The Best Time to Ask a Seller for a Referral

The Best Time to Ask a Seller for a Referral

Knowing how to ask for referrals in real estate is imperative. For most real estate agents, 9 out of every 10 transactions will be from a referral or from a past client. There are two main challenges that most REALTORs face when considering referrals: how to ask for a referral in real estate, and when to ask for a referral.

Let’s face it, it can be uncomfortable to ask for a referral in real estate. It feels unnatural to us. Furthermore, we can also end up fearing rejection. If you would like to start tackling your fear of rejection, read the first couple sections of The Easiest Door Knocking Strategy Ever.

The main technique to help overcome fearing rejection is focusing on the effort and not the result. You are praising the act of asking for a referral and not what comes of asking. You can’t control the result, but you have complete power over the effort.

In particular, asking sellers for a referral can be challenging. Especially if they are leaving town. The reason most REALTORs struggle with this finding the right time to ask the seller for a referral is difficult. If they are leaving town, do you ask after closing? Or while they are in the final stretch of packing up for their move? All of these times can be great but there is one time that most real estate agents don’t think about: when the buyer has removed conditions.

This can be such a powerful time. Usually, the seller is excited that their home is now officially sold and they can start packing up. This doesn’t mean this is the only time you should ask for a referral, it’s just an effective time to ask.

At this point, they are usually talkative with their friends and family about the sale. Also, the sold sign goes up and they could have further conversations with their neighbors about the process.

Script for Asking for Referrals in Real Estate

Hi [Name],

Congrats again on the home sale! Between the packing and organizing, I hope you still get a chance to celebrate.  

I really did enjoy working with you and would love to work with more people like you! If you know of anyone who may be looking for real estate advice we are always on the hunt for more great clients like you. We work almost exclusively by referral so if anyone comes to mind we are always happy to help. (If not no worries, of course)

Regardless, it has been such a pleasure working with you and I’m looking forward to working closely with you on the final stretch as we approach possession.


[Your Name]

For this strategy, you can send it by email, put it in a handwritten card, or ask them over the phone. All these approaches work well.

Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Rev Real Estate School. The podcast with quick tips and actionable advice to help you sell more real estate in today's world. And now your host Michael Montgomery.


[00:00:11] Hello and welcome back to Rev Real Estate School. My name is Michael Montgomery.


[00:00:17] In real estate, if we are not going after referrals we can pretty well just close up shop right now. Referrals are basically what runs most people's business in this industry. There's other ways of course of getting deals done but referrals should always be your number one source. These are people that are sending your name on to other people and you were already having a leg up because you have been recommended by somebody that they trust in this episode we are going to be talking about one referral that you may not be asking for when a buyer closes a transaction that is typically the time that people think about referrals the buyer's excited they have moved into their new house they are ready to rock and roll their unpacking they want to tell everybody they're having a they're having a housewarming party.


[00:01:14] Well what about for sellers though when sellers clothes and keys are transferred and they leave their house? Sometimes that can be a really positive thing. But other times that can be a little bit more of a challenging thing for them depending on where they're going. So asking for referrals from sellers it's also a great time when they close. It's also a great time to ask for a referral.


[00:01:35] However there is a time that I think usually works a little bit better when asking a seller for a referral especially if the seller is moving out of town if they're leaving town and they move to a different city you can still ask them for a referral upon closing I'd highly recommend it. But sometimes it doesn't go as far because they've already changed jobs changed towns and they're out of here.


[00:01:59] So for sellers the one potential source for a referral that I'd recommend asking is when the deal goes firm. When the seller gets word that their place has sold and it will go towards possession that is when I would recommend asking the seller for a referral and even potentially sending the seller their closing gift especially if they're leaving town I find this can be pretty tricky if you don't know where they're going or even if you do know where they're going to get their address trying to get them their closing gift can be a little bit of a challenge.


[00:02:30] Once conditions have been removed can usually be a pretty exciting time for sellers similar to when buyers are moving in. Sellers can be excited when their conditions have been removed as they start to move towards possession. It can start to become pretty stressful for them. A big move lots of stuff that they have to take care of. But once conditions are removed they can be quite excited. So this is a great time to ask a seller for a referral. They're also talking to people at work. They're probably talking to the neighbors because the neighbors have seen the sold sign go up. So what a great time to ask the seller if they know of anybody or if they cross paths with anybody in the near future that could potentially need help selling their home. It's an opportunity that is usually missed in our industry and then I find once it comes to possession yes you can ask the sellers afterwards. And oftentimes this can lead great places. But this is just one more opportunity that you might be able to get a dealer to done a year just from asking sellers at the right time when they are excited.


[00:03:37] Now if you'd like to know how we ask for referrals we try to go about it in more of a gentle way we're not asking for them to provide us with anybody's name phone number email address. We don't think that that approach works as well in this day and age. So if you'd like to know our strategy it's usually done over e-mail or even text just to give the gist to give the seller or the client or the buyer for that matter a potential way out. We don't want any sort of circumstance that could potentially hurt our relationship but it is our job to ask for referrals and we should be doing it because a lot of people are more than happy to provide us with referrals. They just don't even know that we're looking for them.


[00:04:19] So that's the other side to asking for referrals if you head over to the show notes. We will have our exact email template for you if you would like to use that when asking for referrals. And thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you have any questions feel free to reach out and we will catch you at the next lesson.


[00:04:39] This episode of Rev Real Estate School has come to a close. Thank you for tuning in. We'll see you back here for the next lesson.

Follow Up Reading:

5 Thank You Notes to Send in Real Estate

9 Ways To Get a Listing as a New Real Estate Agent

Top Habits of REALTORs

Questions: When do you ask for referrals? Do you have a script you use? Let me know in the comments below.

-Michael Montgomery