Realtors Who Speak in Rehearsed Scripts Instead of Thinking

Sylvia wrote an offer for one of our buyers last week. When the listing agent called to confirm receiving the offer, he immediately started in with rehearsed script-speak. For those of you unaware of “scripts”, they are exactly what you might imagine. Prefab spoken lines to use in certain situations.

Many Realtors and Real Estate Coaches swear by scripts and practice them daily.  Sylvia and I are very familiar with the concept of scripts, we’ve had training in scripts, and we’ve attended workshops at real estate conventions about using scripts. But we don’t employ scripts in a formal way. This blog article will explain why.

I only heard Sylvia’s side of the conversation with the script-driven listing agent, but she filled me in after hanging up saying, “man, everything that guy says is a script”.

It started with: “Got your offer. So … (pause)… your buyer is offering exactly ___% below list price for a listing that has been on the market only ___ days”.

To which Sylvia responded off the top of her head with with: “Well, the offer is based on the market analysis I did, which I sent with the offer. The list price is irrelevant. I determined the market value based on recent sales of similar homes and advised the buyer as to a fair offer price, and that’s what you have. Plus, we’ve sold over half a dozen homes in that neighborhood and we know what those houses are worth”.

Then, as skilled practitioners of script-speak do, whatever you say is ignored. Instead of having a conversation about the comparable sales that were used to justify the offer, the next rehearsed line is uttered, no matter what your response was to the first.

“I’m going to need your buyer to come up to a price my seller can agree to so we can make this deal work and so you and I can both get paid our commissions”.

To that, Sylvia said: “{Agent Name}, I’m not doing this for a commission. I’m helping my buyer find the best value I can for a home that meets his needs. He likes your listing, but it’s over-priced. You have a good clean offer, based on a proper market analysis, and I think the seller should seriously consider accepting the offer as-is”.

I thought it ended shortly thereafter, with the seller and agent not willing to budge from the list price. I was amazed a few days later to be told that the buyer and seller were in fact now under contract for an amount less than the seller’s price and a bit higher than either Sylvia or I felt was justified for our buyer. But the buyer is the one who makes the decision to accept a seller’s counter-offer or not. We just provide the data, our opinion and our advice. So we entered into the inspection period.

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