Pre-Qualifying A Buyer In Today's Market
Let's face it. The real estate market is not what is was just a couple of years ago when buyers were practically banging down doors in order to buy properties. Times have certainly changed, and buyers are becoming more selective and patient during the home search process. Today, real estate agents receive a call from a buyer and immediately want to show them property because they are afraid of loosing the potential buyer to another agent. How do we truly know if these prospective buyers are even worth working with? It is imperative for real estate professionals to properly pre-qualify prospective buyers in order to make sure that they are truly good buyers and not good liars. Below please find some questions that are imperative to ask your clients before you start working to help them find their dream home:
- Are they working with any other agents?
- Are they pre-qualified for a mortgage? If not, ask them if they would get pre-qualified with your in-house lender?
- Do they currently own a home or rent?
- If they own, do they need to sell their home first before moving to the new home?
- How soon do they need to purchase a new residence?
- What is their spending budget?
- What areas/cities are they looking to move to?
- What type of home are they looking for?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do they require?
- Do they require a pool?
- Do they have children and if so what schools are they looking for their kids to go to?
- Are they any neighborhoods of interest that they would like to look at?
- Are they looking for more upgrades in their new home or is price more important?
- Ask for their complete contact information including full name, phone number, email address, mailing address, best time to call/contact.
- Ask what is their ultimate goal of the new property that they are looking for if they could get the "perfect" home for their family.
- Finally, ask them to meet with you in-person at your office when both the husband and wife are available.
All of the above information can be ascertained over the telephone. But, you certainly want to meet with your prospective clients in-person. Before meeting with them, you want to provide them with a plethora of information on all of the necessary information that they will need in order to make an informed decision on purchasing a new home. Here are some things that you should do before meeting with your new clients at your office:
- Get immediately on your phone with your lender and provide all of the necessary contact information and brief history on your new buyers, so that your mortgage professional will also know everything about them. Have your lender ready for a phone conversation during your first initial meeting at your office.
- If your clients need the proceeds from the sale of their home before they can purchase a new one, it is important to pull all of the necessary comparable sales and research on their home to provide them when they meet with you as well as your customized marketing plan for their own home. Remember, you want to elevate your credibility. If they have to sell their home first before they can even think about buying, your meeting should first on how you can help sell their home and then help them find their new dream home.
- Make sure to pull as much factual and statistical data on the desired cities as well as community information. Your clients might not be familiar with the area, and it is your job to make them feel comfortable and know everything they can about the area.
- If the family has children, it is imperative to pull all of the school information with contact information, websites, etc. in order to provide your clients with when you meet them. Again, they might not know the school ratings, programs, and school facts. Again, by providing them with this extremely important information, you will impress your buyers and they will definitely want to work with you.
- When you first meet with your clients at your office, you need to be professionally dressed, have water or coffee available for them when arriving as well as have some coloring books and crayons ready if they bring their children. Always be prepared for anything. Once they arrive at your office, have them immediately sign the transaction brokerage notice before you start getting into more details on their home search process. Explain to them how it is required by law that during the first initial meeting with new clients, all real estate professionals must have their potential clients sign a transaction broker notice explaining our rules and duties that we must follow.
- After taking notes of what the buyers are looking for from your phone conversation, have Multiple Listing Service (MLS) property printouts in color ready to hand to your clients of properties of interest. Discuss the market that they are interested in including price, square footage, age of homes in the communities, etc.
- Also, make sure to explain to the seller the standard closing cost fees and taxes that they will be paying once they take occupancy on their new home.
- Ask your clients when they are all available to preview homes of interest. Make sure that all decision-makers are present when looking at available homes on the market.
- Do not take your buyers to preview new homes until they are pr-eapproved for a loan either by your mortgage lender that they will speak with before your first meeting or during the meeting. Be sure to speak to the lender to find out more on their financing situation and how much they can truly afford. You want to only show them properties that match their criteria.
- Patience is a virtue. If your clients answer all of your questions and appreciate your hard work, then they are viable candidates to work with. Remember, the market is slow, and buyers are taking their time finding the right home for their families.
If you follow my above pre-quailifying techniques and tools, you will work with more qualified buyers and ultimately close more transactions. Remember, it is your choice of who you work with. If your buyers are willing to answer your questions and concerns and meet with you in-person to discuss one of their largest financial assets, you are now equipped to properly pre-quailify all of your new clients and dramatically increase your salesmanship and commissions. Good luck!
Michael With Web Email Flyers
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