As agents, helping clients find their dream home is about understanding what their needs are and making sure you do your best to meet or exceed them. While it’s common that buyers ask you questions, you should also be asking them questions to help you get a bigger picture of their needs. I know that sometimes the easiest path to selling a home is to put a client in the car, show them dozens of homes, and then figure out by trial and error method the kind of house they are looking for. However, I will recommend you ask the questions below to avoid frustration while dealing with clients.
What is your motivation for buying a house right now?
This question often encourages buyers to disclose key information such as a pregnancy, a child leaving for college, or a job change. This question can provide a lot of insight on your client. For one, some people begin looking for an agent long before they can actually sell, while others wait until the last minute. Asking about timing will let you know how many hours you can expect to work before you can close a sale.
Furthermore, the clearer your clients’ reasons for moving, the easier the deal will be for you. A client who just had triplets or got married will be far more motivated to do what it takes to close on a house than one who’s just looking for a change of scenery.
What are your needs vs. your wants in a house?
Agents should ask buyers to make a list of “needs” and “wants” and inform buyers that they may need to be willing to compromise on the wants or both. This goes for everything: their budget, your schedule, the state of the market, the inventory in the area, etc. Many clients will need a little education up front to widen their perspective on the facts. Realistic standards will save you the time of inspecting properties they can’t afford and give you ideas about what areas and home styles to focus on.
Do you have an understanding of the costs that come along with purchasing a home?
Buyers are aware that they will need to come up with a down payment, but some are taken by surprise with additional costs such as a home inspection fee. The agent should prepare the buyer for paying a little fee in a bid to get that dream house.
Are you working with another agent?
It must be remembered that taking on a client who has committed to another agent is a bad idea because it gives room for conflict between you and the other agent because of the supposed client.
What have your past experiences with agents been like?
If your clients’ previous real estate experience was good, you can expect more ease in your process. If it’s been mostly negative, you may have some hurdles to jump in order to earn your client’s trust.
On the flip side, this question provides an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of previous agents before you. If a client complains that their last agent didn’t communicate well, or wasted their time on showings they weren’t interested in, you’ll know which areas to focus on in building a great working relationship.
Do you know where you want to live?
Finding out the location the client is interested in will save your energy and time. This information will help you as an agent narrow down your search.
What kind of features do you want in your house?
The features are the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, swimming pool or kitchens. This information helps to modify your search as an agent. As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated
What Would You Consider a Deal breaker?
It’s equally important to find out what your client does not want in a house. Learn what features they don’t want and it’ll help you speed up the home buying process. It will save you and your client a lot of time and energy looking at homes that aren’t a good fit. Once you have the answers to these questions, then you’re better able to serve their needs.
How do you prefer to be contacted?
Demonstrate your communication skills by offering to communicate via phone, email, text or even WhatsApp. This is also the time to set expectations as to when they (and you) are available.