Steve Stewart Seminars

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SYNOPSIS: Article distinguishes between people who will make purchase decisions and those who won't, and identifies how to tell the difference. 1162 words.


Buyers Who Buy - the ones you really want - will make buying decisions with you in a short period of time if you don't do anything to seriously discourage them. This is one of those truths about real estate sales that is easy to understand and difficult to follow. It is one of the single most important truths about real estate making all the difference in your ability to spend time with just those people who really are going to make buying decisions.

The reality is that Buyers Who Buy (those who are committed to doing whatever it takes to make a purchase) are the ONLY ones who ever buy. Maybe they don't feel that committed today, but they won't buy anything until they feel sufficiently committed. Until you have a buyer in your car who is dead-set on making a purchase, you are simply playing "Let's pretend I'm in real estate; you pretend you're a buyer, and we'll go look at houses."

Picture in your mind all the people in the last 6 months who have told you that they are interested in buying. In your mind, line them up against the wall in a firing squad with blind folds. Now take out your imaginary pistol and aim at anyone who did not buy from you. Q: Would you have to reload? The ones still standing are the ones for whom the purchase was NECESSARY. They were committed to buying, to buying from you, and buying now-the only circumstances under which we can ever help prospective buyers.

Likewise, a property will sell whenever sellers need it to sell-whenever they become COMMITTED to the sale. They need to have more than a desire to sell; they have to be willing to do whatever it takes to support that sale. Only at that point will the property sell because price and terms determine when it will sell; the seller controls the price and terms - not the licensee!

The same is true with a buyer: There are homes with enough bedrooms and bathrooms for buyers to choose from. Anytime buyers are willing and able to pay fair market prices and to choose from the available inventory, they can make a purchase! Remember that the acceptance of an offer is largely determined by the money involved; the buyer, not the agent, controls the amount! Of course the money is the issue!

Ask around and you will find any number of Realtors® who have sold a house on either Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. You would think that if ever there were a day where the buyers would have other priorities, these would be two of them! But the Buyers Who Bought on these special days had no choice; their moving vans and furniture were on the way and they couldn't stay in a motel much longer.

Buyers Who Buy are highly demanding, but their value is that you are always very close to a positive decision - they are going to quickly buy something somewhere. If necessary, they will even agree to buy the wrong house, wrong size, wrong price, wrong terms, wrong location and wrong layout. The only mistake you can make with a Buyer Who Buys is to not be there when the decision is made.
However, Buyers Who DON'T Buy are often the most demanding. Since they never make actual decisions on a purchase, they take more of your time while continuing to look at available listings. The reality is that they are nowhere near an actual decision. They don't always know that, of course, but you will find them willing to hang on until the perfect house comes along someday. That's one way to spot them.

There IS no perfect house. Once I visited some friends at their new home. I know people with more expensive homes, but I can't say that I know anyone with a nicer home or a more desirable location. Theirs is a magnificent home high on a hilltop overlooking an entire valley. It can get hot in that valley during the summer, but up on the hill their home catches a constant ocean breeze. The house itself is fantastic. Whoever designed the home took full advantage of the location, and every room along the west side had the same magnificent view. (The kids' rooms on the east side didn't have that view, but if kids got everything, they'd never leave home.) Below the house was a swimming pool big enough to float an ark and the landscaping flowed down the hillside in such a way that my friends could go months without having to tending to the yard. ("No yard work" are magic words to me).

Even with all that, I am guessing that since they moved in, they probably spent another $75,000 cash on top of an already serious sales price. That kind of cash into a property ordinarily is hard to get back. Other buyers just don't pay full retail prices on your choice of improvements. $75,000 on top of an existing high purchase price? Wouldn't you think that after spending a high purchase priceto buy a house, it would be ready to go when you moved in? But this happens all the time - someone will buy a $10 million mansion (what you'd think would be adequate), and before they can move in, they'll spend another $2 million to remodel!

Believe it: THERE IS NO PERFECT HOUSE anywhere in the world! A thirty room chateau in the south of France still wouldn't be perfect because it is too far from where you work for you to commute back and forth. Its "poor" location and the cost of airfare would make it too expensive to visit often.

The point is: Buyers Who Buy are committed to doing the do-able. Since they perceive themselves as having few choices"

  • They will choose something from whatever is available
  • They pay whatever the going price is
  • They make decisions that reflect the time frame in which they are operating.

Professional sales people ask for all of that - a real chance at a real purchase-the chance to be face to face with a live one and show what we can do. But no matter how good you are, how sincere you are, how hard you try, showing more property to someone who isn't going to buy doesn't work. That's because doing what doesn't work, doesn't work. Doing lots of what doesn't work still doesn't work because it fundamentally does not work in the first place. That's the real secret to working with only the Buyers Who Buy.

Make a list of every buyer prospect you now have. The real buyers need to buy now, so pursue them today seeking to get a purchase contract signed in the immediate future. The other buyers need to be taken off your list or reassigned to another category. But do that today!

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Steve Stewart has published ten books and audio series on real estate sales and sales management since 1986, including the best selling "Real Estate Book of Letters!" which includes all letters on computer diskette. Best known for his signature presentation, "Buy From Me, or Get Out of My Car!" he often speaks to Realtor® groups on sales and management. He can be reached through his Claremont CA office at
(760) 298-8146.

© Steve Stewart Seminars. Excerpted from "A Home Run Every Time: The 200 Best Sales Ideas You Ever Heard!"

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