Real Estate

Dealing With Indecisive Buyers? File Them, Don’t Fire Them

Who has time to deal with wishy-washy buyers in inventory-starved markets? Pat Hiban sits down with real estate coach Darryl Davis to get his top strategies on turning these buyers into opportunities for doubling business.

We interviewed dozens of real estate agents last month and asked all of them how their sales fared during the global pandemic. Surprisingly, most Realtors we spoke with reported that 2020 — a year full of uncertainty — was their business’ best year ever. With 2020 hindsight, I can see why.

Home values surged to all-time highs last year, and despite rapidly rising prices, homes sold fast. According to CNBC, 2020 home sales hit 5.64 million units — the highest sales volume U.S. real estate markets have seen since 2006.

2020 was the year to be a sought-after listing agent. And while plenty of buyer’s agents did incredibly well too, there’s no way they had it anywhere near as easy as listing agents did.

First of all, working with buyers in any type of market is a lot of work. Just showing homes takes a ridiculous amount of time when working with an indecisive buyer. Imagine going through that process again and again after getting outbid in the highly competitive markets we’re seeing right now. Thinking about it makes me so thankful to be retired from real estate sales.

A better way to work with buyers

But what if there was a better, easier way to work with buyers? Darryl Davis, a real estate coach and best-selling author, proposed one such method during one of my favorite podcast interviews to date. This method, which Davis dubbed “the shiny penny,” gives buyer’s agents the ability to close more deals with less effort.

Darryl Davis

How? It’s actually quite simple.

Remember the last time you browsed through the MLS and saw a listing that made you think, “Wow, this house is hot. It’s listed at a great price and is going to be gone quick”? You didn’t realize it then, but you found a shiny penny.

One of the first thoughts you hopefully had at that time was to get on the phone with your buyer clients. After all, who wouldn’t at least consider purchasing such a great place at such a great price?

Davis’ answer to the above question is this: A buyer who’s not really ready to buy.

Don’t fire your buyers — file them

Every experienced buyer’s agent knows how frustrating it is to work with an noncommittal buyer. At the point it becomes clear that you’re wasting your time, you might be tempted to fire your client. Don’t.

Instead, file these buyers by price range. The next time you stumble across a shiny penny, call all of the buyers in your file that might be a fit based solely on price range. According to Davis, style preferences, bedroom preferences — basically everything the buyers told you they wanted in a house — become secondary in the presence of clear value.

Besides, what sane buyer is going to berate you for bringing them the best deals on the market? If a buyer isn’t interested, simply move on to the next person in your file. Keep bringing the deals, and don’t feel obligated to shuttle buyers from property to property.

There’s not a buyer’s agency agreement out there that says it’s your job to be at a buyer’s beck and call, so stop wasting valuable time showing homes to noncommittal buyers. Instead, focus your efforts on finding great buys and presenting them to clients; that’s they key to earning more buyer commissions for a fraction of the effort you’re putting in now.

As Davis likes to say, “Less stress, income higher. Work the house, not the buyer.”

Listen to my full interview with Darryl Davis

Want to learn more about finding and promoting the shiny pennies in your market? How about hearing Davis’ strategy for doubling sales without spending more money on advertising? Listen to my full interview with Darryl Davis below for all that and more.


Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.

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