Can you tell if a prospective buyer is going to buy a home ?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Centre Realtors

I work with both buyers and sellers. I love listings because I am good at marketing and negotiating . I hold open houses. Sellers can see that I am working hard . I communicate regularly and suggest price change if required. I will do what I can to get it sold.

At the same time  I love to work with buyers. As I have to spend many hours showing them homes I get to know them . I learn about their family and hobbies and we build rapport. I stay in touch with them long after they buy a house and they usually call me when they move up or downsize.

However when you work with buyers there is no guarantee that they will buy a home and even if they have a buyer agency contract they may just go and buy using some other agent who is their family member. You can educate them about buyer agency but sometimes it may not help.Over the years I have wasted a lot of time with unquailfied buyers, buyers who were not motivated to buy and people who just loved to look at homes and had no intention of buying.

Agents get paid at settlement . If we spend hours with a buyer and then realize that they are not going to buy a home or do not qualify for a home we have wasted our time . We do not have a crystal ball .

I do not have a script that I use but there are some questions I like to ask when I receive a call from a prospect saying they are looking to buy a house .

1. Are you working with an agent ? How did you hear of me ?

I do not work with buyers who are already working with an  agent. If I was recommended by a past client I know these buyers will work with me.


2. Have you been prequalified or preapproved  by a lender ? 

If they have not sat down with a lender I tell them that it is the first step in buying a house. There may be errors in their credit report and also this way they can look at homes that they would qualify to buy. I do set up appointments to show homes one time in the price range they suggest so as to get to know them and also to meet them in person and explain the  home buying process.

3.Are you renting or do you own a house ? When does your lease expire? Can you extend the lease if you do not find a house.

The answer to these questions gives me an idea of their time frame. I love to work with people who have a definite time frame at the expiration of their lease and when they say they have to move by a certain date for new job or new school. I will spend all day with them for days if needed so as to help them find a home .

If buyers have no idea about the home buying process I am always glad to talk to them on the phone and explain the process or email them information or set up an appointment even if they have not been preapproved or pre quailfied. 


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Gita Bantwal is a Realtor with RE/MAX Centre Realtors in Bucks County, a Northern suburb of Philadelphia. You can view 1000s of listings on her web site


She can be reached at 215-343-8200x124 or direct 215-275-8491 or via email


 Gita specializes in Active adult communities and is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. She holds the ABR designation (Accredited Buyers Representative) and specializes in selling to first time buyers as well as move up buyers.Gita also hold the CRS designation , Certified Residential Specialist and the CDPE designation as well. Information about real estate market is deemed to be correct but is subject to errors and omissions and should be verified independently.. Opinion expressed by me or others  in my post and comments is not to be construed to be  legal advice.I am licensed in Pa. Check real estate laws in your state as they may be different than in Pa.




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Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Those are the first 2 questions I ask also Gita...Are you working with another agent and have you been pre-approved. Otherwise, it will most likely be a waste of time!

Aug 23, 2013 10:16 PM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Larry and Sheila, I agree. I learned this from experience wasting a lot of my time with anyone who wanted to look at homes.

Aug 23, 2013 10:33 PM #2
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I always tell buyers anyone can get prequalified usually, you need to focus on the preapproval where the lender checks credit, income, etc

Aug 23, 2013 10:43 PM #3
Anita Clark
Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Gita: Like you and Larry/Sheila, those are the first 2 questions I ask new buyers.  It is always best to get those items settled right upfront.

Aug 23, 2013 10:49 PM #4
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Gita, that is the first thing I ask also.  Working with someone who has a agent is a waste of time.  I also ask buyers when them homes to start eliminating homes quickly.  I ask after every showing,"if you are ready to buy a home, is this a home you would consider?"  I call this collecting our "nos" until we get to the one they love and would buy. Suggested!  I see many agents working with buyers without asking that question and they end up being a showing agent for the agent who will get paid.  

Aug 23, 2013 10:56 PM #5
Scott Fogleman
New Home Team 804-573-9592 - Richmond, VA
New Home Team

When looking for a home in Bucks County call Gita Bantwal! She knows the Market and the area

Aug 23, 2013 11:21 PM #6
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

The only way to solve these problems is to start charging a retainer fee.  And that wouldn't work unless everyone did it. I wish that was the way we do business, but it may never be.

Aug 29, 2013 04:48 PM #7
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Kristin, Buyers should hire you to be their buyer agent when buying a house.

Anita, I agree. This will save them time as well.

Barbara, I like your idea of collecting the 'nos' so you can get to 'yes'

Scott, Thank you.

Joetta, Buyers do not realize that we do not get paid until they buy so if they use us to see houses and buy from their friend it is not fair to us.

Aug 29, 2013 08:30 PM #8
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Gita Bantwal

REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Call me for free market evaluation of your home
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