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We want to shop around

I have been getting calls from people living out of state who think they might want to buy or at least check out the possibility of buying a vacation home. Usually they do not know the area or what to expect so they want to shop around and explore their options. The first, or 5th or 10th, home I show them could be the perfect home for them but if they think there are unlimited possibilities they want to keep looking around. What do you do in a situation like that? - by realtor
Part of our Duties as a Sales Pro would be to make the Buying decisson as easy as possible for our Prospects. Get a list of what they wnat and don't want in a Vacation Home and then use your MLA Listings to compare Properties in your area. Make a list of each in their Price Range with the "wants" and "don't wants" of each to show your Prospect that you've done the "looking around" for them.

Have a "FANTA$TIC" Future!
Stan Billue, CSP - by Stan Billue
I suspect by your question that you have not used the questions presented by other experts in your last posting. Before you even think about showing someone a home, you need to ask them questions so practice asking the questions that were suggested in previously.

You also need to get a sense of how important this decision is to your prospect. If you don't deal with highly-qualified prospects you are going to waste a lot of time showing homes to people who only have a general interest in making a buying decision. You need to find out if they are working with deadlines and the importance of this is compared to other financial plans they have.

When people say they want to keep looking around, it is usually because they haven't seen the exact house they want. When my wife and I bought our current house, we went to over 70 open houses over an 8 month period. Not one agent asked us what we wanted in a house and had someone done this they could have pointed us in the right direction and dramatically cut our looking time. This would have made them stand out from their competition and increased their sales and commissions.

Show your prospect houses that give them what they want. - by Kelley Robertson
You need to lead the prospects through a process, not just show them homes. Each step of the process should be designed to create sales momentum. I know that's a very general answer, but most objections are best handled before the prospect verbalizes them...thus, a sales process! - by Skip Anderson
Assuming I was asking all the right questions about wants and needs--- what do you do when the customer thinks there are unlimited possibilities and wants to see as many of those possibilities as they can before they make a buying decision? - by realtor
Assuming I was asking all the right questions about wants and needs--- what do you do when the customer thinks there are unlimited possibilities and wants to see as many of those possibilities as they can before they make a buying decision?
At what point are you finding out this information? - by Skip Anderson
At what point are you finding out this information?
The customers tell me up front they are in town for a few days to check out different areas and see what is available.

I could show them the perfect home for them but if they think there MIGHT be something even better around the corner they want to keep looking around. They want to make sure they have not left any stone unturned.

Another thing is some of these potential buyers have already set up appointments with other agents to view homes they found on the agent's website which means more possibilities.

Some of them already have areas on their list of places to check out that we don't work in which mean more possibilities. - by realtor
It has been my experience with buyers that if they don't have an urgency to buy they will take up your time and possibly buy from another agent.

If there's an urgency to buy, get them to commit to you and then spend the few days with them and sell them a house.

If there's no urgency or they won't commit to working with only you, dump them and move on to the next. - by Jim Klein
If it's a small number of people doing this, then you need to accept that:

a) Some people are just like this. They feel uncomfortable if they don't explore every possible option just in case. There's a psychological effect known as the Zeigarnik Effect where uncompleted tasks make people feel tense and uncomfortable. Some people get this feeling if they haven't explored every available option open to them (I'm like this with websites - I have to click every link just to see what might be there).
b) These people are not great prospects - they will burn a ton of your time
c) Your job is to maximise your sales - not to sell to everyone (an in this case, waste your time trying to sell to peple who are going to burn a ton of time insted of moving on to better prospects).

On the other hand, if all your prospects are like this then you need to think about whether you really are asking the right questions...

Ian - by ianbrodie
Realtor,

In negotiation terms, your potential buyer is worried that other alternatives would have met their needs better (either in terms of the home or the value). They're concerned about having "buyer's remorse."

Some people will never get over this. However, it should be your job to minimize those experiencing this AND, for those who do, the effects (especially since if they have buyer's remorse and if they do find a home that would have made them happier, you lose future sales and referrals!).

Here's what I'd do: first and foremost, follow the advice from the other contributors here - make sure you understand your prospective buyer's needs and try to help them prioritize them - what are their must haves? What are their "nice to haves", etc.

