The Permissive Close


Realtor friends, as you know, residential real estate sales is an exciting blend of sales and service. The service part is oftentimes more enjoyable, but we need to ask for the sale first to provide the service. Sometimes we may not have all the rapport we should but the timing is right to ask for the sale. This is where The Question Close works best. 


Let’s start by acknowledging a universal truth about our profession: the foundation of residential real estate sales is trust. In fact, the higher the price tag of a purchase for a consumer, the more they need to be able to trust the salesperson they are buying from. For almost all consumers, buying a home represents their biggest purchase, so the trust level they have with you needs to be high.


Building trust can take time. With some consumers, it will take more time than with others. 


Yet there might be moments early in your client relationship when they’ve found the right home but you haven’t earned their trust. How do you ask for the sale without having earned their trust? There’s a high probability that you will come off ‘salesy’, or have ‘commission breath’.  


But you know this is the right house for them and don’t want them to miss it! 


Enter the Question Close.


Instead of the direct Question Close, (e.g., “Want to make an offer?”), which may feel assertive and salesy in the absence of trust, the Question Close employs a more permissive approach. Effectively, you are asking permission to ask for the sale. It puts the consumer in control and also recognizes that it’s not appropriate in the relationship to directly ask. 


For instance, if you’re with potential buyers during an initial showing and sense that the house is a perfect fit for them, try: “It looks like this home meets most of your preferences. Sometimes you find The One early in the process. Would it be alright if I asked if you would like to make an offer?” 


This approach isn’t about undermining your expertise or authority. It’s about showing respect for the client’s pace and decision-making process. It also acknowledges with its permission-based approach that you don’t have the right to ask them directly with the limited amount of trust you’ve cultivated so far. By asking for their permission, you’re not assuming. You’re engaging. 


The Question Close might not be your go-to strategy, but it’s a valuable tool when you’re navigating those early stages of client relationships. It’s a gentle ask, not a forceful push. By putting the decision back in their hands, you’re not losing trust, and even if they do not elect to move forward at that moment, you have maintained respect for the relationship and continue to earn trust. 


Questions about this closing technique or any other real estate queries? Reach out, and let’s connect.