One of the most satisfying aspects of the real estate business is that no two days are the same and each day presents us with new opportunities to learn and become more skilled at our craft! I had an instance last week which illustrates this point perfectly!
I was contacted by a colleague that had a prospective purchaser who was interested in viewing several of my listings. One of the personal policies I have committed to is not only do I qualify buyers and sellers, but I am equally as diligent in making sure that other agents also do their jobs and qualify their buyers properly. In my discovery, the agent confirmed that the prospect was qualified for up to $400,000 and that she had confirmed this with the prospect's loan officer at the bank. In my mind, that was good enough for me and we proceeded to show 3 homes that were all within that budget range. The showings went well, the prospective buyer picked one of the homes, we scheduled a second showing and an offer was presented the following day. The offer came in pretty low, but I wasn't surprised, especially in this market. I contacted my seller and we strategized on a counter and presented that the next day. You're probably thinking, what's the problem? This is what one should expect, right? So I thought.
The problem was this: Although the buyer was qualified for $400,000, her comfort level for a loan was only $325,000. It appears that with all the other expenses she anticipated and with an economy that wasn't as stable as it could be that she didn't want to stretch too far. I can't blame her.
So the one additional question you must ask when qualifying a buyer is, "How much are you comfortable borrowing at this time?". Had the buyer's agent thought to ask this question, or if I had thought to require this information from the buyer's agent, we could have avoided this disappointing situation!