12 proven real estate scripts that boost confidence & earn more business

As a broker and real estate coach, I’m always surprised when new agents tell me they don’t want to use real estate scripts. A script is just a predetermined question or response that helps guide a conversation closer to your desired outcome. Knowing what you’ll say in advance on a call, at an open house, or just chatting with your sphere makes you more confident — and confidence is the key that opens the door to opportunity in real estate.

Below, you’ll find proven real estate scripts for 12 common situations to help you earn more business in 2024.

1. Expired listing cold calling script

Cold calling expired listings is a proven (if sometimes terrifying) way to find new business. These sellers were on the market with another agent before and could not sell. Usually, they’re inundated with agents calling them for the first few days after their listing expires. This is why it’s important to acknowledge how they may be feeling — doing so will help set you apart from other agents giving them the hard sell.

Back in my own cold-calling days, I tried every expired listing script in the book. This simple real estate script generates the best results because it acknowledges the sellers’ feelings and piques their interest:

Confidence booster: Go into these calls with the mindset that it’s a numbers game. Expect to be told “no” repeatedly, and know that if you keep at it, you will eventually get to a “yes!” This script is easier for more experienced agents with a track record of selling other expired listings, but don’t worry if you’re new. You could always partner up with a more experienced agent in your office and go on the appointment together.

2. FSBO cold calling script

For-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) are known for being mean and rude to agents, yet I’d encourage you to shift your mindset around FSBOs. They’re just people who think they’ll save money by not hiring an agent. They require a softer sell, education, empathy and nurturing. Lead with value!

One of my favorite seller clients was a FSBO who I became friends with. Once I explained how she would actually net more money working with me, she hired me — and not at a discounted rate, either! We successfully sold her house, and she was very happy with the results, even saying she was so glad she did not try to do it alone.

Here’s a non-threatening script to start building the relationship with a FSBO seller:

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3. Seller objection script: “The other agent said they can get us more money for our house”

This objection typically arises during the listing appointment in a competitive situation. Since so many agents are calling them, sellers are more likely to meet with multiple agents, so you’ll want to be prepared to handle this objection.

4. Seller objection script: ”Will you reduce your commission?”

There are many ways to handle this, from plainly saying “no” and moving on in the conversation to going into defense mode and arguing for your fee. My personal favorite response to this question is to provide multiple packages that sellers can choose from, like a menu of services. This strategy puts the seller in control and clarifies exactly what you will and will not provide.

If you go with a tiered commission structure like I do, here’s what you can say to explain it:

Confidence booster: No matter how you answer, emphasize that real estate commissions are always negotiable. Set your own rate and stick to it.

5. Buyer objection script: “We’re just going to work directly with the listing agent. We don’t need a buyer’s agent”

Time to get crystal clear on your value proposition for buyers if you’re not already! We’re going to be seeing more and more buyers saying this over the next year or so. Of course, there will always be buyers who truly do not see the value in agents and will never hire one, and that’s okay, too. Our job is to provide information about our services and value, ask if they want to work with us, and maintain the relationship no matter the response.

Most buyers, though, do not have a clear sense of everything we do for our buyers. That’s where this script comes in:

6. Door knocking around a just-sold listing

If you’re thinking about skipping this one, remember that you can door-knock around ANY just-sold listing. It doesn’t have to be yours! As long as you’re not pretending to be the listing agent, you have free reign to door-knock around anyone’s just-sold listing. If the listing agent is someone in your office, you may want to give them a heads-up as a courtesy, but it’s not required.

The strategy is simple: pick a listing that has just closed with multiple offers. If you can share exactly how many offers were received, this script will be even more powerful. Bring a printout of the MLS sheet, or even create a custom flyer! Then, go door-knock the houses around the listing and talk to the neighbors.

Here’s what you will want to say when they open the door:

Confidence booster: Most people will be friendly when you’re on their doorstep. Many won’t be home or will choose not to answer, but if you come prepared with a flyer to leave behind, it will still be a good use of your time. Just don’t put anything in the mailbox!

7. When a friend or family member hires another agent

We’ve all been there. You’re at the summer BBQ or pool party chatting with friends you haven’t seen in a while when someone mentions they just bought a new house. Great! Except they didn’t use you — gut punch. Immediately following their exciting announcement, there is a massive opportunity for you to demonstrate your professionalism. I see agents both succeed and fail at this.

Agents almost always fail when they become accusatory or defensive, even when they try to play it off as a joke: “Why didn’t you work with me?” Success comes from being gracious and humble and then asking for a referral.

That last part is key — most people will feel guilty about not working with you, which makes it one of the best times to ask for a referral. Here’s the script I use to ask for referrals in these situations:

Confidence booster: Remember: the relationship is far more valuable than the commission. People will likely expect you to get upset, so responding graciously and professionally will actually strengthen your relationship and hopefully lead to more referrals.

8. Asking your sphere for referrals

I know this is another one agents tend to avoid or feel icky about. This script is an easy, non-salesy way to train your existing network of friends, family, coworkers, and everyone in your sphere of influence to send you leads when they come across them. Your sphere will always be your best source of business if you teach them how to refer you AND keep in touch with them.

