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How to tell in just 15 seconds whether a buyer is serious or not

25 June 2019 Tim Neary

Being able to read buyers is a critical skill in real estate, says Dib Chidiac, owner of DIB CHIDIAC Real Estate, and the first 15 seconds with a prospective buyer is all you need to know whether they are serious, or just curious.

Mr Chidiac said the way you read someone is through their tone of voice, body language, how they talk to you and how much they talk.

“And you just know when they come through the property whether they like it or not,” he told REB on the Secrets of the Top 100 Agents podcast.

“The saying goes that in the first 10 to 15 seconds, you know if you like a property or not. Well, the same goes for buyers. The first 10 to 15 seconds between yourself and prospective buyers will indicate whether they are serious or not.”

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Mr Chidiac said he loves negotiating.

“Because it means that we have been able to extract the best possible price from that buyer — the right way and honest way. Which they appreciate, and of course, so does the owner.”

But Mr Chidiac also said it is a practiced skill.

“It’s hard to do because some people sometimes don’t really know how to negotiate, but it gets easier to do when you are doing more deals.

“You are essentially practising more often. It’s like you are role playing every day, and finessing that skill of negotiation.”

First impression

He said making the correct initial assessment is crucial. 

“First and foremost, whether they are a hot buyer or not, you identify who they are, where they come from and why they are here.

“Meeting them at previous open for inspections allows you to know their backstory — perhaps they missed out on a previous auction. Sometimes you get a buyer that comes through that you can just feel they are enjoying the property, the positive energy is out there. They’re looking, they’re asking the right questions. It feels like they have a lot of energy.”

Mr Chidiac said that it happens sometimes that the negotiations slow down.

“If things begin to slow down, I try to find out the reason why,” he said.

“It could be the price, it could be the marketing, or the way the vendors aren’t reacting to the marketplace. In situations where there have been no enquiries or no buyers coming in and we feel that the property is priced right, sometimes we’ll take the price guide off the internet and take out information that we’d normally have there and try to get enquiries that way. Or we might hit some call sheets.

“But realistically, in the marketplace that we are in, if there is no competition out there from buyers, it really comes down to the price point, and if you get that right you will start to get interest again. It is really important to create competition in the negotiation process, and that has to do with the pricing and the marketing of the property.”

How to tell in just 15 seconds whether a buyer is serious or not
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