Do You Have It? Salesmanship? Buyers Want to Be SOLD Not Just SHOWN!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Properties

Do You Have It?  

The Art of Salesmanship Results in Sales!

Showing Homes May Result in Nothing! 


Do you sell or do you show homes?    You have a new buyer client and some great homes to show.   Will you be showing homes today or selling a home?  There IS a difference!

Anyone can show a home!  Open the doors, turn on the lights, point out a few features and you are showing a home.  Many agents are master home "showers".  Agents who focus on "showing" rather than "selling" may likely show dozens of homes, perhaps again and again, often without ever closing many deals.  Home "showers" can get lucky and show that rare client who actually buys it rather than have you sell it to them.

Selling a home takes more than just showing it!  A person who is successful in their real estate sales career will have many talents, one of which is called "salesmanship".  Not every Realtor has refined the art of true salesmanship, and it IS an art which will set an average Realtor apart from others.  

It takes "salesmanship" to know and properly use the closing techniques necessary to motivate clients and overcome their objections.  No one likes a "pushy" salesperson and if you have true "salesmanship" you don't need to be "pushy".  A Realtor who has mastered "true salesmanship" will lead, never push their clients. A serious buyer wants to be "sold" a home. 

You, too, can become a "selling agent" rather than a "showing agent"!  The key is to understand how to ask the right questions.  Keep them simple.  Lead, don't push.  Every question should lead toward overcoming objections and closing.  You are not trying to sell them something they don't want, rather leading them to make decisions.  Focus!  Listen!  Focus!  Ask!  Listen!

Start with the right attitude and mind set.  Are you going to be "showing" homes today, or are you going to "sell" a home today?  Meet the prospective buyer with the attitude that you are going to "sell" a home today.  That is why they called you!  An agent who has mastered true "salesmanship" will motivate the prospective buyer, will always be closing and will welcome and overcome objections.  

A key factor in mastering the art of Salesmanship is to ask questions.  Questions should motivate, overcome objections and close the sale.  Ask questions designed to get a "yes" answer.  Every "yes" collected gets a little closer to the ultimate question and answer, "Yes, we want this home!"  

Sales Classes in all industries through the years have taught the types of questions to ask when you are in the closing mode, which should be always.  You have likely heard of these questions before but it is good to refresh and have the questions at the ready when you are "selling" a home.   Leading them to make a decision, even the decision not to buy a certain home, is getting them closer to making a decision on the home that is right for them. 

Being prepared with the right questions and keeping on focus is important.  You are not with them to talk about your personal life, or where you went last night.  You are there to SELL them a home! 


The Tie Down

  • Always make statements which end with a question.  "This floor plan has everything on your wish list, wouldn't you agree?"  Would't it, shouldn't it, don't you agree....are all subtle closing questions.  Always be closing!  

The Hot Potato

  • The buyer often asks questions that can be thrown back to them like a hot potato.  Buyer: "Do you think the home owner will include the patio table?"  Realtor:  "Would you like for them to include the table?  Let's just write that in the offer."  

A Realtor who has mastered the art of Salesmanship provides a great service to buyers.  By asking decision making and leading questions it helps the potential buyer to stay focused and realize the pros and cons of each home they see.  Seeing dozens of homes without making decisions in each one will result in buyer confusion.  It's okay to get a NO for an answer!  Getting a number of no answers on a home usually means this is not the home for the buyer. Collect that NO and move on to the next home! 

Remember, potential buyers call you to be SOLD a home!  Do your job!  Lead, don't push!  Not asking the right questions and leading toward a decision can result in a buyer not getting the home they really want.  Another Realtor who has mastered the art of Salesmanship may be showing that home to a real buyer also and your buyer may make the decision too late.  

SELL rather than SHOW!     

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  1. Inna Ivchenko 05/28/2012 07:28 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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art of salesmanship
showing vs selling homes

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Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Inna - it sounds like you have a real challenge.  Good luck and do let us know when you get it sold. 

Jennie - staying at the top of our game is something we have to work at every day, at lease I do!   

May 28, 2012 07:55 AM #23
Curt Hess
ExecuHome Realty - Annapolis, MD
Luxury Home Consultant, Team Leader & CEO

It's been my observation that new/inexperienced/less-successful agents get too many NOs simply because they fail to do the pre-showing consultation completely. If you don't know what they buyer is really looking for, you'll show a bunch of "NO" properties. 

