HOW DO YOU "QUALIFY" YOUR BUYERS?...Or,...DO You Ever "QUALIFY" Your Buyers?

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

HOW DO YOU HOW DO YOU "QUALIFY" YOUR BUYERS?....Or,...DO You Qualify Your Buyers? ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS IS A MUST WHEN QUALIFYING A BUYER

Given the "no" answer that I have received from a number of agents it appears that there is woeful disregard for the act of qualifying a buyer. It surprises me completely that this important part of working as a real estate professional is overlooked or is not even a known CRUCIAL part of the interview of a buyer.

Today it seems that most agents do NOT qualify their buyers and in fact, they have no idea HOW to qualify them!

This post is written after I read one by Maria Morton: Showing Homes To Unqualified Buyers Just like Maria, I find that this is THE most important part of an interview of a potential buyer. Some agents feel it is too invasive; they feel embarrassed to ask these probing questions...That is too bad, because not only is it necessary, it is EXPECTED by any qualified buyer!

LOOKIE LOUS' WILL WASTE YOUR TIMEIn my observations there is a danger in several ways in NOT qualifying a person who you will be working closely with. The most obvious one is the safety issue; the chances we take every day in the real estate profession include possible life-threatening encounters with someone that we know nothing about.

The next risk, and not as threatening personally but still a risk, is the "Time Waster", who has no regard for the work we do and no respect for our precious time. Not many, but some people just want to go into other peoples homes....and these Lookie Lous' will waste your time "Big Time" if you let them!

Taking all of this into consideration, and with Maria's post still fresh in my mind, I would like to give everyone here a list of the most important things we must ask a potential client/customer. 

 

 

QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK A POTENTIAL CLIENT/CUSTOMER:DON'T WALK INTO A TRAP....

  • What do you do for a living?
  • How long have you been looking?
  • Have you bid on anything else?
  • Have you tried to buy a house recently?
  • If "yes" why did you not buy it?
  • Will you be financing the house you buy?
  • If "cash" is the answer, are you in a liquid financial position?
  • If financing, how much will you be putting down and is it liquid?
  • Are you pre-qualified for a loan to buy a house?
  • If not, would you be willing to talk to a mortgage broker or bank to get pre-qualified?
  • Do you know what your net-worth is? (This applies generally, to a high net worth purchase only)
  • Can you substantiate any claim to net worth if a seller requires it?

NOTE: If these seem too invasive and if the potential client/customer baulks at answering any of these questions, you need to make note of the reaction..this reaction is crucial to identifying a potential problem--both for your safety and your valuable time! DON'T FALL INTO A TRAP BY NOT QUALIFYING A "BUYER"!

THESE ARE THE ACTIONS NEEDED BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR OFFICE WITH YOUR NEW CLIENT/CUSTOMER:

  • Ask them if they are currently working with an agent other than you.
  • If "yes", try to find out who and if the answer is I "was" working with another agent, ask why they are not still working with said agent.
  • Do a Google search on the person you just interviewed. (Do this in private if you can find a place to do a search)
  • If anything looks suspicious, put off working with them until you have time to do a back ground search.
  • If you need a background search, there is a sight called "People Search" and for a few dollars, you can get the low-down on what is a possible problem with the individual.

Now, these may seem like probing questions and they are, but you need to take the stance of being the scrupulous individual you are if you want to get the respect you should get from a potential client/customer...

UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF YOUR SCRUITNYI always say that if the person knows you are REALLY interested and not just nosy, they are more apt to be forthcoming with the information you require.

The way you ask and what you ask will help them determine that you are a professional, not a snoop! 

If they do not want to share any of this information with you, that is a sure sign that they are holding back needed information from you and you can choose whether or not you want to go forward.

THE WATCHFUL EYE OF QUALIFYING A BUYER IS A NECESSARY PART OF YOUR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS!

FOR YOUR SAFETY AND FOR YOUR SUCCESS IN THE PROCESS OF SELLING HOMES, YOU MUST ALWAYS QUALIFY A POTENTIAL CLIENT/CUSTOMER!

 

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

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New York Suffolk County
Groups:
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The Lounge at Active Rain
Real Estate Tomato Bloggers
"Whacked"!!!
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Tags:
qualifying a clientcustomer
probing questions are important
the way you ask and what you ask will determine that you are a professional

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Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Peggy : Please do! I love to share this kind of information!

Eileen: You are so right! I find that by asking that one question, we get a true view into the real motivations of the buyer.

Luis: I agree--please use thisone for all your new buyers!

Lora: I find that too...if I haven't taken the time to do the right infpormation taking--it usually ends in no deal...

Laurie: Glad you liked it! Please use it freely and good luck with your business!

Iris: That's a good idea...we always have those moments when we are not in a place or position to qualify someone--but that does not mean we can't do it at another time--before we get too involved with the buyer.

 

Feb 12, 2012 01:07 AM #50
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

George: That it is and the results usually are a demonstration of whether you do qualify them  or not. I love the comment stream here too!

