Questions Real Estate Agents Should Ask Buyers
Buyers aren’t the only ones who should be asking questions during the buyer interview. After answering all of the buyers’ queries, now it’s your turn!
Cement your expertise and your relationship with the clients by asking these questions. You can introduce these questions in a way that positions you as the knowledgeable and helpful expert.
Think of it like interviewing an employee for a very important job. You want to ask great questions that cut through the sales veneer and gets to the truth.
Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, it’s important to know where you stand before entering into a relationship with a lead.
What Is A Real Estate Agent?
As a real estate agent, I know that sometimes the easiest way to sell a home is to put a client in the car, show them dozens of homes, and then figure out — by trial and error — exactly what kind of house they are looking for.
But it’s more productive to meet with potential buyers for a one-hour interview before setting out to see homes, although some potential clients hesitate at the idea of an in-depth information exchange. This meeting is crucial to a successful house hunt and can save many headaches in the long run.
Many different factors come into play in the home-buying process, so having as much information as possible is crucial. The key is not being afraid to ask.
The high-producing agents don’t waste time. This interview helps in avoiding that. So, do not be afraid to ask the right questions like the following:
- What is Your Motivation for Buying a House? — This question often prompts buyers to disclose pertinent information such as a pregnancy, a child leaving for college, or a job change — information that might not otherwise come to light but is extremely important to know to help guide clients toward a home purchase.
- Why Buy, and Why Now? OR Why is Now the Right Time to Move? — Gain valuable insight into their reasons for buying a home that will help you tailor your services — and the rest of this conversation — to their situation.
- Are You Working with Another Agent? — In some countries, taking on a client who has committed to someone else is a bad idea. At best, you’ll be stepping directly on your local colleagues’ toes; at worst, you may be violating local laws, risking fines, and jeopardizing your license.
- What Have Your Past Experiences with Agents Been Like? — If your clients’ previous real estate experience has been positive, you can expect more confidence in your process. If it’s been mostly negative, you may have hurdles to jump to earn that trust.
This question can provide a lot of insight into your buyer. For one, some people begin looking for an agent long before they can actually buy, while others wait until the last minute. Asking about timing will let you know how much time you can expect to work before closing a sale.
On the flip side, this question provides an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of those who’ve come 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.
- How Many Houses Have You Already Looked at? — Learn a little about their level of real estate experience and determine whether they are or have been working with other agents.
- What are Your Needs and Your Desires in a Home? — Ask buyers to list “must-haves” and “wants” and gently inform them that they may need to compromise on both.
- What are Your Expectations? — This goes for everything: their budget, your schedule, the state of the market, the inventory in the area, etc. Many buyers will need a little education up front to calibrate their perspective with the facts. Realistic benchmarks will save you the trouble of showing them properties they can’t afford and give you ideas about what areas and home styles to focus on.
- How Important is Outdoor/Garage Space? — In many areas and price ranges, this question quickly eliminates several options, so get it out of the way early. Would they be willing to live in an apartment with a parking space or require a private backyard?
- What is Your Favorite Room in the House? — Learn more about the lifestyle of your buyer(s) and begin discussing features they are looking for less predictably.
- What is a Deal Breaker for You? — Roads with a lot of traffic? Apartment complex neighbors? No front yard? Save time by knowing their deal breakers upfront.
- Are You Planning to Live in this Home Long-term, or are You Looking at it as an Investment? — People used to say they were buying a home to be happy. Not anymore. Now they are looking at it as an investment and want to project what it will be worth in five years.
- How Long Do You Think You’ll Live in the House You Buy? — Some clients may want a house they can enjoy for now that will be easy to sell later. Others may want a forever home and have more particular requirements. There is a difference!
- Are You Working with a Lender? OR, Are You Financially Qualified? — This will help you separate window shoppers from serious buyers. If you’re on the buyer side, ask your prospects if they’ve been pre-approved for a loan; if you’re on the seller side, find out how much equity they have in their home. It doesn’t mean you should kick them out if they’re not pre-approved. If they seem serious, you can point them to a lender who can help you close when it comes.
