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How to talk the talk when selling your own home.

Blog, On the market

Our complete guide on how to talk to buyers in real estate sales.

If you’ve been through our resources on how to sell your own home, you’ll know by now that it’s not as hard as it looks. However, while you’ve got the home staging, property valuation, and marketing side of things covered, what you may not know is how to actually seal the deal.

The most nerve-wracking challenge many property owners face when selling it themselves is learning how to talk the talk. Luckily, that’s another skill that’s easy to learn, and we can show you how.

In this article, you’ll learn how to:

  • Talk to buyers in real estate sales.
  • Snag the right buyer’s attention.
  • Follow up with potential home buyers.
  • Show your home.
  • Handle criticism.

Talking to buyers in real estate sales.

Before you find any potential buyers to talk to, it’s essential to know the basics. Here, we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know, so you’re ready for when the time comes.


Don’t overthink it.

Watching reality home sale shows on Netflix might have you thinking that selling tactics is an art form. While additional skills do come with experience, don’t overthink it. Buyers love nothing more than an honest sale. Be polite and straightforward with people, and you’ll find that the house will do the rest of the talking.

Be prepared.

The best customer service comes from knowing your product. A house sale is no different. If you don’t know much about your property, now’s the time to search every nook and cranny. Find out info like the block size, distance to public transport, local council restrictions, and anything else buyers would want to know.

Having the answers to these questions will calm your nerves and give you the confidence you need when talking the talk. Better yet—having pamphlets with this info in a binder to hand out at inspections will definitely impress.

Active listening is your friend.

When talking with a buyer, listen to their needs and situation. The better you know your client, the easier it is to tailor your sale to their wants. Ask them questions and notice:

  • Do they love entertaining?
  • Do they have young children?
  • Are they looking to move in ASAP?

Once you know your buyer, you can subtly draw their attention to the features that suit their lifestyle. For example, you could point out the spacious back deck with outdoor ceiling fans that is great for entertaining friends during summer, or perhaps the fact that there is a park just two minutes away.

Don’t go over the top with this one—it’ll come across as transparent and tacky. You’ll lose any rapport you’ve built so far, which is the last thing you want to do!

Don’t overshare.

Small talk is a great way to build confidence and friendliness with potential buyers, but don’t get carried away. Sharing personal information could weaken your negotiating position. In a perfect world, you could be as open and honest as the property you’re selling.

However, some people would take advantage of any shortcomings or anxieties you may have. To get the best price for your home and to avoid awkward conversations down the track, stick to what’s important—the house itself.

Make yourself easy to reach.

You can put off buyers with something as simple as a missed call. Make yourself more available by purchasing a secondary number dedicated to the sale of your home. Give it a unique ringtone, and you’ll know it’s an important incoming call.

Remember that everyone has their preferred way to communicate, so try to be available via as many methods as possible, including email, phone, SMS, or in person. You may find yourself busier than usual, but it’ll all pay off in the end.

Now that you know how to talk to buyers in real estate sales, you’re ready to start reaching out!


Snagging the right buyer’s attention.

You can’t start engaging with potential buyers until you’ve found some! Your time is valuable, so when you do find interested parties, it’s best if they’re already a good fit for your property.

To make sure your home is what they’re looking for, be honest with your listing. The right buyer will know what they’re looking for, so a dishonest or overly boastful online listing will draw in the wrong crowd.

List your property’s advantages, brag about its features, and use up-to-date photos. Don’t waste potential buyer’s time, and they (hopefully) won’t waste yours.

How to qualify buyers.

Qualifying buyers is a vital part of any good real estate agent’s sales process. Ask the right questions and you can identify where a buyer is on their purchasing journey, their motivations, current circumstances, and price expectations.

Here’s our list of questions to help get you started:

  1. Do you have finance pre-approved?
  2. Are you planning to buy right now or just looking?
  3. Do you need to sell another property before being in a position to buy?
  4. Ideally, what sort of price range are you hoping to buy within?
  5. Have you bid on anything recently?

Don’t underestimate how important asking these questions is. With this information under your belt, you’ll get more information about how to handle enquiries and put yourself in a stronger position to negotiate a sale successfully.

Following up with potential home buyers.

Once you’ve got some interested buyers, it’s time to start drawing them in.

1. Property inquiries are your ‘in’.

We strongly recommend following up with everyone who asks about the property online. Create a generic email or SMS template to send out that finishes with a question, encouraging them to respond.

Some key points to remember at this stage are to:

  • Begin the call by introducing yourself and checking if it’s a good time to talk.
  • Let them know you’re checking in with all the buyers who have inquired or have already attended an inspection.
  • Be prepared with property info in case they ask follow up questions.
  • Have a friendly, peppy, and professional demeanour.
  • Finish the call by telling them to take some time and think it all over before getting back to you.

2. At the next point of contact, gauge whether they’re still interested in the property.

You can be direct with buyers at this point as there’s no use beating around the bush. Their interest levels will determine what steps you take next.

