When you’re beginning your career as a real estate agent, you might think that you should take on every client. Over time, you will learn that there are some clients you are better off without. Perhaps they are just asking around and aren’t really interested, but they end up wasting your precious time. To find out which clients you need to say ‘No’ to, here are 9 questions every agent should ask a new real estate client.
1. Are they going to be working with you exclusively?
Don’t take on clients that already have another real estate agent. There is a code of ethics amongst agents to not interfere with the sales of another agent. If the client in question has already signed with someone else, they may also be violating their previous relationship. It’s best to steer clear of those situations and avoid violating any laws. To be on the safe side, you could meet your clients through a referral program. If that’s the case, both sides will know that the other is vouched for.
2. Have they bought or sold a house before?
Find out if your clients have any previous experience when it comes to buying or selling property. This is one of the first questions every agent should ask a new real estate client in order to know who they are dealing with. If they have no experience when it comes to real estate purchases, you will need to spend some time explaining the process to them.
3. Why are they buying or selling the property, and why right now?
Ask your clients about their motivation to get into the real estate market. This will help you evaluate their sincerity and willingness to follow through. If the clients have an urgent need to buy property, they will probably be more committed to closing the deal. It still doesn’t hurt to ask them why they are in a rush. When talking to your clients about their timing, you will also gain a lot of information on how much work they have put into preparing for the sale. This can give you a better idea of how much preparation is left and what kind of work still needs to be done.
4. How will you communicate?
There is another question hidden inside this one, and that’s how often do the clients expect you to communicate. It’s up to the real estate agent to build a relationship with the client. However, some clients can take things too far and expect you to be available at all hours. Set expectations at a realistic level and agree on how communication will function beforehand.
5. When do they expect to be moved in?
We already mentioned that some clients might be pressed for time, and you need to get a sense of their ideal timeline. Find out how flexible they are and how long they can wait to move in after the purchase is made. This can give them the option to consider properties that might require additional remodeling work or repairs.
If your clients seem to be in a rush to get moved in, it might help to ask some follow-up questions. Try to find out how serious they are. If you found them a perfect home tomorrow, when could they move in? Do they already have the movers selected? Clients might be in a rush but lacking the movers to help them. In that case, you can refer them to brooklynmoversnewyork.com or other reputable moving companies, where they can start getting organized. However, if it turns out that your clients are reluctant and are delaying the move, you should ask more questions and try to get to the root of the issue.
6. Ask about their finances
When talking to your clients, you need to discuss more than just the price range they had in mind. Inquire to see if they have been pre-approved for a loan. Being pre-approved can help them act quickly when they see a property that they like. Some clients also tend to overestimate their budget and look at properties beyond their means. Of course, luxury properties are going to look nice, but they definitely aren’t for everyone. Make sure they can comfortably cover the mortgage and inform them of any additional costs they might encounter.
7. What are they looking for?
Some people have a crystal-clear idea of what their dream home looks like, while others might not be so sure. Ask your clients what kind of features they want from their future home. You can even help narrow down their search by pointing out some home design trends which most people are looking for. Once you have a list of features they are interested in, you also need to find out how important they are to the clients. Some features will be hard to find and can make house hunting an impossible task. Try to inform them of how the process works and set their expectations accordingly.
8. Do they have professionals for other services already selected?
Your clients will probably need a wide range of services and professionals in order to get everything sorted. From home inspectors who can find out if there are any flaws, through contractors if the clients plan to do any remodeling, all the way to movers and packers to help them get relocated. They should have references for all of the professionals they plan to work with. Some background checks are easier to perform than others, but it’s good to make sure professionals are licensed. As a real estate agent, you can remember the contacts of these service providers and start building your network of professionals.
9. What are their deal breakers?
After all the other bases are covered, ask your clients about deal breakers. Find out what they will instantly say no to, and save yourself the time you would otherwise waste on certain properties.
Over time, all of this should become routine, and you’ll know the questions every agent should ask a new real estate client. For starters, you can make a list and be very thorough when questioning clients about their plans and ideas. Making sure you’ve covered everything is bound to boost your self-esteem, and it will instill confidence in your clients.
Written By: Lisa Robert with US Home Experts