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Don't Waste Time, Pre-Qualify Your Real Estate Buyers

Posted by Jessica Schweppe

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May 26, 2015 11:11:00 AM

In this week's Agent Insights - Debb Janes, a Real Estate Agent at The Carl Group in Washington, talks about what key questions to ask real estate buyers to ensure neither party is wasting each others time. 

Here's Debb: 

Pre-Qualification Questions for BuyersDebb_Janes

Our team at The Carl Group works with both buyers and sellers. I'm primarily a listing agent for the team, but I do work with select buyers who fall within our niche of Baby Boomers and Multi-generational households. However, before I spend time helping anyone find their next home, it's important to ask a few questions to ensure we don't end up wasting each others time. 

At the top of the list - I always ask, "What are your primary goals with this move and do you have a specific time-frame for moving into your next home?" If they have the motivation and an end date in sight, the next question is pretty obvious. "Do you plan on paying for the property with cash, or will you be choosing to finance the purchase?" If they choose to finance - they need to get pre-approved  before we start looking at properties. There's nothing more disheartening than falling in love with a home and realizing it's not within your budget. Disclaimer: not all buyers respond well to this question. Use your common sense and intuition.

Semantics is Everything

Hopefully, we all recognize the importance of communicating with various individuals in a respectful and helpful tone. In my opinion, the words we choose can really set the mood of the conversation. If we operate from an intention of genuine caring and respect- it facilitates a relationship based on mutual trust. 

The aforementioned qualifying questions are asked in natural and easy going manner. Generally, I first make sure they aren't working with another agent, and then briefly explain how I work - and how that process saves them time. Once I feel we have a bit of a rapport, I gently ask a few questions. 

For example, note the tone of the question regarding their financing ability. Assuming they may have cash to purchase a home is flattering - choosing to finance, as opposed to needing to finance also facilities the respectful tone of the conversation. Words are so important.

The Bottom Line

In my opinion, real estate should be an enjoyable experience for all parties. Some people fit well together - and some don't. It's important to feel comfortable with one another. If there's an awkwardness and underlying current that creates an uneasy feeling - I walk away. My time and reputation are both too valuable.  And, they might respond better to a different personality type. 

Buyers who fit within the pre-qualification process get my utmost attention. They deserve my full energy and commitment to finding them the best possible home. They are the clients who get me out on nights and weekends and prompt me to cancel other plans. In short, they get my all until we find them the right match.  Thanks to good communication, and my market knowledge, we generally find a suitable property within a short period of time.

To learn about Debb, visit her website: http://findhomesinclarkcounty.com/agents/debb-janes-real-estate-broker.


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