  • If they’re VERY interested, find out what their roadblocks are.
    • Let them know how they can make an offer.
    • Mention in passing when there are other interested parties or offers on your property.
  • If they’re interested but unsure, find out what their roadblocks are.
    • Do they have finance pre-approved, or do they need to talk to the bank?
    • Are they planning to arrange a building or pest inspection? Could you provide any recent reports in the meantime to give them peace of mind?
    • Would they like a follow-up inspection to show the home to loved ones?
    • Do they have any questions or concerns that would prevent them from making an offer?
  • If they’re NOT interested, ask for their feedback.
    • Look for reasons why they aren’t proceeding with further inspections. Is it because of the price, the suitability of the home, or other reason? It may be something you can fix or negotiate for them or future buyers.
    • Ask for permission to keep their details on file if any future price reductions should the property not sell quickly.

Showing your home to interested buyers.

We’ve gone through how to run open houses before, but here’s a few reminders for your big day:

  • Plan for the weather. Check a reliable forecast before booking an open house throughout the week. Sunny days are best, as they’ll bring happier and chattier buyers to the showing.
  • Pick your time of day. You set the times for the open houses, not the buyers, so go for when the natural light floods your living spaces the most. Not only will this give potential buyers a better view of the place, but it’ll appear larger than life.
  • Remember the three S’s. Staging a house for sale is a crucial step to the sale. Prepare your home like a pro by sterilising, setting the scene, and stashing shamelessly.

Handling criticism from potential home buyers.

Whether you love your home or wish it were gone already, it’s time to face the facts—not everyone will like what they see.

  • Don’t take it personally. Take negative feedback or disinterested buyers as an opportunity to learn what they didn’t love about the house. If you can, also try to find out what they did appreciate. That’ll give you a chance to capitalise on crowd-pleasing features for when you hold your next open house.
  • Criticism—or negotiation tactic? Consider that the critique could be the buyer’s way of knocking both your confidence and the price of the house down. Be wary of which remarks could be legitimate feedback and which comments you should take with a grain of salt.
  • A chance to rebound and rebuild. If you do decide to take the criticisms on board, figure out if these are fixable issues. Some things you can’t change—a large yard is a large yard. That said, there are plenty of changes that could fix smaller problems right up. Get a handyperson out for the day to fix squeaky doors, clunky air-cons or give that deck a shine.

Final tips for dealing with home buyers.

By following this guide, you’ll be talking to people interested in your property like a pro.

We’ll leave you with some final tips to lift your negotiations game:

  • Don’t forget about your own presentation. It might be your house that’s on sale, but your own appearance matters too. When talking to potential buyers, dress for the occasion. Channel your inner agent and go for the smart casual look. Buyers will take you a lot more seriously!
  • Be calm and prepared. Maintaining an air of confidence around buyers will make them believe you’ve done this before. Besides, no one knows your house better than you do, so you have absolute authority on the matter!
  • Fake it ’til you make it. Yes, we’ve all heard this one before, but that’s because it works! Even if you find it uncomfortable to start with, we promise it’ll get easier with time. Bite the bullet and leap. Walk around like you own the place (because you do—and don’t forget it)!

Don’t just take it from us—hear from other sellers who have made the sale.

It’s normal to feel nervous when trying out a new skill—especially when you have to jump in the deep end.

These sellers know how you feel. They’ve felt exactly how you do but rest easy that they went through with the sale—and so can you.

Nikki Ciotola
‘Listen to the buyer’s needs. Don’t talk to them, don’t sell to them. Ask them what their needs are, get interested in them and their search. Then you will find the matches, and the rest sells itself. Agents focus on percentages, and that’s just a ‘game of manipulating one to agree’…change the game by investing in people, not percentages.’

Nigel Steven
‘Don’t dress like a buyer. Dress like an agent with business clothes—a suit, white shirt, and the like. There is a good reason why agents look smart; it makes them look professional, confident and as if they know what they are talking about. I have viewed several “owner sellers” properties and, without exception, the owners looked very casual and dressed the same as the potential buyers. One couple were wearing shorts and tees and looked like they had just returned from the beach. The best thing about “PropertyNow” is that the name doesn’t have “owner” in it. “PropertyNow” could be a regular real estate firm, not just an owner’s way of saving money on selling fees. Dress like an agent—you will feel confident, and buyers will find confidence in you. Good luck.’

Wendy Barnard Fitzgerald
‘Just be yourself and smile. My experience proved that potential buyers loved dealing with the owner. Give them space, listen, answer their questions, and point out all the positives.’

Jennifer Mulder
‘I actually found having an emotional attachment to the house it was easy to point out the positives to the buyers and also the advantages of living in a small country town—particularly for families.’

For more success stories of sellers like you talking the talk, check out our other testimonials here.

We know real estate speak—and everything else you need to know!

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