Work Smart: Prospecting Scripts

Use these scripts to handle the sticky questions from prospects and you'll never be left speechless again.

MARCH 2008 | BY G.M. FILISKO

If you’re not prospecting because you’re not sure what to say, fear no more. Here are techniques for handling today’s most common objections from prospective clients. Here's a look at four sample scenarios and what you should say.

1. “All I read about in the papers are how real estate prices are falling. Why would I want to buy now when I’ll be able to get a better deal later on?”

You: “It’s true that real estate prices have declined slightly nationwide in the last couple of months, but that’s after an increase of some 88 percent in the last 10 years. In fact, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, 2007 is the fifth best year in the history of real estate in the United States. You do intend to live in your new home for a while, don’t you?”

Buyer: “Yes, we want our 10-year-old to finish high school before we move again.”

You: “Even if home prices fall slightly over the short term, you’re still likely to come out ahead if you live in your home for eight or nine years, as you plan to do. Historically, housing prices have risen about 6 percent a year, according to NAR.”

(You should cite yourown market’s price figures in this answer, especially if you’re in a market with stable or rising prices. If that’s the case, emphasize that all real estate is local.)

Buyer: “Still, it wouldn’t hurt to wait a while, would it?”

You: “One big reason to buy now is that interest rates are still near historic lows. But if oil prices and other rising costs push up inflation, as some economists think they will, interest rates will probably go up, too. That can make your monthly mortgage payment higher and affect how much home you could buy.

Buyer: “Yes, that’s a good point.”

You: “Another reason that it’s a great time to buy is that there’s a big inventory of houses to chose from right now. A couple of years ago, when the market was overheated, I had buyers who would just buy the first thing they saw because they were so afraid of not getting any home at all. Now you have the option of more time and a bigger choice so you’ll get the best home for you. And because of the large inventory, you’re in a better position to negotiate a price discount with the seller than you will be when the market begins to strengthen.”

Sources: Dan Gooder Richard, owner of Gooder Group, a marketing company in Fairfax, Va.; Chris Heller, a salesperson at Keller Williams Realty in Encinitas, Calif.