The age old adage is: You must have a buyer who is “ready, willing, able” to buy. How do you establish that your buyers meet this criteria? Heres some important questions you must ask:

How long have you been looking?

Have you ever seen a property that you like?

If you have, why did you not buy that property?

Do you own your own home now or are you renting?

If you own, is your home on the market? Have you had it appraised? Are you talking to a broker regarding listing your home?

If you are renting, How long is your lease or are you on a month-to-month?

(The best answers to the two questions are: ” I just sold my house” or “My lease expired and my landlord has relet the premises.”

How much are you paying in rent today? When you buy, how much do you intend to pay in monthly payments including property taxes?

(People often pretend that they will spend more per month to own than they are currently paying for rent, but such is usually not the case. The spread between the two is never great. The buyer knows a significant deposit must be made toward the purchase which is usually the financial concession the buyer is willing to make to buy.)

Who makes the decision to buy? Is it a joint decision between husband and wife or does one dominate these decisions? If you found the property you like, would you seek the advice of others?

( If they intend to seek the advice of family and friends, you must educate the client as to what to expect. Realize this: The family or friend is asked to make a decision for the client; the family or friend wants to remain family and friend, therefore, most often, the best course for the friend or family to take is to advise against it, thus saving themselves the burden of making a wrong decision. If the client must consult family and friends, it should be about their opinion on specifics about the property, the neighborhood, etc. But the client must bear the burden of the decision. If they are not willing to do this, they are not ready to buy.) Invariably, mavens kill deals.

Where will the deposit come from? Saving or borrowed from relative or both? Is their money tied up in a long term CD? Will they have to sell stocks? Etc.

Have you ever purchased a home before? If so, why did you sell?

If there are children in the family, how important are the school systems?

If they have chosen a neighborhood, how important is the neighborhood to them? IE: what features do they like most? (churches, safety, shopping centers, ect?)

Ask the client to rate themselves, whether they are buyers or not; specifically “If we found the property today that you like, would you say that you are “ready, willing and able” to buy or are there a few things that need to be resolved first. If there are things that need to be resolved, what are they?

Always ask the client after showing a property, “Should we make an offer?” Always ask this question after every showing regardless of how you thought the client reacted to the property. Shock of shocks, often a client that complains a great deal ends up buying that property. Negative comments do not mean they do not want to buy, they only mean the property needs some adjustments.

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