Sandy: That's why I wrote this post! ;)

Marti: Excellent! I love how you have been able to incorporate your background in your qualifying process--if you don't mind, I may take your ideas/approach and add it to my list! Thanks for sharing them!

Gabe: You said it! I have, in the past, accommodated this kind of buyer---and always resented them in the end!! Who wants that??

Christianson Team: Glad to hear that! Your convictioon is probably the reason for your successes!

 

Feb 12, 2012 01:13 AM #51
Ambassador
2,289,828
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Paula, An excellent way to pre-qualify your buyers before showing.  Thank you for sharing your list, I would say it's covers just about every area of concern.

Feb 12, 2012 01:50 AM #52
Rainmaker
1,373,297
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Paula, excellent post! Qualifying buyers is an important aspect of this business. Personal safety when qualifying buyers is also an important factor. Good checklist of questions to ask potential buyers.

Feb 12, 2012 02:05 AM #53
Rainer
120,578
Don Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services - Idabel, OK

Get the answers to those questions sounds like a excellent way to qualify your buyers!

Feb 12, 2012 02:08 AM #54
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Judi: Thank you and feel free to use any or all of it!

Michael: ..and thank you too--please use it if you need to but I am sure you are already incorporating it into your routine!

Don: It does work! Thanks...

Feb 12, 2012 02:46 AM #55
Rainmaker
809,907
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Paula:

I may ask some general questions, but I leave prequalifying my buyers to a qualified loan agent.  I have never Google a client or checked on their background.  Most of my buyer clients are referrals, friends and my sphere, so they are known to me.

Feb 12, 2012 07:41 AM #56
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Evelyn: You are lucky!  Although I will say mine are as well; however, I have a pretty significant number of walk-ins that I had to qualify and in some cases, thank goodness I did! You are very lucky that you get your business through referrals--sounds like a solid business to me!

Feb 12, 2012 07:47 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,362,496
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Just bookmarked this for a reblog this week. I am a stickler for pre approvals before revving up the Jeep.

Feb 12, 2012 10:02 AM #58
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Cheryl: Great! Thank you for bookmarking--and I appreciate your understanding of the importance of qualifying potential buyers!

Feb 12, 2012 10:38 AM #59
Ambassador
2,008,027
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Paula - It just makes sense to pre-qualify a buyer.  If they can't buy, it wastes everbody's time and energy.

Feb 12, 2012 01:47 PM #60
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Christine: You are so right! It is a total waste of time in many cases--rarely does a buyer resist qualifying unless they are malingering!

Feb 13, 2012 01:53 AM #61
Rainer
284,418
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Paula -- great directions for those who don't know how to do this important step.  Just read another blog by realtor explaining why client needed to come into the office, and he touched on several of the same points.  Maybe if all the realtors and lenders keep banging this drum more of the public will get that they need to show how qualified they are if they want to go house hunting today.

 

Feb 13, 2012 09:23 AM #62
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Steven: That's a very good point---we need to "train" the public in many ways regarding the real estate business--this is just one more!

Feb 13, 2012 09:30 AM #63
Ambassador
2,079,669
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

This is great information and something that all our Newbies need to see as well!

Feb 15, 2012 07:52 AM #64
Rainmaker
1,186,785
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Paula

Found this through Barbara Jo's reposting it. Probably the best post I have read about truly qualifying your clients. Congrats on the feature, cheers cvc

Feb 15, 2012 08:02 AM #65
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Barbara Jo-Thanks for the re-blog! I agree that the Newbies need to read this; most important for them to see! Many are never taught the right way to do it...others just want to ignore it. Either way-it must be a part of doing buisness for real estate agents.

Curtis: Thank you for finding it and reading it too...This kind of information is not mentioned very often and in many cases it is because the agents just don't get it or they don't want to do it because they fear the response of the potential buyer...

Feb 15, 2012 02:48 PM #66
Rainer
61,616
Ron Cooks
The Real Estate Marketplace - Killeen, TX
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale

Hi Paula, pre-qualifying also amounts to servicing your customers.  If there are obstacles, you can advise them on the steps to take before going further.  It is a waste of time to show properties that they can't afford.

Feb 15, 2012 11:23 PM #67
Rainmaker
1,514,027
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Qualify your buyers. That is step one. If they can't or will not buy then you are wasting your time as well as everyone else's time!

Mar 27, 2012 10:55 PM #68
Rainer
12,832
Jeff Yeats 918.855.9256
McGraw REALTORS in Owasso, Oklaoma (918)855-9256 www.haywoodhometeam.com - Owasso, OK

Paula, as a new agent I'm trying to learn the balance of finding already qualified buyers and working with / helping clients become qualified.  Obviously I want to  build my business in the end so I'm willing to go the extra mile right now.  How do you connect with someone who has expressed interested but hasn't grasped the importance of pre qual up front?

 

Sep 20, 2014 01:36 PM #69
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