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Does the Hard Sell Still Work? Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 September 2006
Despite the current market turn millions of Americans still want to purchase a home. From first-time buyers to investors to business relocation clients  agents  remain poised to assertively engage all parties in order to obtain the best possible deal for their clients.

The concept of a “hard sell” has merit, but not in the context of belligerence or antagonism. Most consumers long to be treated with respect, like real people, and buying a home can be a stressful, emotional process. Tensions can run high at times, especially during moments of decision, where the consequences of ill-informed mistakes can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. In these moments, the Area Market Specialist, fully-trained in professional seller agency, can swiftly execute a plan and maintain composure, resisting the temptation to allow goodwill to take a backseat to impatience and frustration.

As supply rises and agents begin to feel the squeeze, deny the urge to dominate the conversation when showing a home. Give potential buyers the time and freedom to explore and discover every nook and cranny of each home on their own. Most people like to “try on” a house, imagining themselves snuggling by the fire on a cold snowy night to wondering how the furniture might be best-configured for maximum space and movement. Hasty agents may unknowingly impede that crucial mental process by following their clients around, constantly pointing out improvements or “special features.” In fact, that proximity may backfire, causing them to overlook the singular feature that could very well sell the home. Offer space, and your clients won’t feel the need to yank that monkey off their back.

As agents proceed to secure a buyer’s commitment, questions like these will bring the slowly massage the central issues into the forefront. After asking a question, remember to wait for the answer. Active listening is the most effective closing strategy in the history of salesmanship. The non-stop sales pitch, chatter and closed-ended questions that drive clients toward a decision, on the other hand, will consistently undermine any remaining sales potential.

When moving buyers from expressing interest to making an offer, timing is critical. Look for verbal and non-verbal signals that demonstrate more than a superficial degree of curiosity. An agent’s capacity to identify, properly interpret and respond to these signals will determine their success in obtaining the offer. Shake off any temptation to press too hard, but close the deal with candor, respect and at the sum of things.

To improve their selling skills agents should seriously consider becoming an Accredited Seller Representative (ASR). The ASR designation is managed by the Seller Agency Council and is the largest and most sought designation course for seller’s agents who wish to become more skilled at representing the home seller.

Edwina Baniqued

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