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SYNOPSIS: Excerpts: "What to Say to Buyers and Sellers" by Steve Stewart. Audiotape, 2 albums, 12 cassettes, and 2 printed script books.

What to Say to Buyers and Sellers

Buying Signals:
A few years ago I drove past a car dealership everyday on my way to work. There was an absolutely stunning car on the lot. You know how sometimes a dealership will have a display for a car that raises it a couple feet off the ground and it's motorized so the car rotates and you see it from all sides? I'd seen this car everyday. It's red, it's Italian, it's convertible, it screams in all four gears. I needed this car! Everyday I drove past the lot, the car call to me. "Pssst, over here!" It had my name on it.
One day I stopped and walked over to look inside the car. It can't hurt to just look, can it? It was unlocked, so I looked inside, climbed inside, and there I was sitting in the driver's seat. This is better than just driving by; from here I can smell the richness of the leather upholstery warmed by the sun. The floor mats don't have the scuff marks and oil stains like the ones in my own car. I turned on the radio; nothing. But the key was in the ignition so I turned it on to make the radio work. Heck, if you've got the radio going and the key in your hand, you might as well start the engine…. Here I am, lost in my dreams, listening to the stereo above the engine's purr, the smell of leather in my nose, my hands on the steering wheel. I'd absolutely forgotten where I was, but there I was sitting on a street corner spinning around in a dealer's car on a rotating display.
A salesman broke into my daydream when he knocked on the windshield and asked, "May I help you?"
"… No thanks, I'm just looking."
"Ok. Let me know if I can answer any questions," and away he walks back into the air-conditioned showroom.
When people give off buying signals, it's because they are thinking about buying! A good rule is: If they want to buy, let them! Do you think I was exhibiting buying signals? This is a CAR lot; they sell CARS here, not pumpkins. I must be interested in buying a car! Yet at that moment of truth, like everyone else, I avoided the decision. If he'd asked me to buy the car, I'd have been too embarrassed to do anything other than say yes. Our job in sales is to help people make decisions. When they give off buying signals, we should help them get what they want by simply asking them to buy. Ask them to do what they already want to do. Let's talk about what constitutes a buying signal….
Seller Objections
Homeowner: We've got to have more money than that.
[Note: That's not our fault! Realtors did not create their financial problems are we aren't responsible for them.]
Agent: Please don't get mad at me. Realtors don't set prices. Buyers and sellers set prices; all we do is get you folks together. If it were up to me, I'd rather see you get $300,000. I'm on commission so you know whose side I'm on! The problem is that all these other sellers are letting theirs go for just $250,000. If you were a buyer, and you found out you could get a home like this for $250,000, would you go ahead and pay $300,000? Don't you think most buyers will feel the same way?
Homeowner: But our house is worth more than all those others: Agent: It is nice, but what makes you feel your house is worth $50,000 more than the competition?
$50,000 worth of carpeting? When you bought this carpeting, did you let the carpet store pick out the color, the style, the quality and price, install it and hand you the bill? Or did you make those choices yourselves?
Of course you did. But when you ask a buyer to buy your house and pay full retail for the carpet you chose, you're asking the buyer to do exactly what you yourselves weren't willing to do.
Buy the way, when you bought this carpet, did you know you were going to be selling this soon?
Then was it primarily because you thought you'd enjoy it, or because you wanted the next owner to have it?
Did you enjoy it?
Homeowner: But ours is the nicest home in the neighborhood. Agent: Clearly, it is. But you have to ask yourself honestly: If you were a buyer and had $300,000 to spend, would you spend it in a neighborhood of $250,000 houses? Most often, being the nicest home in the area doesn't bring you an extremely high price. It will bring you as good a price as anyone else, maybe a bit more, but mostly it will help you sell lots faster than anyone else. That's important, too. Every 30 days you aren't on the market, you save another house payment on a house you didn't want to own any longer. That adds up pretty fast.

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Steve Stewart is a popular writer/speaker based in Claremont CA. Available from his office at (909) 626-0454 or

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276 N. El Camino Real, #184
Oceanside CA 92058



(760) 439-3030
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