- Do You Understand the Costs that Come Along with Purchasing a Home? — Most buyers know that they will need to come up with a down payment, but some are surprised by additional costs such as a home inspection, an appraisal, and a survey. You should prepare the buyer about out-of-pocket costs.
- Are You Aware that Membership in a Homeowners Association (HOA) May be Required in Certain Neighborhoods and that there are Fees that Come Along with Mandatory Membership? — Many people have strong opinions on HOAs, so it is important to ask them if they are willing to buy a home where an HOA is mandatory. Sometimes it can make or break a sale.
- What Monthly Mortgage Payment Amount are You Comfortable with? — Just because a buyer can qualify for a $750,000 mortgage doesn’t mean they are willing to buy a $750,000 house. And many people don’t understand how much their monthly payments will be on that house until a mortgage lender has told them. It’s important to know if they can handle the monthly payment.
- How Do You Prefer to be Contacted? — Demonstrate your communication skills by offering to communicate via phone, email, text, or even Skype. This is also the time to set expectations for when they — and you — are available.
Whether you’re a new agent who is learning the ropes or a more experienced realtor looking to freshen up your routine, these buyer interview questions should help you secure and keep more happy clients. Because you know what happy clients lead to — referrals!
What Does A Real Estate Agent Do For A Buyer?
“The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself. The more you learn, the more you'll earn.”
Become a Real Estate Sales Agent
A sales agent is a person licensed by and registered with the RERA to represent a brokerage firm and its brokers and agents in providing real estate services. This includes selling homes, managing properties, and representing buyers and sellers in transactions.
The term “agent” refers to anyone authorized by a broker to provide real estate services. For example, a real estate attorney represents his/her client; an insurance agent represents both the insurer and insured; a mortgage lender represents both the borrower and the lender; and a real estate broker represents both the buyer and seller.
An individual cannot become a sales agent unless he/she is registered with RERA and works under a licensed broker’s supervision. The registration process involves completing an application form, paying a fee, submitting a valid police clearance/good conduct certificate and photographs, and taking a written examination. Once registered, you will receive a sales agent identification card, which identifies you as an agent. You will also be assigned a unique identifying number. Your broker will use this number whenever referring to you in correspondence with prospective customers.
Your broker will assist you in becoming familiar with the rules and regulations governing sales agents and the laws about selling and purchasing property in Dubai. He/She will also help you prepare contracts and answer questions regarding the legalities of buying and selling real estate.
Getting a real estate license takes some effort, but it can pay off down the road. A real estate career offers great flexibility, especially for people looking to start out part-time while building up a client base.
You might even choose to specialize in one area of real estates, such as mortgage lending, appraisal, residential, commercial, or property management. As long as you are willing to put in the hours required to learn about each type of property, you could end up with a lucrative career.
Real estate agents must pass licensing exams, complete continuing education requirements, and often take additional courses to become certified. Licensing requirements vary depending on where you live, but most states require candidates to attend school for several months before passing the exam. Most states also require real estate agents to renew their licenses every few years.
Licensure helps protect consumers and protects both buyers and sellers from unscrupulous professionals. In addition, licensure allows real estate agents to charge higher fees because they know they are qualified to do so.
If you’re ready to begin investing in real estate, here are some tips to consider:
* Start small. Don’t try to jump into the deep end right away. Instead, start out by learning more about the market and finding a few deals. This will allow you to see firsthand what works and what doesn’t. If you find something that seems promising, go ahead and buy the property. Otherwise, wait until you know more about the area and the market.
* Do your homework. Before making an offer on a property, make sure you understand the neighborhood, crime rates, school district, etc. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it also helps you avoid purchasing a property that won’t provide a good return on your investment.
* Find a mentor. When I say “mentor,” I mean someone who knows the ins and outs of the real estate world and will guide you along the way. They could be a friend or family member or maybe a local realtor. Whatever method you use, make sure that person has experience.