Residential Magazine

Don’t Let Them Off the Hook

These borrower excuses came up repeatedly, so prepare ahead of time

By Carl White

When a client comes to you with an objection, wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance exactly what to say in rebuttal? Well, good news. There are only a handful of big objections that consistently pop up over and over. And you can prepare an answer for each one of them.

If you can memorize a quick response — a designed conversation — to each objection, then you are literally all set. If you pause or sound uncertain, the buyer has already lost confidence in you, and you’ve lost them. When you practice your response and get it down, it will sound like it’s off the cuff, when in reality, you’re just very well prepared.

Shopping around

Objection No. 1 is: “I’m still shopping around.” You’ll hear this one all the time, and a typical response for many originators is: “OK, send me your best offer, and I’ll see if I can meet it or beat it.” Maybe you can’t beat it.
The key to an objection is to knock their knees out from underneath them (figuratively speaking). You want them to pause and think. Instead of telling them to send you the best offer they get, ask them right away, “What are you shopping for?”

When you practice your response and get it down, it will sound like it’s off the cuff, when in reality you’re just very well prepared.

Nine times out of 10, they’ll say, “I’m shopping for the lowest rate.” That’s when you say, “Great. Are you aware that the lowest rate typically has the highest cost? Do you want to save money today or do you want to save money over the life of the loan?”
Your initial response catches them off guard, then you’re able to backtrack and fill in information they probably weren’t aware of. Ask whether they’re open to your professional opinion and want to hear about a better way.
You’re gently taking the wind out of their sails and getting them to reconsider what it actually means to shop for the lowest rate. Lower rates often come with higher fees and higher mortgage insurance costs. Ask them, “Do you want the lowest rate or the lowest cost?”
If they come back with, “Well, I’m still going to shop around,” say, “Great, but just so you know, the full resource of my office stops today. Once you decide to work with us, we’ll give you our full attention.”

High rates

Objection No. 2 is: “Your rate seems high.” Rates have been going up and down, and you’re probably hearing this a lot. When someone comes to you and says that your rate seems high, respond with this: “Based on what?”
Their answer is probably something along the lines of what they’ve been hearing on the news, on Facebook or from their third cousin. Here’s how you get them. The borrower probably didn’t do anything more than just scan rates online, so ask them if they have filled out an application.
And mention this tidbit: “Are you aware that there are gimmicks out there everywhere? There also are real mortgage options. You need to go through the whole process to determine whether what you’re seeing is a real mortgage option or just a gimmick.”
Explain that there are at least seven factors that make up the interest rate. These include credit scores, the home’s location, the home price and loan amount, the downpayment, the loan term, the interest rate type and the loan type. If they didn’t apply, tell them these are gimmicks that aren’t real.
Respond with, “Would you like to take the uncertainty out of the equation? Let’s get your application started, review your credit and see what you qualify for based on today’s marketplace. How do you spell your name?” You want them to take the next step. Go straight into the application until they tell you to stop.

Bargain shopping

Objection No. 3 is: “I want the lowest rate.” You may have already addressed this objection if someone asked you one of the previous questions. When someone says they want the lowest rate, say that the lowest rate typically carries the highest cost. Would they like for you to show them a better way?
You want the consumer to squirm and say, “What do you mean? I want the lowest rate I qualify for.” Your whole goal in a designed conversation is to get the buyer to say some version of, “Oh, my gosh, I didn’t know that!” Then you become the expert, not them.
There is a certain percentage of the population that is so fixated on one thing (like the lowest rate) that no amount of explanation or detail will deter them from the thing they want. But the good news is that the vast majority of people can — and often will — change their minds when new and convincing information is introduced.
If you say, “The lowest rate typically carries the highest cost. Would you like for me to show you a better way?” and they say no, then wish them well and send them on their way. Or you can tell them to send you the best rate they get and you’ll see if you can beat it. If they agree to your help, then you get to show them that you’re the expert, and the best thing they can do is come to you for their loan.

More calls

Objection No. 4: “My Realtor gave me three names…” This is an old brush-off. Here’s what you say to that: “Who have you talked to so far besides me?” You ask this because half of consumers don’t shop around — and three in four buyers only apply with one lender or broker, according to a study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You want to know what number you are.
If you’re the first originator, go all in. Tell them, “I’m going to take such good care of you, you won’t even need to call those other two lenders.” If you’re the first person they’re talking to, chances are you’re going to land this client. It’s all yours to lose.
A helpful tip: Every time you connect with the lead, follow up with the referral partner. After the call, go back to the Realtor, builder or accountant who referred them to you and coach them: “Hey, Ms. Agent. I just got off the phone with Mr. Buyer. He told me you gave him three names. Are you open to a better way?”
If they say yes, then say, “We’ve found that when buyers talk to multiple lenders, it often overwhelms them and leads to confusion. And confused buyers don’t buy. If you’re open to a better way of referring, I’d suggest just giving them one name. Say, ‘Here is the best lender, but if it’s not a good fit, call me back and I’ll give you another name.’”
When your business partners refer in this way, it’s better for everyone. The challenge in this industry is to not waste time and resources on someone who won’t commit. By asking who they’ve already talked to, it lets you know where you stand and how much time and energy to put into the client.

Credit blemish

Objection No. 5: “I don’t want you to pull my credit because it will drop my score.” Your response should be: “I’ve heard that, too, but it’s not entirely accurate. Are you open to my professional opinion?” You are validating them by acknowledging that you’ve also heard that statement, but then you go on to tell them that it’s actually an urban myth or legend. A drop in your credit score only happens if your credit is being reviewed in multiple industries all at once.
If they say yes, then tell them, “If you want to take the uncertainty out of the equation, let’s go ahead and complete the application and review your credit.” Until they take this step, they’re dead in the water. It’s all guesswork and anxiety. If they say they’d feel more comfortable if they saw your rates first, ask them if they’re looking for a gimmick or real numbers.
If they want real numbers, tell them that you can’t give them real numbers without going through the process. A lot of factors affect the interest rate — credit, employment, income, debt-to-income ratio, loan program, downpayment, etc. Until they complete an application, it’s a gimmick. If they’re still not up for it, tell them, “It looks like we’re not a good fit. If anything changes, give me a call.”
These people will waste your time and complain every step of the way. They’re hard people to work with. In today’s environment, you have to be OK with saying no. You can use that time more wisely making calls and finding more Realtor partners.
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This is a serious business and this is a serious time, so mortgage originators need to have a serious plan in place. You can’t run your business out of desperation. Take the time to memorize these rebuttals to common objections. Tweak them and make them your own. You will close more loans if you already have the answers. ●


  • Carl White

    Carl White is founder and CEO of Mortgage Marketing Animals, a successful mortgage marketing training program. White is also a branch manager at one of the top mortgage branches in America and the host of the No. 1 podcast for loan officers, Mortgage Marketing Animals teaches the strategies that originators in White’s own branch use today to close more loans in less time. Learn more by visiting

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