What questions do you ask potential clients?

Real Estate Agent with Carolina MaxRealty, Inc.

Time is short.  And time is money.  Everyone's busy and no one wants to waste time...or money.  What questions do you ask potential clients before determining if you can (or want) to help them?  I'm trying to develop my own personal check list and want to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.




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Tracy Williams Pender
Carolina MaxRealty, Inc. - Raleigh, NC
MBA, Knightdale & Raleigh, NC Real Estate
David & Sonya - Thanks for your input.  
Feb 18, 2008 06:01 AM #5
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert
Great post that is full of great info.  I have a buyer's checklist to assess their needs but I haven't taken time to use it as I am talking to them yet.  
Feb 18, 2008 11:57 AM #6
Sandra Workman
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Kankakee, IL

First question - Are you currently working with another Realtor

Second question - Have you been to the bank?

Feb 18, 2008 02:12 PM #7
Tracy Williams Pender
Carolina MaxRealty, Inc. - Raleigh, NC
MBA, Knightdale & Raleigh, NC Real Estate

Latonia - I generally hit all of the questions that have been mentioned so far, but I'm trying to put something in writing because I always forget something.  I'm sure that'll all pass with experience.

Sandra - Yes, those questions are definites!  They're not far after "how are you today?"

Feb 19, 2008 01:25 AM #8
Jorge Verar
Coldwell Banker Commercial SouthWest - Houston, TX
Commercial Real Estate Broker

I find more effective asking the following :

first make the Buyer understand that you are a commission agent very important- this makes them aware of your time is money. 

  • Ask them if they are willing to sign an excliusive buyer's reperesentation in the market area they are looking. - Get a yes answer here, if not - no point of wasting your time
  • Then ask them if they are pre-approve or have the funds to buy ? you can pre-qualify them or send them to your favorite loan Officer to get them pre-approve for loan
  • Then ask when would they want to be in a new house.

These are the 3 questions most agents do not ask and is the most important of all if you want to close more, making the prospect be aware that you are on comission sets the the whole scenario into a business atmosphere, having them approve for a loan is sure to get them feel the urgency of making their choices on home and finally if they agree to use you exclussively you eliminated all competitions in your area and you have a loyal buyer.

Have fun out there : Real Estate is a great business to be for those who makes it great. the market is good.. go out there and sell... more is good for you ..

Feb 20, 2008 03:09 AM #9
Gary J. Rocks
Juba Team Realty - Jefferson Township, NJ


Find out why they are thinking of buying or selling, motivation is the true factor. Then get them qualified.

Feb 20, 2008 04:36 AM #10
Rodney Barnes
Essential Properties Inc - Goodyear, AZ
Real Estate

Hi Tracey,

I had a similar question as well  and posted a blog that help me with questions to ask. I have found the responses to be very helpful. Here is the link http://activerain.com/blogsview/292682/Do-you-use-scripts

I hope you find it helpsul as well.

Feb 20, 2008 04:41 AM #11
Tracy Williams Pender
Carolina MaxRealty, Inc. - Raleigh, NC
MBA, Knightdale & Raleigh, NC Real Estate

Jorge/Gary - Thanks for responding.  These comments are really helping me tweak my questions.

Rodney - Welcome!  I'm new here too and have learned so much in a short time frame.  The tips on your blog are very useful.  I don't want to use a script per se, but my own personal checklist of information that will be included in their file for my reference.  I'm planning to post it once I feel it's where I want it to be, so hopefully my list will help you as well.

Feb 20, 2008 07:22 AM #12
Colorado Real Estate - Christina
Colorado Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
Feb 21, 2008 08:02 AM #13
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
The first question to ask buyers is 'Are they working with other agents? When I talk to sellers I ask if they have interviewed other agents.
Feb 22, 2008 01:05 AM #14
ActiveRain City and State Listing Group
Christiansted, VI

Your are right....time is money, so, if you want to make money, then you have to make time for meaningful questions to be asked and you must learn to be a good listener.

Over the years I have developed a "Survey" or Questionnaire" that is 4 pages long for my buyers and I to complete. Only after it is complete are they aware totally of our relationship and I am aware of what needs and wants they have that I must do my best to find for them. If that form is not filled out, no one gets in my car. It has worked for over 10 years very well.

If you are reluctant to ask questions or take the time to fully understand your customer, you will have very few CLIENTS.

Feb 22, 2008 01:29 AM #15
Tracy Williams Pender
Carolina MaxRealty, Inc. - Raleigh, NC
MBA, Knightdale & Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Great tip Don.  I think the questionaire benefits everyone.  I'm thinking about making it a requirement as well.  It would be filled out right along with the Exclusive Buyers Agency agreement.
Feb 23, 2008 12:20 PM #16
Russ Lenich
Baird & Warner - Naperville, IL
Naperville, IL Homes
Tracy, just had a seasoned pro mention to me yesterday as we were working together at an event, it is not what you say but how you say it.  Made sense.
Mar 08, 2008 11:51 PM #17
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate



#1--ARE  YOU WORKING WITH ANOTHER AGENT? You won't believe the number of times they say, well actually.... yes my sister is helping us find a house. But she's busy today! Ha!


#2--Have you been preapproved by your bank?


#3--How soon are you looking to buy? What is your time frame? 

Mar 09, 2008 12:35 AM #18
Tracy Williams Pender
Carolina MaxRealty, Inc. - Raleigh, NC
MBA, Knightdale & Raleigh, NC Real Estate

Great point Russ.  That's why I don't want to use a script, but more like a checklist of questions.  The way you say it and the timing make a huge difference.

Erica - LOL @ #1. 

Mar 09, 2008 06:37 AM #19
Tracy: Great list. I have my own, but I think I will write it down to send to folks via e-mail.
Apr 08, 2008 11:27 PM #20
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Tracy ~ I have a short survey that I either send to potential clients or go through it with them on the phone. If they are willing to go through these questions - then I know they're serious. I'll be happy to send you a copy if you like. Just email me...
Apr 13, 2008 09:22 AM #22
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Tracy:  You've had this response already, but they are absolutely the most important to get out the way BEFORE you spend too much invested in someone that is not going to be your client.

Are you working with a Realtor?

Have you talked with a lender to find out what price range you should be shopping?

From there, get them talking about what they want, when they want it and how they will be able to come up with any funds to get it done.  Also, be in constant touch with your buyers lender to know exactly what loan program they will qualify for, and a back up if you need it.  For instance, Nehemiah may not be acceptable to banks with REO properties.  You'd need to know quickly what your alternative loan programs would be.

Apr 14, 2008 03:56 AM #23
Greg Wilson
1st Cornerstone Realty - Schaumburg, IL
Its always nice to read what other people are doing on AR.  It has given me some great ideas.  Thanks.
Apr 15, 2008 07:41 AM #24
Kurt H

Great thread--Was tweaking my survey, and found a lot of good ideas here!

Jan 10, 2012 03:18 AM #25
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Tracy Williams Pender

MBA, Knightdale & Raleigh, NC Real Estate
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