The ability to quickly establish rapport with clients could potentially be what set’s top real estate agents apart from the bottom. This is because building a bond with clients requires close interaction with them—asking them key questions but not being too invasive.
This being said, we have listed six basic real estate questions that an agent can use as a platform to establish how the interest of a client can be best served.
1. Why do you want to buy/sell at this time?
The condition of the real estate market can vary at any given time. Some instances may offer the best time to buy (such as during periods of sharply rising home market inventory that tend to moderate prices). Whereas, other instances may offer the best time to sell (such as during deep downswings in market supply).
By asking clients why they want to sell or buy during a particular time helps to probe and understand the reason why real estate clients want to engage the market. Clients’ expectations should be realistic and in accordance with prevailing market supply and demand— factors that largely determine the price and the chances of potential deals.
2. What monthly mortgage payment amount are you comfortable with?
Real estate clients, specifically home buyers, are under no obligation to share their financial information with their agents. Homebuyers though have to tell their real estate agent the monthly mortgage payment amount they can truly afford (aside from providing their agent with a copy of the buyer’s pre-approval letter from the mortgage lender).
Notably, a lender’s pre-approval letter indicates only the mortgage amount that a home loan borrower is qualified for. It is not an indicator of the value of the home that a buyer wants or the amount of monthly mortgage payment that a buyer can really afford. Avoid wasting your time and the clients by focusing only on those properties within that client’s capacity to pay.
3. How Do You Prefer to Be Contacted?
Real estate clients, like all customers, have different personalities and thus, different preferences. This being said, how clients value their privacy differs from client to client. As a result, it is necessary for agents to adhere to not only their clients’ preferred mode of communication (phone calls, e-mail, or text message) but also to their clients preferred time of contact. This is because some clients may not want to be bothered too much while others prefer a more hands-on approach and like be involved every step of the way, no matter how small or trivial a matter may seem.
4. Do you have an understanding of the costs that come along with purchasing a home?
The purchase of a home entails several costs—some of which are often unknown to real estate clients (especially to first-time buyers). This is why real estate agents have to inform clients of all the costs involved before a deal is closed.
Besides a down payment and mortgage payment, real estate clients have to be made aware potential unknown and oftentimes hidden costs such as earnest money, closing costs, property taxes, and homeowners insurance and mortgage insurance. Other items which buyers may overlook and be reminded about are the costs of home inspections and, in some cases, property surveys
5. What Must Your House Have? What Do You Hope It Has?
A real estate agent should treat their clients as individuals with varying tastes, styles and preferences. But since many homebuyers have wants that tend to overshine their needs, getting to know what your client wants versus what they need will help you find their longing desires. All told, a real estate agent needs to help clients flesh out their dream home based on their lifestyle they envision.