How to Deal with 'No Hurry' Prospects

When buyers appear to be in no hurry to make an offer, you must ask the right questions and then listen up. Only then will you discover their concerns.

December 1, 2006

Excerpted from Sales and Marketing 101 for Real Estate Professionals. This excerpt is taken from Chapter 11, "Insights Into a Successful Sale—No Help, No Hurry."

You may be frustrated by prospects that are in "no hurry" to move forward. "No hurry" stems from the perception of potential negative consequences resulting from the purchase decision. (Skydiving may sound exciting, but many people are in no hurry to try it because of the perceived consequences.)

You may hear prospects say, “I’d like to think it over” or “I’d like to talk this over with my wife (or aunt, next door neighbor, etc.).” You must overcome "no hurry" objections so prospects can make a buying decision.

Prospects convey that they are in no hurry in many different ways. In a business setting, the signs of "no hurry" may be subtle. You need to learn to recognize these two "no hurry" situations:

They Question Your Competence or Make Excuses

Suppose you go to a listing appointment and make one of your best presentations about why the sellers should list with your firm. If the sellers feel uncomfortable with you for any reason, they will be in no hurry to hire you. If you are new to the industry, they may not want to be your first experiment. Perhaps they feel that because of your limited experience, you will take too long to sell their property. In different ways, they suggest that they do not want to move forward.

How can you tell there is a problem? If you tell them that your brokerage fee is 6 percent and they promptly tell you that they have never paid more than 5 percent, this may be an indication of "no hurry." Or maybe they say that they don’t see many of your signs around town. They may even be more direct and say, “I worked with your company once. John Doe works there. I’m in no hurry to work with your company again!” These may or may not be factual statements, but they are an indication that the sellers feel no urgency to list their property with you.

Sometimes sellers like you or your presentation. They have a need, and can see how services like yours can help them, yet they are still in no hurry to hire you. Instead, they just want you to leave their home or to hang up the phone. They may suggest, “We appreciate your time and we’ll get back to you.”

They Just Want the Pain to Stop

Prospects will avoid a purchase decision if they think that it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Suppose your prospects are thinking of buying their first home. After they found the right house, they started to experience one of the most stressful moments in their lives. They felt there was something wrong. How many agents have heard prospects say that perhaps the purchase was not meant to be?

The prospects may think, “If we purchase this house, will this enormous pain continue? Perhaps we should think about it.” As soon as they say to the agent, “We’d like to think about it,” the stress melts away and they feel better. Prospects may also express an interest in avoiding the purchase process altogether, saying, “I am starting to think I shouldn’t move. I have lived in this apartment for 12 years. From what you are telling me, the qualifying, the processing time, and finding a home could take a long time. I just don’t think it’s worth it to me. I am really happy where I am.”

Common Concerns of a ‘No Hurry’ Prospect

Excuses are based on real concerns that may not have been shared with you. Some of these concerns include:


  • What if this is the wrong house for me?
  • What will my friends think of this particular purchase?
  • Do I really know what I am doing?
  • Can I really trust this agent to suggest what I need?
  • Is this a reputable company that is concerned about me?
  • How do I know if I am paying too much?

Even if these concerns were discussed in the interview, when the prospects are closer to making a purchase decision, they want additional assurances that what they are about to do is best for them.

Steps to Overcoming ‘No Hurry’

Although it seems like you should do more talking when a "no hurry" objection arises, the truth is you are better served by carefully listening to the prospects. Let them talk. Let them tell you what is on their mind. The more they talk, the more you will understand why they are in no hurry.

Suppose the prospects say, “No, I don’t think I would be interested. The yard is too large.” Encourage them to tell you all about why the yard is too large. There is no need to tell them that the yard is not too large or that the interest rates are at their lowest level in years or that the price is lower than anything else on the market.

Instead, discover why the prospects feel the way they do. Ask them to elaborate and then listen and let them tell you everything that is bothering them about the yard. Then find a way to overcome these objections and reassure the prospects.

Chris Grover, the department chairman for business real estate for Victor Valley College in California, offers a hybrid of marketing and sales training strategies as author of Sales and Marketing 101 for Real Estate Professionals(Dearborn Real Estate Education).