When committing yourself as a buyer’s agent, there is a lot of groundwork to lay before you begin the actual search for and viewing of homes. You need to understand each particular house hunt and what it means to your client so that you can find homes that they’re likely to love and to buy.
To set yourself and your client up for success, here are ten questions you should ask a home buyer.
1. Price Range
It’s important to know what they’re comfortable spending right off the bat. Most people will have a range of numbers between which they’re comfortable viewing. Ensure that you discuss with them that they need to be realistic when setting this number.
This seems obvious, but it’s essential to understand the geographical restrictions of your client’s search. This may also include things like specific postcodes, only wanting to see areas with a school within walking distance, or not wanting to be situated on a main road.
3. Key features
Clients will always have a non-negotiable list of things they want to be included in their new home. For some, this is a covered deck. For others, it may be that the home comes with a dishwasher and split system or perhaps that the garage has a door leading into the home.
4. Buying purpose
Find out if the buyer is looking for a home to live in or searching for an investment property. Usually, people are searching for different things from these two property types. One must have high resale value and rental appeal, while the other is about personal preference.
Most buyers will have an idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms they would like in their home. Others will be more interested in the square meterage of the home and lot. Whatever they’re looking for, find out if they’re flexible or strict on these requirements.
6. First-time buyer
Make sure that you get to know your client. Finding out if they’re a first-time homebuyer will be important in their buying process as they may be eligible for additional grants and funding. They also may be less experienced and need more guidance than other buyers.
Some home buyers get on the market expecting to take their time looking. Others are in more of a rush. If your client has a settlement date for their old home, is finishing a lease or has some other reason they need to vacate their current home, this deadline is important.
8. Outdoor elements
While certain homebuyers will want a beautiful green garden, others may prefer a bricked pad, a deck or a covered area. A lush garden is beautiful but high maintenance and many don’t want to spend their first few months in their new home renovating this area.
Don’t assume that your buyer has already been approved for funding from a reputable bank. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s important to build a relationship on trust, and you shouldn’t be showing houses to buyers who haven’t yet been given authority to buy.
10. How long have they been looking?
This will be very telling of your homebuyer. If they’ve been looking for years, perhaps they’re not serious about moving or are picky. If they’re new on the market, the chances are that they won’t be buying right away until they’ve had the chance to look around first.
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