Can't I Just Look at Your Listing?

Real Estate Sales Representative with Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate

Separating the Lookers from the Buyers


     As a Lethbridge real estate professional who has helped move thousands of people and completed hundreds of successful transactions over 23 year, I have developed some particular tools and techniques that make the way I do business much more efficient.  One of the things I do extremely different than most agents is that I do not waste my time or my clients time with unqualified buyers


     What I mean by this is that every single buyer that I put in the car and take to view a home has been qualified.  I know their situation, I know their finances, and I know they are in a position to buy that home that day.  Many real estate agents are uncomfortable asking qualifying questions of their potential clients, many of them do not even know what questions to ask.  In my opinion, this is what separates the best agents from the rest of the agents.


     A recently launched contest on Activerain sponsored by the folks at Boomtown asked "What negative reaction or response do you sometimes get?".  For myself, I have had numerous occasions where I am contacted by a stranger who is asking for information about one of my real estate listings.  I am happy to provide them with information on the property, about the neighborhood, and even about the market in general.  I won't however show them the property until I have had a chance to qualify them.  At first this comes as a shock to them, most buyers are accustomed to real estate agents unlocking doors and chauffeuring them around without ever once asking a qualifying question or inquiring about their finances. 


     The number of these listing inquiry buyers who comes under contract with me is high, and I am sure it is well above the industry average, however there is something even more surprising.  The most shocking thing that happens with these qualified buyers is not that I sell them all homes right away, but the fact that the majority of them choose to list their existing home with me.  Yes, once they realize the value and efficiency in having all of the potential buyers who want to see a listed home qualified in advance, they recognize how much time they will save and how much more likely every showing is to result in a potential offer. 


     What often starts out as just a misunderstood and peculiar way of doing business, eventually becomes one of the very specific reasons that clients choose to do business with me.  This is a great example of spinning a negative into a positive.

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lethbridge real estate

lethbridge realtor

Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years.  He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.




Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 02/08/2016 09:20 PM
  2. Will Nesbitt 02/08/2016 10:08 PM
  3. Winston Heverly 04/05/2016 10:41 PM
Home Selling
Alberta South Lethbridge
ActiveRain Challenges

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Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

I refuse showing to people that cannot provide me a proof of funds or pre-approval from a trusted source

Feb 09, 2016 07:56 PM #40
Linda DeVlieg
Keller Williams Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque Real Estate

It would cut down on the safety risk as well.

Feb 09, 2016 09:56 PM #41
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Just had 2 buyers give me a rough time about it & you know what - they weren't buyers.

The ones that make the biggest stink are the ones with the stinkiest credit.

Feb 10, 2016 12:57 AM #42
Dana Tapia
Re/Max of Orange Beach - Orange Beach, AL
Gulf Coast Real Estate Professionals

Really good advice, although we've had some buyers who weren't qualified yet and didn't really know how to go about it.  We gave them information about lenders, and they eventually bought with us.  And congrats on being featured! 

Feb 10, 2016 01:09 AM #43
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

If they are not qualified do you send them to a lender and keep in touch until they are ready to go?

Feb 10, 2016 02:07 AM #44
Joy Bender
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Hi Robert you are so right I had two unqualified buyers want to see my La Jolla listing in the past 45 days.

Feb 10, 2016 02:36 AM #45
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Every buyer in my car has also been qualified, but I do not force them to do the prequal. Works just great for me. 

Feb 10, 2016 08:57 AM #46
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Bravo Robert May  I feel the same way .I watch so many agents show buyers houses without having them qualified first . What a waste of time for them and for you .

Feb 10, 2016 09:01 AM #47
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I love the post. Congratulations on the featured post. Thank you for the tips.

Feb 10, 2016 08:44 PM #48
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Robert, you save yourself and others a lot of headaches by prequalifying buyers. 

Feb 10, 2016 09:46 PM #49
NextHome Realty Center - Cypress, TX
The 'Golden' Experience Team!

Totally agree and unfortunately, I think most of us learned the hard way.  In our busy Houston market, if you don't have a pre-approval, sellers do not want you to see their homes.  That makes serious buyers ask for my preferred lenders to get started.  They apreciate it when they can quickly make a solid offer and most often get the home they desire.  Great post!

Feb 11, 2016 12:27 AM #50
Theresa Akin

Oh! Gone are the days when I jumped as high as I could to show a property because the "looky lous" were sitting in front of the property and the brokers and mentors never said don't. When I see a new agent, I always suggest they make sure their buyers are qualified. Saves time and money. One agent said she would show a couple three properties then suggest different lenders. I just won't. I don't care if they are withing a mile of each other. How many miles do you have to go to get to the first one? DONEEEE!!


Feb 11, 2016 01:30 AM #51
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We are not tour directors and not the convenient agent when their agent is on vacation.  Wasting time with a looker takes away from time spent with a qualified buyer

Feb 11, 2016 09:18 AM #52
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

It has always been our policy to vet prospective buyers and assist them through the steps of buying a home.  The first step, and most important step is getting pre-qualified and then pre-approved.  Without that, unless they are a CASH buyer, we cannot go shopping.  When I explain the key points of the buying process it just flows nicely.  I can say in 20+ years in the business I've only had a handful of people who either were offended by our policy or just didn't get it.  That's okay, some other agent got to work with them. I must stay true to myself.

Feb 12, 2016 02:11 PM #53
Betsy Tarpley
Strategy Real Estate - Silverdale, WA
Managing Broker in Kitsap County WA

I made this mistake as a brand new eager agent a few years ago.  It takes only one time to realize it is a waste of time for everyone.  Now a days for safety reasons I will make sure they are pre-approved and since it is a sellers market there is no reason to find a home and lose it because they don't have the approval letter. I refer them to one of my lenders and when they are ready we all win.

Feb 14, 2016 01:07 PM #54
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker & - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

We're a second home market here in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. We have summer tourists come in " to look at real estate" when the weather is poor and the beaches are cold or cloud covered. 

Sometimes a search engine can provide info about whether they are actually luxury buyers or just bored.

Feb 14, 2016 08:52 PM #55
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens, Associate Broker

Great post. I am with you. I do not put anyone in my car that hasn't been qualified. What is the point in showing someone a house they can't afford? Show me that letter from the bank, then we'll go looking for houses till the cows come home!

Feb 15, 2016 12:21 AM #56
Eren Millam
Realty World Cosser & Associates, Inc. - Chehalis, WA
Certified Negotiation Expert

I started doing buyer consultations this year and I qualify the buyer at that meeting. It has definitely cut down on tire kickers and I've been able to spend my time doing productive things!

Mar 04, 2016 08:37 AM #57
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

thanks so much for all the great comments here, i will try to go back and reply to each of you or visit your blogs

May 12, 2016 04:16 PM #58
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Sounds like a plan and the way I thought all agents are at least here in the panhandle most buyers are cash but the ones that aren't get with a mortgage person first 

Jun 13, 2016 09:23 PM #59
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