The most successful showing (5-6 properties) SHOULD result in a buyer anxious to buy 1 or 2 of those shown. Help them pick, then help them sign the offer!

May 28, 2012 09:27 AM #24
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

This is a well written post that really focuses on what I think is a part of the sales process that is often overlooked. 

May 28, 2012 09:45 AM #25
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Barbara it is a balancing act of selling vs simply 'showing'.  Listening and asking questions and really understanding their goals and game plan helps us 'guide' them and help them get though any road blocks that are keeping them from making a decision.

May 28, 2012 09:51 AM #26
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

REALTOR - "it's a great time to buy a house" (2008 advertisement). Really?

May 28, 2012 10:26 AM #27
What Not To Renovate - Milan B.
Palm Coast, FL
We provide tips & trends on home renos & designs

Hi Barbara,

Congrats on the feature.

As Realtors we educate, provide information and asking questions to help our clients achieve their dreams of homeownership.

Thanks for sharing.

May 28, 2012 12:19 PM #28
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Barbara, I recently worked with a buyer who was a plodder. He didn't feel he could answer yes to any question right away. He would respond with statements like I'm not ready to make a decision yet, rather than answer yes or no. He wanted to come to his own conclusion rather than have me lead him to it. It was quite frustrating for both of us. Fortunately, I paid attention and when the right house came on the market. I had it under contract within hours.

May 28, 2012 02:53 PM #29
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

There is an art to listening, hearing and selecting words that move the sale process forward.

May 28, 2012 04:18 PM #30
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Barbara, asking questions and listening is a skill that takes time to develop. Rather than always be closing, I like to say "always be uncovering the need."  Thanks for your post today,

May 28, 2012 05:55 PM #31
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Hey Barb...congrats on the feature !  Selling is the gratification we all look for...good tips !

May 28, 2012 09:43 PM #33
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I do understand what you are saying, but I think asking a lot of questions up front, begore showings, is key.  It is our job to guide and not push, which you said.  I have never had to "close" a deal at a showing.  Usually the buyer knows when it's the right home.  My two cents.  

May 28, 2012 09:45 PM #34
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
Excellent blog and do very true. My wife/partner is the sales end of our team because she has the skills that you've described.
May 28, 2012 10:11 PM #35
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Barbara, I believe in the soft sell approach. Asking open ended questions will always result in just showing the property.

May 28, 2012 10:56 PM #36
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Mastering it requires tact and a strategy. .

overall success comes when you appear to be "SHOWING" but are "SELLING THEM"like crazy!

May 28, 2012 10:58 PM #37
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Barbara,  Yours is a very well written post.  " Lead, don't push. "  So many struggle with the subtleties of selling .

May 29, 2012 01:40 AM #38
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Barbara, great post. Clearing the fog of minutiae details for the client and asking those important tie- down questions can lead your client to home success.

May 29, 2012 04:17 AM #39
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
All great points Barbara. Showing home can be turning on the lights or lighting a fire in the buyers to writing an offering. Leading the buyer to see how this home meets theirs needs can be a very effective tool in closing them. Thank you for sharing!
May 29, 2012 01:05 PM #40
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Curt - good points!  Thanks for adding them.

Morgan - thank you.

Greggory - thanks for adding your comment.

Wandanna - yes, we are always promoting that dream of home ownership.

Tammie - Your "paying attention" says it all.

Norma - listen, hear & select the right words!  Thanks.

Pamela - uncovering their needs is a great way to say it.

Sally & David - Thanks!  :-)

Christiansen Team - I like your two cents worth.  I do think it is good to get a "no" in a house that is not a possibility as this allows them to forget it.  


May 31, 2012 04:13 AM #41
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Mark - Thanks.  It must be great to be a husband & wife team! 

Michael - I like to ask a question which requires a yes or no.  I especially like to ask a "yes" question as it confirms to them that they like the home.

Fernando - LOVE IT!  "appear to be showing and be selling them like crazy"  EXCELLENT!  Star  I had to give you a gold star for that statement.

Bill - true!  Keep it simple and focused.

Sandy - tie down questions lead the way to the closing table.  :-)

Karen - thanks for stopping by with your comment.

May 31, 2012 04:25 AM #42

My listing realtor is a let the selling realtor be a "shower". He never attends showings or sells the sizzle of our home. He claims to be a top performer but we see no evidence of this. What should we do?

Oct 23, 2014 08:06 AM #43
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