Steve Stewart Seminars

Steve Stewart Seminars

SYNOPSIS: Buyers would benefit from knowing what the Realtor knows. Article recommends that agents make an audiotape to give buyers and sellers, telling them what they don't expect to hear.  1300 words.


How many times have you lost a buyer prospect when they ended up not telling another agent they were already working with you? Or because they called on another company's yard sign and ended buying through whoever answered the phone?

If our buyers only knew what we know, they would understand what we understand. They would see the same world with the same perspective that we see. But how do we get our understanding to them, up front and without ever having to say, "You're wrong and I'm right?" It's simpler than you think.

In the last edition, we recommended you make your own audio files telling every buyer and seller what you'd want them to know from the beginning. Not only will this help prevent your most common problems from blocking your success, it will also give you the opportunity to demonstrate your competence, to prove that you know what you're talking about, that you know what the important questions are. Whenever possible, tell people things they don't know and wouldn't expect to hear. Make them think, "I didn't know that!" Put all your buyer tips on one audio file along with all your seller tips. There is no good piece of advice you'd give a seller that you wouldn't want a buyer to overhear, is there? This audio file is best done in your own voice.

Last time we covered what the sellers need to be told. This time we'll consider what you should put on the buyer's side of the tape. If you can't find the other ar-ticle, email me at and we'll email you back the full list. Or, visit our web site to download the whole article for free.

  • Talk with a lender first. No exceptions. If you are going to borrow in order to buy, the lender is the first person to see - even before the Realtor® gets too deeply involved. Consider this market survey we did from Steve Stewart Seminars: If lenders talk to the borrower before getting into a Realtor's® car, and the borrower has a job, pay stubs, copies of tax returns and credit that can be checked, the lender stands a 97% to 98% chance of funding a loan and closing the transaction. There are that many different ways to get a buyer into a house and loan. However, if lenders don't talk with the borrowers until after they've been looking at property with an agent, the odds of funding and closing drop to just 55%. Why? Lender-qualifying up front steers us to the right price ranges of available property; it keeps impossible buyers out of our cars. And people are always more candid and accurate about their income and credit history when they are talking to the person who's going to read their tax returns and credit reports.
  • The lowest loan rate isn't always the best loan. In truth, some mortgage companies promise the lowest rates - which magically creep up just before the closing. Some loans have low annual rates and high loan fees (just like cars advertised for just $199.00 a month ... small print: plus $12,000 down). Some lenders are more reliable than others and will close on time - a low rate loan that never closes isn't worth much in the end. Sometimes it seems there is now a unique loan program for every individual buyer. Don't be afraid to explore and look beyond the surface.
  • Lenders know more about your money than you do. Lenders see people in your financial circumstances all the time and they measure at what points people get into trouble. That's where income to loan ratios come from. The lender does not want to take your property through foreclosure, not at any sales prices. They simply want you to make all the payments on time. They are in the lending business, not in the property ownership business. If the lender says you can afford it, you can - even if you didn't think so. And if the lender says you can't, you should listen.
  • You can't accidentally over-pay for a property. If the property is not worth the price, the appraiser will blow a whistle on the deal. Buyer money troubles (can't qualify for the loan, can't put together the down payment, can't scare up the closing costs) are the number one most common reason that a purchase will fall through. So if you can't afford it or the property isn't worth it, there's no way to get you in by accident. But if you knowingly choose to pay the cash difference on the property of your choice (you agreed to pay $160,000, the property appraises at $150,000; you can get a $120,000 loan [80% of $150,000] and put $40,000 down if you want to.)
  • Look at your best home options, not at all of them. Looking at more and more houses just gets you confused. Before long you will remember this house in that neighborhood; that house with this kitchen. The advantage of working with a professional agent who knows the market is that he/she can take you directly to the homes that closest meet your needs in a given price range.
  • Take your agent's advice, at least most of the time. An average buyer has purchased several homes over a lifetime, while most agents close anywhere from a half dozen to several dozen each year. Experience - especially current experience - has great value and wisdom. Pay attention to it. When you are paying an agent to represent you, the advice you get is for saving you money, not costing you more.
  • Choices don't get better with time. What you see is what there is. Exceptional opportunities don't wait for the conditions that cause you to buy. So thirty days from now, you may have slightly different properties from which to choose, but they will still be in the same range - not better or worse. The best purchase you can make is the one you choose now while you have the need to buy. Everything else is just a fluke - purely an exception to the rule.

Now you have to have the files recorded and produced. Please don't use your old tape recorder at home; this isn't a good way to save a few dollars. Look in your telephone yellow pages under Audio and Video Tape Production (any studio that provides video duplication usually also does audio production). These studios will either have recording facilities or can refer you to a recording studio. Recording will cost you $30 to $80 for one hour (that's all you need if you are prepared). Recording voice tapes is much easier, simpler and less expensive than recording music.

Practice your script out loud at least 30 times before you get to the studio keeping the final tape to a total of no more than 20-30 minutes. Extensive practice will smooth your delivery and save you a fortune in editing costs (usually $50 to $80 per hour). When you are ready, go in, record and get out. Don't linger.

Studios will offer to add "bumper" music to your tape to lead in and take you out just like you hear on the radio when a host has his/her own theme music to bridge between the commercials, the news and their show. Music is not a problem and does add a more professional touch, but it can quickly become very expensive. You don't need it, your message is what this is all about. Get quickly to your voice telling people what they need to know and don't. This is about information, not entertainment.

Ask around for a good deal on making your final CD product look professional. Ask and you will get good advice. If you are a strong promoter, have your black and white photo printed on the label as well. Recording, labels, master file (yes, you need one) duplication, printing plates for the labels and a protective paper or plastic sleeve - all run you in the neighborhood of $1.30 each on a quantity of 500 copies.

Your job now: Give them out like candy to anyone, anywhere with any interest in buying or selling property. This is a slightly more expensive and completely more valuable business card that no one will ever throw away - although they will pass them around to their friends!

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Steve Stewart is a popular writer and seminar speaker based in Southern CA, and the author of 13 books and audio series on real estate sales including this excerpt from "The Best 200 Sales Ideas You Ever Heard!" For information on Steve's books, tapes, seminars and availability, please call
(760) 298-8146.

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(760) 298-8146
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