8 Questions Real Estate Agents Need to Ask Buyers before Showing Homes
Getting the Important Information First
When it comes to selling a home, a little groundwork goes a long way. While some real estate agents rush their clients through dozens of houses, seasoned professionals recognize the importance of preemptive information exchange before showing homes. If you’re focused on establishing trust and eliminating waste, learn eight critical questions you should ask before showing a home.
- Why do you want to buy a home now? This question can elicit relevant information, including pregnancies, job changes or a child leaving for college. You can then use this insight to tailor your services to the buyer’s specific needs, so that you are only showing homes that your client is interested in.
- Are you working with a lender? This question allows you to begin a financial conversation. If the prospective buyer is not pre-approved, you will have the opportunity to help by recommending a lender.
- What are your maximum acceptable monthly payments? Just because a potential buyer has been approved for a $600,000 mortgage does not mean he or she is willing to purchase a $600,000 house. It’s important to assess whether the buyer will be able to handle a specific monthly payment, and you don’t want to waste time showing homes that your client can’t afford.
- What are your desires and needs? Agents need to help buyers reconcile needs vs. wants and help them realize they may need to compromise on one or both.
- Do you understand the added costs that come with a home purchase? Many first-time buyers are taken aback when they learn about the need for down payments, earnest money, option fees, appraisal costs, home inspections and, in certain cases, surveys. It’s important for agents to prepare potential buyers for the inevitability of out-of-pocket costs.
- Are your willing to accept potential fees and mandates associated with a homeowner’s association? Some people have strong opinions about HOAs and may not be willing to buy a house in neighborhoods governed by strict rules.
- Are you planning to live in your new home long-term or do you view it as an investment? While many people see a house as a home, others are more interested in what the property will be worth in five years. In these cases, you may need to refer them to resources that provide socio-economic and valuation data.
- What is a deal breaker for you? Some people have unyielding visions of what their new house should look like, while others are much more open-minded. Be sure to clearly identify deal breakers, such as too few bathrooms, no backyard, heavy traffic and proximity to schools. Bringing a client to the wrong house can be a serious waste of time and resources. Avoid this type of waste for both you and the buyer by clearly identifying non-negotiable obstacles that might prevent a sale.
Learn more about how a Home Warranty can save homeowners from unpleasant financial surprises and add value to your business.