Despite the advice to sales pros proffered in the iconic movie, Glengarry Glen Ross, “Always Be Closing” is not a good selling strategy. Here are five signs real estate buyers send when they are ready to make a decision.
Trying to Close Before You See Buying Signs Can Bring on Rejection
Trying to close a sale before your buyer is ready to make a decision can negatively impact relationships with decision-makers or even drive them away. Here are five signs both commercial and residential property buyers send when they are ready to sign on the dotted line.
5 Signs Real Estate Buyers Send to Let You Know It’s Closing Time
1. They ask about the process.
Clearly, if a commercial property or residential home buyer is asking you what the next step in the process is, they are at – or nearing – the point where they will make a buying decision. This is your opportunity to see just how painless and easy you can make it for them to take the next step in the real estate buying process.
2. They ask if the “best offer” is on the table.
While this might mean the most recent offer was not good enough, it could also mean they are ready to accept it and just hoping for one more concession. If the sellers have made a fair offer, it may be best to say that the best offer is on the table, rather than potentially opening up a new round of negotiations.
On the other hand, if there is a way to sweeten the deal that may be especially meaningful to your buyer, you might consider offering additional incentives for signing on the dotted line (along with an offer expiration date!) in the form of a “here’s our bottom line” number.
3. They ask about options or alternatives.
If a real estate buyer asks about add-ons, buyer bonuses, upgrades, HOA or maintenance fees or other options, it could mean they are ready to make a decision and want to be sure they will have what they want most, or it could be an indication that they are comparing the property to other options. In either case, it’s an indication that they are ready to make a buying decision but want to be sure they are getting the best deal for them. Find out which of these “extras” are most important to your buyers and see if you can deliver them; it might set your property apart from all the others they are considering.
4. You overcame or satisfied objections or concerns voiced by buyers.
Addressing real estate buyer concerns, providing education, comparisons and specifications, providing guarantees or offering buying incentives can all be the means of overcoming buyer objections, and it’s a natural time to ask the buyer to pull the trigger or ask “trial closing” questions (see below).
Alternatively, objections raised can also be a signal that a buyer is not quite ready to make a decision or is having second thoughts, especially if the buyer is raising new objections after you have addressed their initial concerns. It’s also important to be aware that buyers may not always provide you with the real reasons they are not ready to buy. Don’t be afraid to take a step back to give them time to re-consider their decision or to evaluate whether you have correctly identified what’s really holding them back.
5. Readiness has been identified using “trial close” questions.
The “trial close” is usually a type of question asked to determine if the buyer has any additional concerns or objections that have not yet been discovered yet, such as:
- Do you need any more information before you buy? (or sign the contract, etc.)
- Do you want to see any other options?
- If all concerns / buyer requests are met, are you ready to make a decision?
Trial closing questions can help you evoke buying signs and determine how close a buyer is to making a final decision. They also help ensure that you don’t lose a sale simply because you didn’t ask for one, but without putting the buyer into a final “yes” or “no” position.
While many in sales use the term “closing” to refer to what they do to motivate buyers to take action, the “closing” of a sale is simply the final step of a transaction, whether that involves a buyer signing a contract or submitting payment. In commercial and residential real estate, the buying cycle can vary widely in length, with some buyers arriving to the process nearly (or completely) ready to make their final buying decision, and others needing additional information, incentives or time.
Regardless of the length of your buyer’s individual cycle, it’s important to pick up on buying signs that can tell you where they are in the buying cycle, so you don’t scare them away by demanding a decision too early or lose a sale because you never asked for one.