Working With "Scared" Buyers...

Real Estate Agent with New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

I Think That Just About Every Realtor has had a Buyer Who was Concerned about Something, had Questions about Going Ahead with Her Purchase, or... Maybe She's Was Just Scared.

What do you do when a buyer is just plain "scared ?"

Try this:

Let's call our buyer "Michelle."  She was thinking about making a commitment on a home.  She had been looking for several months.  Michelle had seen perhaps twenty homes so far.  There had been two homes she has absolutely loved, but ended up not making an offer at first.

Of course, she hesitated.  She had "concerns."

It is very natural to have concerns, but sometimes a buyer just comes up with whatever they can to "slow down the buying process."

By the time Michelle calmed her fears... by the time she decided there wasn't anything to be concerned about... by the time she finally called me to submit an offer... both of the homes were sold !

The next time she was hesitating about "going ahead" Michelle came up with another "fearful concern." 

This time she thought that the back yard was too large for her to take care of.  Michelle said to me... "Karen Anne... if only the back yard were just ten or fifteen feet shorter... I wouldn't be so afraid of it being too much work."

When I heard that... I knew it was finally time for me to use "Old Faithful."  It was time for my "secret weapon." 

It was time for "Feel, Felt, Found !"

So I said to Michelle... very slowly:  "Michelle... I understand how you feel.   I've known several other buyers who have felt the same way.  But after they bought their home and moved in, ya know... they found... that having a slightly larger back yard was actually something they were really glad they had."

Michelle just sat for a minute.  Actually, she sat for several minutes.  She was thinking.  So was I... but I kept quiet.  <smile>

Then Michelle turned to me and said... "Karen Anne, I think you're right.  I was just nervous.  But in thinking about what you just said... I think I'm just making something out of nothing.  Let do the paperwork, ok ?"

We "did the paperwork," I called the Listing Agent, faxed over the contract, and within eight hours, it was accepted... just as we wrote it.

This all happened a few years ago.  I ran into Michelle a few days ago at the local Krogers.  She was all smiles... just so happy with her home... and so glad it had "such a nice rear yard."

And honestly, she couldn't thank me enough!  I felt so glad for her I almost started crying.

The Point:  Sometimes Buyers just need to know they are not the only ones with fears.  They need to know that they are not the only ones who were really scared to make the next move.  Sometimes they just need to know... that they're not alone.

Now... I know the above example about the rear yard was kind of "small-ish."  But that's what buyers sometimes do. 

Seriously.  Try this.  Try the "Feel, Felt, Found" close.  Practice it when you're driving in the car.  Practice it with one of your friends.  Try it on your dog or cat.  You can even use it on your own children when they are afraid of something.

It really works !

~                                        ~                                        ~

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Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales - Tewksbury, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Karen- A point well made. I think lots of times when buyers have silly objections they are afraid to pull the trigger or they are not sharing their true objection.

Aug 15, 2012 06:32 AM #76
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Kevin, what we really need to realize, though, is that what may appear to be a silly objection to one person may really be something that bothers another person... and they then use that also to slow down the process.  Kind of a "double duty" objection.

Aug 15, 2012 08:48 AM #77
Debbe Perry
Real Living Carolina Property - Morganton, NC
828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC

Feel, felt, found - sounds like a winning formula. I'm working with a scaredy-cat right now - think I'll try this out!

Great post - thanks for sharing.


Aug 15, 2012 10:36 AM #78
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Indeed a well written post! People need to learn to depend upon and trust their Realtor.

Aug 15, 2012 11:28 PM #79
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Karen Anne - I feel very happy that I came across your post today.  I have always felt that you are good at articulating your understanding of our business.  I hope you found my thanks heartwarming.

Aug 16, 2012 03:22 AM #80
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Jeanne:  What a cool comment.  Very imaginative.  Thank you so much for your kind words.

Yes, my dear, I have found your thanks "heartwarming."  And also very much "smile-producing."  Big smile, here!

