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.