buy sell diceThe buy first or sell first conversation really matters.  If our prospects or clients make the wrong decision, the outcome can be catastrophic.

Some clients will ask us this question before they take action. Others will not. Those few clients that do ask are making it easier on both parties.

Have you ever had that nagging voice in the back of your head telling you–all is not right.  Our inner voice or intuition is usually worth listening to.

Often, clients make this important real estate decision based on assumptions that are invalid.  They may believe that their home is highly saleable, when it’s not.  They often believe their home is worth significantly higher than the actual market value.  They may believe that buying a home is a simple process.  Perhaps, they see the real estate market as static. The list goes on.

How do we challenge their assumptions, without challenging them?

The art of powerful questions is an important element of Unscripted Sales. We, as real estate agents, want to help them uncover the belief or perspective that causes a bad decision, without activating their defensiveness.  It’s a delicate balance.  Here are some examples:

Unskilled:  “Can you afford to buy this home before you sell your existing home?”


Skilled:  “I can see that you really like this home, that’s great.  We haven’t spoken much about your current home – is that a conversation we could have now, so that we can be sure of making the best decisions for you moving forward?”

Unskilled:  “We should be able to sell your home quickly in this market.  Where will you go?”


Skilled:  “We should be able to sell your home quickly and for a great price in this market but the other important part of the equation is deciding where your family will move to. We should be working together to build a strategy that will be successful for you.  What thoughts have you had about the next steps?”


Unskilled: “Properties have been selling very quickly, but things can always go wrong.”


Skilled:  “The market has been very healthy and homes have been selling very well, but things can change quickly.  We want to be prepared for the worst cases scenario, even though it’s unlikely.  Would you like to have a conversation about the pros and cons of each option, and move forward from there?”

Some real estate agents may feel that if clients want to go ahead and sell or go ahead and buy, then we would be foolish to open up the can of worms around this question.  They’d say, “Take the listing”,   “Take the offer” and let the clients worry about the rest.  I strongly disagree.  We are in the era of Buyer Representation and that means that we are truly working for the buyer’s best interest.  Helping them make good decisions in difficult situations is a key part of the value we bring to them.

For more in depth information on this conversation, email us ( for a resource paper called, “The Buy First or Sell First Conversation” which covers the subject in detail including,