Also... what a great example that shows how easy it really IS to work "feel, felt, found" into your conversation.

Thanks so much... and have a Great Weekend.

Aug 16, 2012 03:52 AM #81
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I am working with two couples right now who may benefit from this strategy. Definitely using this one.

Aug 16, 2012 04:28 AM #82
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Karen Anne - I learned the feel, felt, found close many years ago, and it is so natural to me now that I don't even realize I'm doing it half the time.  The thing is - it's not really a trick.  It's just an organized way to show your clients that you understand their issues, and that there are solutions.

Aug 16, 2012 01:20 PM #83
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Susan:  Of Course it's not a trick.  It is a way of lowering the stress of the moment, of calming everything down, and then showing the buyer their concerns are understood.  It shows them that we really DO understand their issues... and again... it shows them that they are not... alone.

Have a great weekend.

Tammie:  I am so please you like the feel, felt, found idea.  After awhile, as Susan said in her comment above, it just becomes natural... just another way to communicate.  Good luck with those two buyers !  And, have a Great Weekend, as well.

Aug 16, 2012 03:02 PM #84
Alice Broadway
Parker & Rankin (Ms) & Azalea Realty (AL) - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

What a great post KAREN, thank you for commenting on my blog tonight, if you hadn't I would not have learned this Secret Weapon!.

I have a buyer now who fits this category and the next time I see her I am going to use it!.. I believe it will help calm her fears. Thank you again. I truly believe God put people in our paths,a nd I'm thankful our paths crossed today.

I am subscribing to your blog ;-)

Aug 17, 2012 01:25 PM #86
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * - Albuquerque, NM, Albuquerque Homes Realty

Swinging back by to wish you a great weekend Karen.  Hope it's a great one for ya!

Aug 17, 2012 01:53 PM #87
Rafeeq Ahmed
Islamic Banker, UIF, 682-500-4615 - Granbury, TX
Customer Satisfaction

HI Karen Anne, I got my 10,000 points, so my picture will show without my manual adjustments. Since you were my teacher. i want to see if it works

Aug 17, 2012 05:42 PM #88
Rafeeq Ahmed
Islamic Banker, UIF, 682-500-4615 - Granbury, TX
Customer Satisfaction

yes it worked :)-

Aug 17, 2012 05:44 PM #89
Sharon & Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette, IN - Lafayette, IN
West Lafayette homes for sale

Karen Anne, this is a great post and yes many buyers do hesitate to take the plunge of home ownership.  I think we would have more success practicing the Feel, Felt, Found close with our cats than with our almost 20 year old!  ^_~

Aug 20, 2012 02:34 PM #90
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Karen Anne -- Great advice and formula.  The three Fs can do wonders to calm the nerves. Buyers are NOT alone in their fears; and when they realize this, they can think more clearly through their anxiety. 

Aug 22, 2012 05:25 AM #91
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Karen Anne, you knew just what this buyer needed!  I have bookmarked this post, so I can review "Old Faithful" in the future!! ;)

Aug 23, 2012 12:33 PM #92
John & Irma Nelson
San Antonio Real Estate Broker/Agent with Get It Sold Realty - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Real Estate Agents - San Antonio Homes
I just love the way you tell a story. And 92 comments is wow! Well now it's 93! Great story for me to read with my cup of coffee this morning. Thanks for sharing
Aug 27, 2012 11:25 PM #93
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Karen Anne,

Now that's a script I can learn and remember! It's simple, effective and it will get results.

There are so many lessons to learn when you're in this business and endless possibilities to understand human behavior.

Thanks Karen Anne!

Aug 31, 2012 08:36 PM #94
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

Fear, felt, found - three little words; much wisdom. Thanks, Karen Anne

Sep 03, 2012 11:33 PM #95
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Good post and good comments. I always learn something from the conversation.

Nov 13, 2012 11:38 AM #96
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Karen Anne Stone

Fort Worth Real Estate
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