What to SAY (or not say, as the case may be) to Respectfully Decline the Monkey!


posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

Glad you stuck with me through the Monkey Series! You made it all the way to the punch line.

In case you just stumbled onto this series, you should probably read it from the beginning – starting here. Or not. Your call.

It’s really easy for Old Fogie types (like me) to confidently proclaim that WE don’t accept Monkeys that aren’t ours to mess with, and WE (said in a deep, gravely voice) just tell our clients the way it is and if they don’t agree; NEXT!

But it’s not that easy, especially for newer agents who really aren’t sure what their responsibilities are, and are not in the mood to NEXT anyone. So, here are some tips.

•       Don’t be an objection-buster (aka Silence is Golden). When a client throws out objections, concerns or stumbling blocks, think before you speak. Often these objections, concerns or stumbling blocks will be HIS Monkeys, not yours. Just smile, nod and make an “I hear ya” noise, and let the client continue. If he wants your input, he’ll ask for it directly, but until he does, just listen without offering solutions.

If, after your moment of golden silence, you realize that this IS your Monkey, go ahead and offer a response or solution. If you aren’t sure, just write it down or commit it to memory to ponder later. You can always accept a Monkey after the fact, but it’s much tougher to return a Monkey after you’ve accepted it prematurely.

•       Ask “What’s Your Plan B?” as if you are not guaranteeing the desired outcome… which you aren’t. I use this strategy with sellers who are being a little stubborn about pricing, accessibility or condition. I sweetly ask them what they will do if their home doesn’t sell for the price they “need” or, at all. This subtly lets them know that while I’ll do my best, I won’t take full responsibility for their home selling – that’s not a Monkey I’ll accept.

•       A la Jackie Leavenworth, the Real Estate Whisperer – if a buyer or seller looks to you to solve a problem that isn’t reasonably yours to solve (e.g. you give up some of your commission to put or hold a deal together), you can gently say something like “I’ve found that when a real estate agent wants to make a deal more than the other parties involved, it’s not the right deal to make.” (Jackie has a whole audio CD on negotiations that is superb – check it out at: http://www.coachjackie.com/jackiesproducts). If you like my stuff, you’ll love hers.

So, what IS the punch line?

If you know what Monkeys are yours to carry… and which are not… and you respect the other party enough to let him keep his own Monkeys, you’ll be a much happier, healthier and RESTED real estate agent!


The Epilogue – I have a very timely situation to share with you about two agents on opposite sides of a deal who both accepted Monkeys they shouldn’t have. Stay tuned! 

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