Protect Your Time From Some Buyers and Some Listings!

Real Estate Agent with Rich Life Real Estate Team GA#242237

Protect Your Time From Some Buyers and Some Listings


Over the course of a career we have all done this, a buyer walks into your office and tells you how much you came recommended, and how ready they are to buy.  They say they are pre-approved, maybe even show you a letter stating their qualifications to buy.  You like them and enjoy helping people, and because they seem so nice, you know that after you sell them their starter home, they will be your client for life and give you all kinds of referrals!

Then problems arise, they seem picky, they want to see lots of homes, they aren't following your advice, and before you know it you find out that they don't qualify for a loan, but they would love for you to find them a lease purchase  home.  You've already spent so much time working with them and you don't want to lose all of that referral business, so you keep trying!

You put them under contract on one property, and that falls through, then the second property you preview the property, and they write an offer on it because it looks so great from the pictures and they don't want to lose it! However, after walking through it, even after you have convinced the seller to owner finance, they don't like the floor plan!  It's only a $41,000 town  home, and it's owner financed, but they don't like the floor plan!  After all a buyer is the one who has to live in the home for the next several years, and they have a right to be happy right?

For the $1,200 you get before you pay your expenses and give a portion to your broker, is it really worth helping buyers who can't make up their minds, aren't really well qualified and are picky?  Even though people deserve good service, and I love to help people, I realize that my first obligation is to my family.  This means that I'm glad to refer these types of buyers out!  The opportunity cost of spending time working with these buyers is more expensive than working to earn the commission.  If it's a close friend, that's one thing, but usually making the $400 for refering the client out is your best play here!

Fortunately, I was the listing agent on the $41,000 property, and the buyer's agent will continue to have to deal with these headaches.  I was exhausted after the 5-6 phone calls I dealt with regarding this property with the buyers agent, and I can't imagine how they are going to feel when the buyer finally gets something, or maybe decides to WAIT UNTIL THEY CAN GET APPROVED for what they really want!  There are simply some buyers and sellers that it is better to refer out, and you must protect your time and decide what makes sense for you!

Comments (2)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

Yes Jared, we ALL have had our challenging buyers!  Strange, but most of them have come as a referral from past clients, friends, neighbors, etc.  It does get very exhausting working with someone that leads you into believing they are going to buy and "are serious"!!  When you spend 30-40 hours with just that clients, while trying to juggle other ciients (who are doing buying and selling), it becomes a waste of time! 

Yes, refer and move on!!

Nov 03, 2013 08:40 PM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL


I have learned over the years that when dealing with potential buyers "a yes can actually mean no", "Yes we are qualified", "Yes we are serious buyers" etc. I incorporate the use of five questions to help me determine an accurate assessment of any potential buyer's capability.

A. I ask the potential buyer if he has been pre-approved for a mortgage? I look for one of three possible answers, "Yes, I've submitted an application for a mortgage", "I have been pre-qualified" or "I am paying cash". Depending on the answer, it gives me a read on a potential buyer's involvement thus far. 

B. Have you determined a working time frame to complete your home purchase? Again, depending on the answer, you can ascertain a potential buyer's level of preparation. If the potential buyer is vague or non-committal about a working timeframe - a flag should be raised.

C. Ask the potential buyer to describe with some detail, what sort of amenities, size of dwelling, neighborhood environment, educational opportunities, proximity to shopping etc. they will want/require? Beware if answers seem "canned" or the potential buyer can't describe what he is looking for with some definity.

D. What amount of money are you planning to invest with your home purchase? Any number of answers will be offered, some answers will be meaningless, others might indicate the potential buyer has not given serious thought to the question. Potential buyers who are well along with the pre-approval process or paying cash, should be capable of providing a definitive answer. If that is not the case - another warning sign?

E. Last question but an important one, "I am curious, what is your motivation for considering the purchase of a home at this time, are you relocating, up or down sizing, rental?" If the potential buyer is hesitant or vague with a response to your question - it's another warning signal. 

This whole exercise can be completed in approximately fifteen minutes or less. Depending on the answers, one should have enough information to make a decision, do I pursue this opportunity, or should I politely decline? Whenever possible, attempt to schedule an appointment at a future time with those who may seem borderline. This will afford any potential buyer who is not really serious "an easy out". If the process described above is followed, nine out of ten times you'll clearly recognize the "pretenders from the contenders." Work smart - not hard....   





Nov 03, 2013 11:35 PM

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