How to know if your buyers will actually buy

Asking the five questions on the buyer pre-qualification script can help

Did you know that there are more buyers in today’s market than there are listings to sell them. And, even when your buyers are both motivated and qualified, you have no guarantee that you’ll win in a bidding war.

In turn, you are left with a potential time management disaster. How do you know which of your buyers will actually turn into a closed transaction? Should you spend your time hunting off-market listings for them?

There are only two answers to those questions.

  1. Recognize that no buyer ever HAS to buy. Until you are a powerful listing agent, controlling the inventory, you will continue to have little control over your income. Working with buyers is physical labor; working with listings is mental labor. The listing agent always wins. This is simply a fact.
  2. Meanwhile, until you have your magic number of listings, which is the number of active listings you must have at all times to meet or exceed your monthly financial goals, prequalify all of your buyers using our buyer pre-qualification script.

The buyer pre-qualification script is simply a conversational outline that uses questions to find out the following from your buyer prospects:

  1. “I assume because you’re calling/emailing/texting me directly, you’re not already working with another agent?”
    This question happens early in the script. You can skip the rest of the script if they’re already committed to another Realtor.
  2. “What price has your lender told you NOT to go above?”
    This question covers all of the bases with regard to finding out about their financing. When you ask this question, they’ll tell you if they’re all cash. They’ll tell you that they haven’t got a lender yet, they’ll tell you if they’re pre-approved and what price not to go over.
    Instead of asking all of those individual questions, the one question gets straight to the answer.
  3. “Which home in the neighborhood do you plan on selling?”
    This helps you determine if they are also a listing lead. Note: Many agents never ask this question when they get buyer leads. Don’t make this mistake! Many buyer leads are listing leads in disguise.
  4. “Paint me a picture. Ideally, what are you looking for in your next home?”
    The more you can drill down on the prospect’s needs, the faster you can find what they want. This is critical since you may have to proactively find off-market homes for the prospect if what they desire simply isn’t in the MLS.
  5. “When I find you a home that has a, b, c, and d (their stated needs and price range), the home you’re looking for that checks all the boxes, on a scale of 1-10, where would you rate your desire to write up an offer on it?”
    10 means you absolutely are 110% ready, and 1 means you’re just kicking tires. If they are anything less than a 10, your follow-up question is: “What would it take to make you a 10?”

These are just five questions from our buyer pre-qualification script. You can see how the
answers you get from your buyer prospects will help you determine whom to spend your time
with and who may be a prospect in the future, or possibly not even a ‘lead’ at all.

Tim and Julie Harris host a podcast for real estate professionals. Tim and Julie have been real estate coaches for more than two decades, coaching the top agents in the country through different types of markets.