1. “I’m going to stay with my current agent.”
In this scenario, your objective is to gain clarity if they are staying with the same agent out of duty or if they genuinely feel that agent is the best fit for them. If it’s the second, you have to tread lightly so as not to resort to bashing that other agent. That won’t get you anywhere and makes you seem unprofessional. However, you could ask questions to get the seller thinking. Ask if they are feeling pressured to stay with that agent. Ask if they really want to know what other agents are out there and what options they have. If yes to these, begin to work in that you would like a chance to interview for the job but you know it’s ultimately their decision. They have the power and control. If it is that they like their current agent, you could ask if perhaps there are reasons the house didn’t sell the first time and if those reasons will be resolved if it’s the same agent.
2. “I’m going to sell it myself and list it as a FSBO.”
If the seller wishes to go it alone this time and list their home as a FSBO (for sale by owner), then there are a couple questions you could ask here as well. Most likely, the seller is disillusioned by their experience of failing to sell. They’re discouraged as selling isn’t a short or easy process. But you can bring data. Data that shows it’s more advantageous to go with a professional real estate agent than on their own. You could suggest that maybe they didn’t have the right fit with their previous realtor and you’d love the chance to see if you’d be a good fit. Go further and offer a clause if they’re interested: a reduced rate if they find the buyer themselves. But you, as their realtor, are working tirelessly on their behalf as well and if you find the buyer, you get the commission. This can keep some control in the seller’s hands and reduce some of that anxiety.
3. “I’ve decided not to move.”
The seller may be so tired from the process they’ve decided to make it work where they are instead of moving. Prod a little here to determine why they wanted to move in the first place. Was it a job? A better school for the kids? More space for the family? If the reason is similar to one of these, you can bring up your expertise and your record of past sales. Give them a little confidence that you could get the job done and maybe they don’t have to give up that next step for their lives.
4. “I’ve found another agent already.”
If they’ve signed a contract, this is the end of the lead. However, if they say no, you can again bring up your expertise and record. Point out concrete ways you stand out from the crowd and specific tools in your toolbox that help you sell homes. Here, you’re essentially doing a brief interview for the job. If they like what they hear, suggest a short 20 minute meeting so you can go over your plan for their property and then they can decide between the agent they picked and you!
If you are prepared with possible answers to objections that may arise when speaking to an expired listing lead for the first time, you’ll be more relaxed, easier to talk to and far more confident.
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