Buyer anxiety is a major barrier for many real estate sales. To be successful, sellers have to alert to the needs and emotions of potential buyers.

Sellers should permit shoppers to look through a home unmolested. There are two important ways to do this. First, provide physical distance between the buyers and yourself. Second, have a prepared set of questions through which you can elicit information but not frightening away prospects.

Aggrevating as it is, sellers and brokers often follow buyers through homes like lost spaniel. But buyers need psychological space and this cannot develop when an extra someone is constantly muttering in the background or pointing out the obvious. Buyers in this situation cannot have an open conversation because their privacy has been breached.

Real estate selling is often high-pressure, which can make prospects feel inordinately uncomfortable.Your home can be a refuge from this grinding environment if you create the right conditions. Consider this situation:

Potential buyers visit on open house. They are welcomed with, "Come in, feel free to look around. The kitchen is over there." There is no pressure in this greeting. If the buyers have questions they will ask.

After the buyers have looked through the house, try these questions:

"How many bedrooms do you need?" If they say five and you've got three a match-up is possible but unlikely. However, this is a far better tactic than asking how much they want to spend.

"How does this home compare with others you have seen?" The response to this question will provide some idea of what the buyers have seen and what they would prefer. It can also tell a seller how long the buyers have been in the market.

"Do you have a house now?" If so, mention the idea of transferring equity from one property to another. If the buyer is a renter, talk about the tax and economic advantages of home ownership.

"Do you think this house would meet your needs?" If the answer is positive or "yes, but," you may have a serious prospect. This is the time to offer coffee, sit down, and listen to your buyer. What problems do they have? What are their reservations?

If the conversation goes reasonably well it may be the proper moment to enter serious negotiations. Sellers should ease into this process gently. Do not blurt out, "Let's write up a contract!" Instead, mark down on a plain pad the various points mentioned by your prospects. This list can then be used as the basis of a formal agreement.