Jen, I am on the same page with you and I haven't even shown any higher end homes! I feel like some agents jump the gun and waste a LOT of time. My goal is to be a performer, not a mat for inquisitive minds to walk on. I'm not a door opener, I'm a real estate consultant. My time is valuable. :) great post!
People often call and want to go look at houses for sale. That's great because I sell houses. When I ask if they have been pre-qualified or if they have talked to a lender, lots of times I get the response, "No, I just want to see the house."
Here's the challenge: When I list a home, I make a commitment to my sellers that I will only show their home to ready, willing and able buyers. I apply the same rule when showing other agent's listings.
Ready - Are you ready to buy now or just dreaming of where to retire in 20 years?
Willing- Are you motivated?
Able- Do you have the down payment set aside? What about money for home inspections and appraisals? Do you have the pre-approval letter from the mortgage company or proof of funds letter from the bank?
After all, if you had your home on the market, would you want people that are just curious to come in your home? Sellers spend time cleaning and preparing for showings. Agents spend time, money and resources to show the homes.
I ask for buyers to make a 10 minute phone call for their pre-qualification. I'm not asking them to provide bank statements and tax returns. It's very simple, then the lender calls and sends me the letter. We have it ready to go when it's time to write the offer.
Some listing agents are requiring the pre-approval letter or proof of funds letter from the buyer's agent to make an appointment to see the home. I'm seeing this especially in the higher end market.
If you find that you're not quite ready, willing and able to purchase now, that's OK. We can still stay in touch and when you have your things in order we'll get going. We just won't go driving around looking at homes, yet.
Home Buyers, please take the time (10 minutes) to make a call to a qualified lender. In return, you will have peace of mind knowing that you can easily afford the home you fall in love with. You will also have an agent who will commit the time to do the research on the homes you're inquiring about.
Many of us are curious about different neighborhoods and homes for sale. I understand that. Open houses and viewing homes and virtual tours on line are great for that. Enjoy the organized holiday tours of homes and garden tours through neighborhoods too.
A professional real estate agent will always ask about your pre-approval. So Buyers, please don't be offended that I'm asking about your pre-approval or pre-qualification letter. It's how I do my job.
If you are thinking of buying a home in metro Atlanta, please give me a call. I can refer you to a great lender! If you are thinking of selling your home, call me. I will do everything I can to protect your security and your sanity when selling your home.
Jen Bowman, Broker Associate, e-PRO, Certified Distressed Property Expert with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners. 404-456-5024.