When homeowners list their homes with real estate agents, they are almost never involved in the to potential buyers. Sure, there’s plenty of cleaning and staging to do, but then it’s time to turn on all the lights in the home, throw back the draperies and leave.
It’s a different situation when you’re selling your home FSBO. You don’t have an agent, so you’ll need to show the house unaided. So, what do you say to potential buyers when showing your home?
Are you dealing with potential buyers or their agent?
Regardless of your agent status, many buyers still choose to work with agents, which is why you should consider being flexible about offering a buyer’s agent his or her commission.
Outside of open houses where you’ll definitely need to be home, showing your property to a potential buyer starts by determining whether an agent will be present. If so, you might want to leave them to it. If not, it will be your job to show the buyer around.
When the buyer arrives, you may not want to say too much
When showing a buyer your home, you don’t want to be overly welcoming. That’s not to say you should give anyone the cold shoulder or make them feel as though they’re not welcome; it’s more about allowing a buyer to imagine they’re welcoming someone to their home. It’s part of the psychology of selling a home; buyers need to believe a property can be home.
Remember that many home buyers aren’t used to visiting properties without an agent, and may feel uncomfortable at first. Work with this and allow the buyer to lead the tour. You may want to ask whether she prefers to start outside or in, but let the buyer move through your home naturally.
Hopefully, you qualified the buyer on the telephone when he or she set up the appointment to view the home (ensured that he or she is pre-qualified for a loan, etc.). As much as you want to know about someone’s ability or interest, try not to ask too many questions. Your favorite features of your home may not be what attract a buyer to it. Instead, only point out upgraded or uncommon aspects of your property.
However, you should be prepared to answer plenty of questions. Be vague if probed for your reason for selling as, depending on what it is, the buyer can use it to knock down the price. If you’ve taken a job out of town, for instance, the buyer will know you need to move quickly and feel his has the advantage and may not offer full price.
As you answer other questions, try to keep to the facts without overly embellishing your details. Your enthusiasm might lead to trouble if you exaggerate any aspects of your home. If you don’t know the answer to a specific question, offer to get back to the buyer rather than fabricating answers.
By the same token, be honest about any problems with the home. These will come out during the disclosure process anyway and dealing with them upfront shows good faith on your part.
And, when you’re done with the tour, take a tip from professional real estate agents and head to the kitchen. As the heart of most homes, this is where buyers are more likely to feel comfortable enough to discuss their interests or apprehensions.
Finally, remember to know the process well enough to be able to take the conversation to the next step if your guest is ready to become a buyer.