be able to sell it pretty quickly. The only question is: what’s the price you're going to list it for? [If the price is below the market, prove you can earn them more money / If the price is above market, explain how you will save time and money on expired listings.]
4. “Zillow says it’s worth...”
We all know you can’t depend on a Zestimate. But whether we like it or not, Zillow is the most widely used real estate platform in the world, so prospects are inclined to trust it.
Remember, even though you’re going toe-to-toe with Zillow in this scenario, you shouldn’t frame the platform as your competition. Instead, present yourself as a Zillow partner, someone who helps people to get the most out of the platform.
Once you gain a prospect's trust, then you can begin to educate them on why a Zestimate is not the most accurate assessment of their property and what makes you a better choice.
Prospect: Zillow says my home is worth $500,000.
You: Yes, I’ve seen that Zestimate! In fact, that’s something I wanted to explain a bit. After all, we listed 30 houses with Zillow last year. It’s a great platform. But I wanted to share with you that with all 30 houses, the initial Zestimate was off by at least 15%. In one case, by 40%. Why? Because there are no Zillow agents that live in the area, or come by your house to evaluate it! Zillow just tries to calculate a market average based on an algorithm. But your buyers will not care about a Zestimate, because their agents won’t. If a Zestimate is 15% lower, you will lose 15% on the sale. If it’s 15% higher, no one will buy the house, and then you’ll lose money on negotiating. Wouldn’t you rather just sell your house for the best price and get the most money?
Looking for other types of seller objections in real estate? Check out 5 Realtor Responses to the Most Common Seller Objections.
The “Not On The Market” Objection: Responding to leads who have already made up their minds
Real estate leads can come from any number of sources and depending on their situation, there can be many reasons why a prospect is currently deciding to be off the market.
Try to uncover their current situation. The following scripts will help you reveal the real reason they’re not in the game.
5. “I’m renting a house.”
The age old debate of rent vs. own is a tough one unless you know exactly why people prefer to rent. Does the process of purchase seem too stressful? Do they prefer flexibility over equity?
Learn as much as you can about the mindset of your prospects and act accordingly.
Prospect: You know, I really like the place I rent right now.
You: Yeah, I’ve seen that place, and I like it too! Let me ask you though: why pay someone’s else’s mortgage, when you can pay for yours and get an even better house for less monthly?
6. “I don’t think I’m ready.”
As is the case with the majority of the “not on the market” objections, you can usually get to the bottom of why people don’t think they’re ready to buy or sell.
For example, if you find out that they think they can get the property for more money in the future, show how you can provide great value, even before the selling process starts. This way, no one has to feel like they’re committing to something they’re not really ready for.
Prospect: I like what you say, but I’m not sure I’m ready to list right now. Need to clean my house, prepare...
You: That’s perfectly fine. And I think that’s a very healthy approach that will help you get an even better price on the sale. So we don’t need to list it now. Instead, how about I warm up the market for you? I have a few buyer agents that might be interested in the property. I can create some buzz for your property before it’s listed and have some qualified buyers already lined up. When do you think you’ll be ready?
7. “Not interested.”
Let’s be honest. Most of the time “not interested” just means “not interested in agents”. As soon as you uncover exactly what it was that constituted a bad previous experience for the prospect, make sure to pull that out into the light and address it directly in your pitch.
Prospect: Not really interested in selling my house now. And I’m not sure I want to deal with agents anyway.
You: Sounds like you had a bad experience. Yeah, for better or worse your experience depends a lot on the agent you work with. Mind my asking what the issue was?
Pro Tip: Prove your value by keeping in touch with your prospects more consistently than any other agent in your area. With the right sales platform, staying in touch is a lot easier than you’d think. Check out our guide to choosing the best real estate CRM for a (mostly unbiased) review of the current sales automation tools on the market.
The “Other Agent” Objection: Building trust and rapport with your prospects
With these objections, it’s best to try to learn what kind of commitment the prospect has and whether you can become a part of it, or offer a better one.
8. “I already committed to another agent.”
When other agents are mentioned, always check to see if there’s an arrangement in place. After that, build your case and don’t be afraid to compete a bit.
You: Great! Have you already signed a listing agreement? It’s only natural to have a choice of what agent to work with, and I think that’s the only way to find the agent that gets you the best deal. I’d love to share a marketing plan that I lined up for your house. What do you think of that?
9. “A friend is helping me...”
Friendship commitments are great, and should be respected. But you can use them to your advantage when you become a part of the commitment. For example, demonstrate that you can help your prospects’ friend get them the best offer possible.
You: You owe your friends a friendship, and I can totally relate to that. But if my friends wanted the best for me, I think they’d want the best agent working for me. Let me contact them on your behalf and offer some assistance!
Or, you can try the following script:
You: I’m sure your friends will be trying their best to help you. I can only help that cause. Can I contact them and see if I can provide some additional value on your behalf?
Other Scenarios: How to handle unforeseen real estate objections
Some objections are not easy to characterize, but they’re ones you’ll certainly bump into when reaching out to prospects.
Here are a few of the most common, yet unexpected objections.
10. “Not sure my credit allows.”
Some prospects want to buy or sell, but just haven’t had the right type of support in their corner. Sometimes all you need is to gently educate leads and become a part of the solution.
You: I sincerely encourage you not to stop looking for a better house because of that. There are credit repair companies I’ve worked with that have successfully helped my prospects boost their credit scores. Would you like me to ask [Company] to look at what they can do for yours?
11. COVID-19 related objections
There’s no question that the recent pandemic has had a very real impact on the real estate market.
The process of buying and selling a house is stressful even at the best of times, so it’s important to understand that your prospects may experience plenty of additional doubt and anxiety when buying and selling in an uncertain market.
Try to provide as much support as you can before going in for the sale. Educate your prospects on how business is conducted during these times, eliminate uncertainty, and above all—don’t hesitate to offer your assistance.
Prospect: Not sure I want to do anything till this crisis passes.
Client: Absolutely! Believe me, I don’t want to add to your plate. In fact, I want to make it as easy as I can. We’re currently holding virtual tours for our sellers and giving some tips on how to make better sales during weekly webinars. Would you like me to send you an invitation?
12. “I haven’t heard of you or your company!”
There’s an illusion that big companies automatically do things better.
For example, the most common perception is that bigger brokerages spend more money on marketing houses. While this may be true if you count all the properties in their pipeline, it probably isn’t the case in terms of how much they are investing in marketing individual houses.
Carefully educate your prospects and prove that it’s all about the agent, not the company.
You: You see, I don’t have to share my commission with the brokerage just to put their name next to my profile. Trust me, I’ll spend much more time and effort to get the best offer for your house, and I will always be one phone call away. In fact, how about we go over a detailed plan for selling your house tomorrow?
Remember, the savvy real estate agent sees every objection as a possibility. By addressing your prospects’ core objections and proving your value, you can create an opportunity where many other agents may have failed.