When you are out showing your buyer, yet again, a long list of homes, does the tune of 99 bottles of beer on the wall play in your head with the words ... 99 homes for sale to show , 99 homes to show,, open the door, show buyer around and now there are 98 homes left to show? That is because buyers have become shop-a-holics on the Internet. They search websites, give their agent the list of homes they wish to view and off you go, full tank of gas and a long day ahead.
How to cut out the fat and get to the finish line with narrowed down choices and offer to present.
- Always number one on the list - get the buyers pre-approved and counseled on specifically the type of loan they can obtain, terms, and if need buyer closing cost assistance. That is huge as it will give clear direction on your choice and limitation of home price range.
- Ask your buyer to give you a list of their absolutely have to have items and one that would really love to have but can compromise. Find out any special needs, bedroom down, larger garage, yard for a dog, etc.
- Connect the buyer to a gateway to receive MLS listing information. They are going to find this through other sources like Realtor.com so why not set them up on your preferred venue.
- Counsel the buyer that homes they see on the Internet may look great but may not be what they seek after further research is done. By planting that seed you will have taken control on not showing every home on a list they give you. If they make a list of homes to view, screen them and let them know why certain choices would not work (i.e. backs to traffic and they had told you absolutely no traffic, the master is located on the 2nd floor and you need one on the first level).
- Have the client drive around certain areas if they are uncertain as to what community, city they wish to live. Give them homework to check out the schools if that is a factor, proximity to work or convenience to retail, church, etc. These all are personal decisions that they need to make. By them driving around they can casually visit and make informed decisions. Always offer to take them to visit homes in an area that they like to help narrow their choice of community. Be sure upfront to let them know if there are price level differences for different areas - if one has a higher cost for housing for what they can purchase over another community. This may help them eliminate an area if it is out of their price range for what they want to purchase.
- When showing homes have your clients continue to compare the properties and narrow down what features they liked, why they like one over another, etc.
- Provide your clients with a way to journal their visit to the homes so they can write their likes, dislikes and ways to remember the properties.
- At the end of the home tour for the day, summarize together what was viewed and a standout home. What they did not find and must have. If disappointed, why? Do they need to adjust their expectations to what they can afford to purchase? This can be examined.
- Keep control of your schedule and times to take the buyer out. If they have not located that special home then set up the next time to go out to look. If you are waiting for a new listing to appear that is more of a fit, be sure to keep in touch and monitor daily for the right property.
- Most important - don't be afraid to ask if they are interested in a home. If yes, then begin conversations and take action on writing up an offer. Be sure to make closing remarks to move them towards the offer writing process. Sometimes you just have to ask.
Keep patient but don't be afraid to help your clients narrow down their choices before they even go to view homes with you. It will keep that annoying little song from playing over and over again.