THEN, don't just show them the houses you want to show them, print out listings for the range in the market - all the houses that might meet their needs. You can go further to print out what's sold in their range for the last six months (emails better - save some trees sn; ). Give them as wide a view of the market, what's out there and for what prices as you can. The more educated they feel about the market and the more knowledge they have about what's out there, the more confident they'll be making a decision.

Keep in mind that your goal shouldn't be to make a sale in the few days they have - if you rush them, they'll feel the pressure and it will give them cold feet. Give them time. Let them look around. If the home you've shown them is the right one, they'll figure it out. If it's not, it doesn't benefit you or them to sell it to them (in the long run).

Always remember - your goal shouldn't be "making a sale." It should be helping your customers - if you do that, the sale (and many more to follow) will come naturally.

Good luck.
Stephen - by sfrenkel
realtor, I believe you need to find out more about your prospects' level of interest up front before showing them anything. If they're time-waster prospects, you'd best find out up front, that you way you can decide if you want to spend time with them (if you have nothing better to do), or dismiss yourself from the process.

The challenge is that there is quite a lot of gray area in this, and it's often not black and white.

Asking good questions can help you ascertain their level of interest and their propensity to move forward with a purchase:

"If you found a property you were comfortable with this weekend, would you make an offer on it?"

and/or:

"What criteria would need to met today for you to make an offer on a home while you're in town this weekend?

and/or:

"Are you more interested in seeing what's available, or finding a home to purchase?"

Etc.

I'm not saying you should definitely NOT work with tire-kickers, I'm saying you should find out if they're tire-kickers before you invest any more time or effort in the process.

At the beginning of your relationship, you've got quite a lot of power, because you hold the keys to get them what they want (properties to see); But once you start taking them all over the place showing them properties, you've lost that control, and therefore, the opportunity to leverage that control into getting valuable information. - by Skip Anderson
Your quote: "The first, or 5th or 10th, home I show them could be the perfect home for them but if they think there are unlimited possibilities they want to keep looking around."

What would happen if they thought there wasn't unlimited possibilities? As Jim pointed out, it is an issue of urgency. You need to create a way to change their perception of the situation. Be creative and construct several reasons why a prospect should make the purchase immediately, not later. Urgency should be a major element in every sales presentation. Without it, your risk of losing the sale will soar.

Hope this helps.

The Sales Artist - by The Sales Artist
I met with a couple from Canada last weekend. Before showing any homes I found out by asking questions that they intended to find a second home and finalize a deal before they went back to Canada at the end of the week. On day one I found out what they wanted in a home and showed them approx. 6 homes that were excellent matches. The customers were drooling over 2 homes in particular. On day two we looked at another 6 homes and we went back to look at those 2 homes again and spoke with the Sellers about what stayed, what improvements were made and so on. After seeing the two homes again the Buyer said straight to my face that they would go back to the hotel and make a decision that night on one of the homes and get back to me the next day about writing an offer. I waited all of day three and four but they did not call. I was able to contact them on day five and they said they decided to wait and come back in the Spring and look again. - by realtor
I have been getting calls from people ........ What do you do in a situation like that?
The very first thing you do is learn to understand the Mind of the Buyer. In that regard, examine and accept the following two pieces of information:

First, understand that almost all buyers/consumers fall into one of two categories. The are either task driven, or process driven.

The task driven buyer knows what he/she wants or needs, and sets out to get it in an expedient, comfortable manner. If the salesperson can provide a product that works, and a pleasant experience of facilitation, that person will most often get the sale.

The process driven buyer values the journey as much as the destination--perhaps more. They like the game of sorting and looking and seeking, and they like doing it at their own pace. You deal with that person by Interrupting the Buying Process. If that sounds difficult or unrealistic, I can assure you it's not. You achieve that up front by pointing out three things: First, you explain how you work. You describe your job and how you go about getting results for buyers. Second, you tell them what you are going to show them, and you attach a number to it which quantifies (X) showings of property that would fit their wants. The great merchandisers of the world know that it is the limitations of choices, rather than the expansion, that yields the best overall sales results. Third, you get agreement from them that your professional approach is a good fit for them.

The second thing you need to understand is this. In almost all cases, people shop around not for the best price, best value, or perfect purchase. They shop around out of fear of making a wrong decision. Your job is to offer a limited selection of good choices, and help them see why they would constitute a good decision. - by Ace Coldiron
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