As a real estate professional, helping your clients find the perfect house is one of your top priorities. You have access to listings with numerous homes currently on the market. Your client has probably seen a few on websites like Zillow.
You don’t want to waste your client’s time (or your own) showing them homes that don’t fit their needs. That only leads to frustration for everyone. To help narrow down your client’s options and show them houses that you’re sure they’ll love, here are a few questions you should ask.
Asking about your client’s budget doesn’t necessarily have to be the very first question you ask, but it is an important one nonetheless. The last thing your clients need is to fall in love with a property, only to find out that they can’t afford it. If they’re not sure about the house price, ask them how much they’re comfortable spending on a monthly mortgage payment.
You can also ask them about what features of a home might make them push their numbers a little higher. Some clients might be firm with their numbers, but others might be willing to pay a little more each month if a house has two master bedrooms or an open floor plan.
It’s not always about the home itself. Sometimes, one of the most important things about a property is its location. Some people love the idea of living in a big community, while other people want their home to have some acreage. Perhaps they want a home in a certain school district or within walking distance to restaurants.
While this might seem like a throwaway question, the answer your client provides can be very telling. You can learn a lot about your client’s values and what’s important to them by asking them about their favorite room.
To find homes that fit your client’s needs, you need to know what’s on their wish list. For instance, they may want a modern kitchen, a certain number of bedrooms, or a fenced-in backyard. Some eco-friendly clients may be looking for homes with energy-efficient appliances or solar panels and a solar panel battery. It can be helpful to have a list of “must-haves” and a list of “things that would be nice to have.” These lists can help you narrow down potential options even further.
Along with knowing what your client wants to have in their new home, you should also ask about their deal-breakers. Some people have them, while others don’t. For instance, your client may not buy a house if it has HOA fees or if it doesn’t have easy access to parks or shopping centers. When you know this information, you’ll be able to avoid showing your client properties they’ll instantly say no to, no matter how good the house or price may be.
Another important piece of information to know as a real estate professional is how long your clients plan to live in their new house. Some people buy a home with the intention of living there long-term. They don't plan on moving again after their purchase. Others, on the other hand, might only be looking for a temporary place. Instead of staying for decades, they only plan to live there for a few years. A more “temporary” client has temporary needs. A home that retains its value and that they can easily resell when they’re ready to move again may fit their needs better.
You don’t want to show your clients just any homes; you want to show them potential properties that most closely fit their needs. By asking the right questions, you can begin the process of narrowing down their options and helping them start their home buying journey.
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