Does a Buyer's Agent Require Selling Skills

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Ryan Taylor Homes

In a recent meeting of about 15 Realtors from various firms, the issue was raised about whether working with buyers required any selling skills. In other words, is the Buyer's Agent a sales person or not?

On the NOT side, the advocates pointed out that the hard sale practices would not work with buyers, as they have plenty to time to rethink a decision they made hastily and under pressure. Some ANTI-SALES people also pointed out that service, not selling skills, is what defines the buyer's agent. In short, about half of this group of real estate pros denied that buyer's agent need any selling skills at all.

On the other hand, they pointed out that listing agents require great selling skills in order to sell their services.

I was surprised by this debate.

For starters, no agent, whether acting for the buyer or the seller, can pressure anyone to do something they don't want to do. If they don't want to buy, they won't buy. If they don't need to sell, they won't sell. It doesn't matter how good we are at selling or what kind of arguments we make, we CAN'T MAKE A CLIENT buy or sell unless they want to.

But we ARE salespeople. Our sales skills let us guide the client in making wise and timely choices all along the process, whether they are buyers or sellers.

Just think how often sales skills come into play when working with buyers: Explaining the process to remove as much confusion as possible helps make getting to a decision easier. Choosing judiciously in what we show them is a sales skill. Using our knowledge to explain the differences between homes and the implications for the client is selling. Helping buyers narrow down their choices until the right home reveals itself. Closing and getting them to sign is sales.

Or at least that's what I've always thought.



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Charles Parrish
Auction Brokers & Investors United - Baltimore, MD


All agents should be trained in selling skills.  It is too bad, that many agents do not practice closing transaction.  If they did, they would earn more commissions, more often.

Selling stasrts with counseling and qualfying their client.

Just keep doing the best job you can with your clients.  You can't educate others.  They will eliminate themselves.

Charles Parrish

Mar 31, 2007 08:54 PM #1
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Kathy, you make some great points. Sales skills are, without a doubt, the key to my own success. Yes, I exhibit strong customer service skills and that's what earns me the referrals I receive but my sales skills are what help me close more deals, as Charles mentioned above. It takes lots of education and experience in BOTH arenas to survive in this business. Thanks for a great post!
Mar 31, 2007 09:15 PM #2
David Edwards
Edwards Real Estate Group, Inc. - Newcastle, WA
Sales is about achieving mutual agreement so that everyone wins. A buyers agent absolutely has to have this skill. They don't need to be an expert at getting what they want. They need to be an expert at guiding the parties of a transaction towards mutual acceptance with full disclosure (barring any fiduciary responsibility to their own client of course.) 
Mar 31, 2007 09:43 PM #3
Renée Burrows
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker -
Kathy great points!  I think being a successful buyer's agent requires pre-qualification skills and communication skills.  Once you have pre-qualified your buyer as a ready, willing and able buyer and understand their needs, it becomes easy from there on out.
Apr 01, 2007 02:15 AM #4
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