There are three key objectives in this script. Include all three for the best results:

  1. Ask for help. People love feeling helpful, and those who already know and like you will be eager to learn how they can help you. Starting with this first will hook them; they’ll be excited to learn how they can help you!
  1. Give them specific examples. Spell out a few specific life-change events where real estate might need to be bought or sold. The more specific, the better. Specific scenarios activate the brain more powerfully than simply asking, “Do you know anyone looking to buy or sell?”
  1. Include a direct ask. Here’s the most important part. Do not skip this part! It may feel a little uncomfortable initially, but asking directly if they will refer you achieves buy-in from whoever you’re talking to. They’ve agreed to refer you and will seek people to send you, consciously or sub-consciously.

Here’s a simple script that hits all three objectives:

Confidence booster: I recommend having this conversation in person or over the phone when possible, but it will also work via text. This versatile script can be used in almost any conversation, especially if you’re already talking about real estate.

When talking with someone who’s also a business owner, start by asking them how you can help them grow their business. Then, they will ask you the same question at some point, and you can lead right into this script!

9. Finding buyer leads at open houses

Every agent has their own style when it comes to hosting open houses. Some are more relaxed; some are more aggressive. I always advise agents to do what works best for them! I’ve found that open house attendees are more responsive to a laid-back approach.

Buyers come into the house very guarded, waiting for a pushy agent to attack them. So, job #1 is allowing them to let their guard down. Then, you can try to have a pleasant conversation that might open the door to working together in the future.

Here are a few non-threatening questions to ask buyers at an open house to start the conversation on the right foot and determine which buyers may want to work with you in the future:

Confidence booster: With open house buyer leads, the magic is in the follow-up. An agent in my office followed up with an open house lead for two years, with no response, until they were finally ready to buy. That one buyer lead resulted in three transactions totaling over $1 million in volume! Don’t get discouraged, and be sure to implement a follow-up system to stay in touch.

10. Closing script for the listing agreement

I’ve had the most success with a direct yet soft close, with several trial closes (example: “if we decide to work together…”) sprinkled throughout the appointment. At the end of the listing appointment, the seller either trusts you to get the job done, or they don’t. It’s as simple as that. The challenge is that most sellers won’t come out and say no directly. They’ll say something like they “need to think about it” or lean on any other objection as an excuse to avoid awkwardness or to simply end the meeting politely.

I tell you this to help take the pressure off. Your closing question won’t make or break anything in the appointment, but it is important to go in confidently with a strong closing script to seal the deal — assuming you did a great job proving you can sell their house in your listing presentation. Here’s my favorite simple yet direct script for closing sellers after your listing presentation:

Confidence booster: Depending on what they say, you’ll be able to handle their objection appropriately and determine whether it’s a good mutual fit or not. I always advise my coaching clients to go into every appointment with the mentality of the “right fit.” Not every seller is the right fit for every agent, and that’s ok. Don’t force it! If it’s a match, great! Isolate the objection, handle it, then go back to the original script and close for the signatures.

11. Asking for a price reduction on stale listings

We don’t have many stale listings in the Boston area, but they happen occasionally, especially when the seller’s price is too high. Talking price can be tricky, as emotions are usually high, so it’s important not to let the sellers feel offended by suggesting a lower price. This is tough enough at the initial appointment. It’s another thing when we’re talking price reductions after being on the market for a few months!

We discussed this at length during our most recent Quiet Success Club mastermind call. I’ll share with you what I shared on that call: make the price all about the data and the market rather than your opinion. Root the pricing conversation in hard facts by showing sellers actual comps and including all the photos from the MLS so they can see the condition of other homes and see for themselves how their property compares to their competition.

I’d always recommend talking about pricing on the phone, as well. This isn’t the time for text or email, although you can follow up with an email afterward to keep a record of the conversation.

Confidence booster: Another piece of advice is to plant seeds for the pricing conversation at your initial listing appointment. Tell sellers there’s a chance the price may be too high, and if that’s the case, set the expectation that you’ll be recommending a price adjustment in a few weeks. Managing expectations at the beginning of your professional relationship makes this conversation much easier!

12. Taking a vacation!

Unpopular opinion: if you bring your laptop on vacation, it doesn’t count as a vacation. Enjoying truly unplugged time away from your business will make you a stronger agent, a better negotiator, and a more patient human. Good for you + good for your clients!

This real estate script can be used in your email auto-responder message, your outgoing voicemail message (yes, go ahead and change it. You can always change it back when you get home), and in the message you send to all your clients before you leave:

Real estate scripts: The full picture

Feel free to tweak these scripts to make them your own, but be sure to practice them! Practice in the car by yourself, with your peers in the office, or join my group — we do a monthly role-play session in addition to our mastermind, where we practice exactly what to say!

By practicing and role-playing real estate scripts, you’ll soon start to internalize them and use them more naturally. This will give you the confidence to conquer any real estate conversation and win more business!

About Ashley Harwood

Ashley Harwood began her real estate career in 2013 and built a six-figure business as a solo agent before launching Move Over Extroverts in 2018. She developed training materials, classes, and coaching programs for her fellow introverts. Beginning in 2020, Ashley served as Director of Agent Growth for three Keller Williams offices in the Boston metro area. She’s now the Lead Listing agent for the Fleet Homes team in Massachusetts and a regular contributor to Vetted by HousingWire. She created The Quiet Success curriculum and has taught thousands of real estate agents nationwide. She has also been a guest speaker at top industry events and has been named a leading real estate coach by prominent industry publications.

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