What to do when a lead calls about a house that is pending or you’re not the listing agent

What do you do when you have a buyer who wants to see a property, but it’s pending? 

What if they only want to talk to the list agent, and you’re not the one? 

If you find yourself in this situation, how do you take that disappointing news and still turn them into a client, even though you can’t give them exactly what they want?

In this post, I’m going to show you how to deal with these situations, and give you a script to handle some objections that might come your way.

Keep it Conversational 

Let’s say you make an appointment to show the house only to find out that it’s pending. 

Best case scenario, you’ve set up showings at three or four houses. If that’s the case, you can say “Great. I’ll set up the showing today, and what I’m going to do is look around the neighborhood because I can think of a few other houses that you might like that are kind of similar to this. Some you might even like better! I’ll set that up so you have something to compare it to, and then I’ll just text you and let you know where we’re going to start. Does that sound fair?”

If they say yes and the original property is pending — no problem! You’ve already got two other houses to show them. You’ll find ones that aren’t pending, and you’ll just start there.

If they say no, and they only want to see one property, but you find out it’s pending, you can still pivot the meeting. In this case, the first thing to do is NOT to text them and say the house is pending. Instead, try to get them on the phone. Say, “Hey, quick update on your home search, we need to make a change. Are you available? Give me a call.”

Once you get them on the phone, that’s where you have the conversation. It’ll be much easier to let them know that the house they’re interested in is pending through a casual conversation presenting even more opportunities instead of texting them that they didn’t get it and only being the bearer of bad news..

When you get them on the phone you can say, “Here’s the thing. Unfortunately, that house is pending, but I looked at several off market properties — we’ve got a couple hundred in our list — and we have a few that I think might be a fit for you. But I need to know a little bit more about what you’re looking for in a home. Tell me some more about what appealed to you about this property, and about what it is you’re looking for.”

Now that you’ve got them in answering question mode, you can take down more notes about what they’re looking for in a property. And after learning more about what they want, you can turn the conversation around and say something like, “Hey, I think we might have a few that would be a fit. We already have an appointment time, do you have 20 minutes right now to meet up?” 

No matter what, just keep pushing for that face to face appointment. And don’t forget the pre-sell.

Dealing with objections

Now, you’ve kept your meeting but the purpose of it’s changed a little bit but it’s still pretty similar. Instead of viewing that initial property, the purpose is to review the new properties that you’ve found based on what you think, and what they’ve told you, would be a good fit for them.

If an objection they might throw at you is something like “Can’t you just send me the list?” you can respond with, “There’s actually no list. I’m combing through several different databases and internal sources that we can’t publicly share since the properties aren’t actually listed for sale. But I can show it in person to people I’m working with as clients. Would two o’clock work for you?” 

Keep pushing for that meeting. It doesn’t matter where you take it. You might have to have it on zoom. You might have to have it at a house or Starbucks. Just continue pushing for that meeting.

You can use the same exact technique when they want you to be the listing agent.

If they ask, “Are you the listing agent?” I’d say “The listing agent is an associate of mine. Does two o’clock today work for you?” 

Again, acknowledge their response, and take control of the conversation.

But, let’s say they keep pushing, “Wait, you’re not the list agent?” 

Be honest with them. “No, I’m not the listing agent. And here’s the thing: that listing agent doesn’t even work in my company, so they’re not going to have access to the properties that are really exclusive to us. So tell me, what is it that you liked about this house? Maybe one of these properties would be a good fit for you.”

A big mistake to avoid 

One of the biggest mistakes I see agents make early on is they say, “We have all these properties, would you like access to them?” 

Don’t do that.

That’s not the script! 

The script is, “We have all these off-market properties. I’d love to see if any of them are fit. What are you looking for in a home?” 

That’s much more conversational, and it’s a much easier way to keep the dialogue going and to keep things going smoothly. If you just send them the list, the conversation might end right there and that’s not helpful.

Setting up the appointment

Once you’ve established a dialogue, and worked past any objections, you want to set up the appointment either right there at the house while you’re looking at it, or on a zoom call. 

And when you finally have this conversation, it’s just like we talked about before, you want to discuss the client’s needs and show them the off-market properties that you have exclusive access to through your company’s database.

That’s how you handle the “pending problem,”  and the “you’re not the listing agent” problem. 

When you use these strategies, you’ll get so many more deals converted and you’ll end up helping a lot more buyers find an incredible home.

And, as always, feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have. I’m always happy to share the knowledge!

John Gluch.