by Brandon Scott
During my morning tea, coffee and series of articles, I came across one from Inman where they discuss 7 common objections to a real estate transaction. And, I found that these are all comments that I’ve heard myself. You see, real estate is not just the glamour of selling homes and meeting all types of people. There’s the behind the scenes aspect that we call marketing, or a classy name for begging for your business and trying to convince you to hire me. Realtors are the vacuum salesmen of the 30’s and 40’s that have survived the test of time – of course, that’s how I see my profession, in part. So, it should come as no surprise that when I meet people, I talk to them about real estate. It doesn’t matter the person, the Amazon delivery lady, the guy crossing the street, the ladies sitting on their front porch, it doesn’t matter where I am, I am following the ABC’s – Always Be Closing. And with that mindset, I have heard all of the reasons, and more, listed in the article.
I thought it would be more insightful to look at each of the 7 objections and talk about which one resonates most for you or someone that you know. By the end of this article, my goal is to talk through these 7 common objections to a real estate transaction and to have you think about what your objection is.
1 – “I’m afraid to start the homebuying process”
This reason is usually driven around a fear of commitment. Some reading this may baulk at the idea but, let me finish. On average, people stay in their home for 5 to 7 years and renters typically turn over faster than owners. So, if you haven’t sold your home and it’s not a forever space, what is your underlying commitment that keeps you there? As a renter, if you’re moving from place to place or deciding to renew your lease every year ask, why are you committed to the rental process and shy away from talking about ownership?
In my experience, I have found that some people “show” better than they look on paper. And if you’re one of those people, it comes a point that we must all make the bed we slept in. To decode my country analogy, don’t be afraid of committing to make your finances, or whatever is holding you back, better. Remember everyone you’re trying to impress is not trying to impress you.
2- “It’s a bad time to buy”
When the economy is uncertain, many sellers and buyers defer to staying in place and avoiding any “unnecessary” expenses. I’ll talk about homeowners first, if now is a bad time for you to sale your home, I’d hope that it’s a good time to maintain your home. Deferred property maintenance will make you feel like you’re unprepared to take advantage of the market, and impact your homes value. The pandemic created a perfect storm for sellers, in 2020. And those homeowners that reasonably maintained their home and sold it saw returns above asking price because they were ready to take advantage of the opportunity created. Your home is an asset and it takes a beating supporting you and your family. Investing in it is like putting money into a piggy bank for a rainy day.
Renters, you’re not off the hook. Usually, ‘it’s a bad time’ translates to a lack of savings. The reality is that buying a home is not free. While there are down payment assistance programs available, you’ll need to have some money put to the side for the process. On average, having about $3,000 to $5,000, paired with a down payment program and closing cost assistance program, is fair to start the process of purchasing a home; in many areas.
Those monies will cover the costs associated with the process, which I’ve covered in other articles and videos – home inspection and earnest money deposit.
Of course, the best way to know what you’ll be on the hook for is by working with a lender to get an estimate, a quote of what you can expect your out of pocket costs will be. As a renter, it will always be a bad time until you make time to know what your savings goal should be. ‘It is not failure not to reach your dreams, it is failure to have no dreams to reach for…’ – Dr. B. E. Mays.
3- “The home I want is too expensive.”
Buyers have been spoiled. You have all of these apps that give you “information”, but you never question the source. For example, the zestimate, while the zestimate may be a ballpark figure, it’s not reliable for an exact estimate. This is usually a place of self-sabotage for buyers. Many buyers undercut their buying power, or how much they can afford. Remember, your mortgage is broken down over 30 years so, yea $400,000 may seem like a lot but that payment is probably no more than your monthly rent – for many people in DC.
Without sounding like a broken record, speaking with a lender is going to be the first step. Getting a pre-qualification allows you to get an idea of how much you may be approved for without pulling your credit; which sets the stage for more effective planning to get you into a home.
Finally, for buyers, if you have champagne taste but beer money, humble thyself. Understanding how far your money will go in your locality is critical when beginning the process because this allows you to set your expectations. Remember, this is your first home and, probably, not your last home. Plus, there are certain cosmetic or custom aesthetics that you can add to make the property feel like home.
4- “Agent commission is too high.”
Sellers often feel that they are paying too much or just want to get a deal; everyone wants to feel like they’ve gotten a bargain. As an agent, this is purely on me to demonstrate my value.
For buyers, there should be no excuse. You’re in the weird place of almost getting everything for nothing. There are few professions or professionals where a customer can talk to a seasoned individual or the owner of the business and they provides advice that can change the direction of your life for FREE. So, as a renter, you have no reason not to have a relationship with a realtor because their services are free to you.
5- “Another agent will list the house for more”
It happens more often than not that a seller believes that a home is worth more than you propose. In this case, it’s important that the agent understand the market at the time of the transaction and the comparable properties sold. Here is where my ability to close comes in handy.
6- “I’m not willing to make updates on my home.”
There are many sellers that can’t see the forest before the trees; denial is real. I have found, for some sellers, it’s strongly associated with a feeling of judgement. To have a “stranger” come into your home and point out things you’ve neglected is most aligned with a feeling of judgement. Helping a seller understand that this is not personal, it’s just business will go a long way in overcoming this mindset.
7- “I don’t want to lower my price.”
Hopefully this isn’t a, “I told you so moment” from objection 5 – where you, as the agent, listed it for more, knowing it wouldn’t sell for that price. If it is, avoid saying those words directly. I have found that numbers and a clear perspective on the area market are key talking points. Plus, the need to focus on the larger picture of selling the home at a profit. Often the thrill of the negotiation can cloud reasoning.
Anything here the hits home? If so, you’re among good company. There is an endless list of reasons why someone decides to sell and/or to buy a home. But, whatever that reason, it is always personal and should be respected. My personal goal is to be your trusted resource for all of your real estate needs. So, no matter how life transitions you, you’ll have a stable teammate, in me, to help along the way.
Brandon Scott is a licensed real estate agent in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. His license hangs with Coldwell Banker Dupont-Logan, DC. He’s been involved in the mortgage finance industry for the last 16 years in various fields. You can reach him by email at [email protected] Subscribe to his YouTube Channel at RealTeaDMV.