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Ask These Six Questions to Qualify Your Buyers

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The decision to buy a home is one of the most emotional and expensive transactions a person will ever make. You, as a professional real estate agent, will play an important role in helping your buyer find their dream home.

Ask your potential buyers these questions to determine how serious they are about buying a home now or if they are “just looking.”   

1. How long have you been looking for a home? 

Ask them how they have been searching whether it’s been online, by themselves, with a previous agent etc. Ask if they had come close to buying a home and if so, what happened to stop that purchase. 

2. Are you already working with another agent and if so, have you signed an agreement with that agent?

Potential buyers may “shop” around or try to have more than one agent working for them, especially if they did not sign an agreement.

If they have worked with an agent but are no longer doing so, ask them why the relationship ended.

3. Are you preapproved for a mortgage to buy a home now? If so, for how much and from whom?  

If the client is not yet preapproved for a mortgage, it may mean they are not yet serious about making a commitment to buy. If they insist that they are ready, but have not been preapproved, advise them that getting that done as soon as possible is imperative. It will give them (and you) an idea of how much they can afford. It may also be a factor in helping them get their offer accepted if there is a bidding war.

4. What is your budget to buy a new home? How will you finance that purchase? 

The client may also be counting on profits from the sale of an existing home, using savings or receiving a gift or loan from a relative.  Do they have a contingency plan if that does not happen? Knowing all this information upfront will help you determine what houses will be in their overall budget.

An agent should not advise a client whether they can afford a home or how they should finance it. The client should rely on the advice of their lender who can advise them on the highest sales price and mortgage they can afford and the best type of mortgage for their needs. 

5. What is your current living arrangement?

If they are selling their current home, ask:

  • Where do you live now?
  • How long has your house been on the market?
  • Do you already have an agent handling that transaction?
  • What is your desired timeline to move?
  • Is the purchase of a new home contingent with you selling your current home?

If they are renting, ask:

  • What is your timeline?
  • Do you need to break a lease and if so, are you prepared to do that?

6. If I found you the perfect home now, would you be ready to commit to the purchase? 

If it turns out your potential client is not yet ready to commit to buying a home, you can gently let them know that while now might not be the right time, you will be happy to work with them when they are ready. Showing courtesy and respect every step of the way will demonstrate your professionalism and will ensure your not-yet clients keep you in mind for their future needs, as well as those of their family and friends.

For more tips and resources on how to convert leads into clients and make more sales and income, visit www.buffini.com.  

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