"What to Say to Buyers and Sellers" by Steve Stewart.
Audiotape, 2 albums, 12 cassettes, and 2 printed script books.
to Say to Buyers and Sellers
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
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
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?
[OUR CARPET IS NEW.]
$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?
[SO WE WOULD.]
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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