They say it’s not what you know but who you know that matters. This statement can apply to virtually anything in life, and it’s particularly true when it comes to business deals. And in the business of real estate, paying careful attention to who you know (and how you treat them) can be a game changer.
As a seller, at the end of the day, keeping track of potential buyers might end up meaning you can sell your home faster. Because building a relationship with a buyer who’s on the search for their next home means you can reach out to them during the process along the way. And more times that you may think, part of what a buyer is looking for is a connection with a home. By nurturing that seller-buyer relationship, you may just foster that feeling in the right person.
What Prospective Home Buyers Are Looking For
As buyers sift through listings, they're looking for a home that meets their needs in two specific ways.
Criteria – A home needs to meet their criteria, which is to say it has the number of beds and baths they’re looking for, and it’s in the location they want to live in.
Price – Perhaps most importantly, a home needs to fit their budget.
Typically, when a buyer starts seriously looking for a home, they'll go through all the available listings and decide which homes they want to see. And just as easily, they’ll also decide certain listings aren’t worth looking at.
Their next step would be to view all the potential properties they think may be contenders. As they do, they’ll again weed out the ones they don’t like or can’t see themselves living in for one reason or another.
Once buyers have worked through all the inventory the first time, if don't find the right fit, it’s then they’re likely to reconsider homes they viewed and maybe previously dismissed.
This is why you should keep track of contact information as potential buyers look at your home. The ability to get in touch with buyers to keep them in the loop might help you sell your home. Reaching out to follow up with a buyer may be just what they need to motivate them to take another look, and maybe even buy.
How It Can Benefit You to Stay in Touch
If you receive an offer
If you receive an offer, you can contact everyone who has previously walked through or inquired about your home to let them know. Doing so can encourage additional offers and competitive bidding, which means you may get more money from the sale.
What to say: “We just wanted to let you know that we’ve received an offer on the house. We haven’t accepted it yet – just reaching out in case you are still interested.” – TIP: Keep it short and sweet.
If you change your price
If you change the price on your home, you can call or email potential buyers so they can reconsider your home at its new, lower price. If a buyer had your home on their shortlist but felt they were priced out, they may be eager to put in an offer once they hear about the price drop.
What to say: “Hello! We thought you might be interested in knowing that we’ve dropped the price on our home. Please let us know if you’re interested in coming back and taking another look around!” – TIP: Offer them another opportunity to look at the house.
If your listing isn't attracting enough buyers
If your listing isn’t attracting enough buyers, you may want to reach out to anyone who has already toured your home – they are the best source of feedback you'll ever get on your price and listing. You can ask them what they thought of your home and if they made an offer on another property. Getting this feedback can help you adjust your price or marketing strategy to appeal to more buyers.
What to say: “We’re curious to know what you thought about our home. Is there anything you loved or that you think would add value? Were there any questions you had about our home?” – TIP: Be sure to make this a safe conversation. You can be honest and let them know you’re genuinely interested in their feedback.
If you need a plan B
It's frustrating when an offer falls through, regardless of the reason. But, if you keep good notes and an offer were to fall through for any reason, you'll have that list of backup buyers to reach out to.
What to say: “We just had an offer fall through and thought we would reach out to see if you’re still in the market. Please let us know if you’d like to come see the house again!” –TIP: Don’t worry too much about why the deal fell through. You don’t need to go into much detail, and many prospective buyers won’t even ask.
If you need adviceIf you're working with HomeBay, you can share your activity and notes with us so we can help you evaluate how well your listing is doing in relation to other listings in the area. Knowing how much activity you’re getting helps us optimize your listing and attract more buyers.
What Info You Should Track for Prospective Buyers
Having a showing? Receive an email or phone call inquiring about your property? Did a friend mention to you they may know the perfect buyer looking in your area?
Be sure to get some basic information, and if you need a convenient place to track everything so it’s all in one place, download our free Potential Buyer Log.
Whether you use our log or create something of your own, be sure to get the following information from any prospective buyer:
The name of the person/agent who viewed
The date of each showing or contact
How they would prefer to be contacted (via email or phone)
Their contact information -- phone number and email address
Any feedback they gave you or notes about your discussion
Keeping track of prospective buyers along the way makes it a much simpler process to reach out when circumstances change or you have new information about your home. There isn’t a lot you need to get from a buyer, and you can ask for it without seeming overbearing or intrusive. Knowing a few details about buyers can save you a lot of headache (not to mention time) when trying to get back in touch with them.
When talking to prospective buyers, use some basic house showing etiquette to reassure them that you’ll respect their privacy and information. Let them know why you want their contact information and that you might be reaching out to tell them about a price change or if you receive another offer they may want to counter. And when and if you do contact a buyer, be mindful and respectful of their time. Don’t call late at night, and if calling a cell phone, you may not want to call in the middle of their working day when you know they’re unavailable. Take into account their preferred way of being contacted, and use that method if possible.
Making a connection with a buyer can end up being the single thing that actually sells your home. Doing it authentically, and with good intentions, might mean you find the perfect buyer and, perhaps, maybe even a friend along the way.