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Asking Key Questions to Determine Client Needs

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Asking Key Questions to Determine Client Needs

 

It is well known that real estate is one of the most efficient ways that you can drastically improve your net worth. This is even true for real estate agents who devote themselves to satisfying their client needs.

Not every real estate professional understands the needs of their clients as thoroughly as they should, though. We have created a guide with a few questions that you can ask to help you get started.

Let us dive in.

1. What Does Your Ideal House Look Like?

As you might expect, this is one of the most important questions for you to ask your prospective clients. After all, it can be highly difficult to connect them with a sufficient property if you are not quite sure what they want.

Do not be alarmed, though, if your client is unable to answer this question right away. More often than not, people have difficulty envisioning their ideal home.

You can help get an answer out of them by asking what type of features they would like to have within their house. Similarly, you can ask them what they would like the surrounding neighborhood to include. They will likely come up with an answer after a bit of deliberation.

After collecting as much info as possible about this question, you can then narrow down available properties within the area. This can help save a significant amount of time in the future since you will not have to show properties your client would not be interested in.

Although it is often impossible for available homes to satisfy all of your client's criteria, it is highly likely that you have a few to show them that can come fairly close to doing so.

2. What Is Motivating You to Buy or Sell?

Interestingly, not every buyer is as serious as they claim to be. The same can be said about sellers, as well.

To clarify, let us assume that you are working with a client who seems notably motivated to purchase a new home. Upon asking them why they want to do so, they claim that they simply want to own property that they can flip in the future for a profit.

But, they seem to have little understanding of the local real estate market or how much work is required to accomplish their goals. In contrast, someone who wishes to move to a home that can accommodate their growing family is a much more concrete reason to do so.

Put simply, you want to ask this question in order to determine whether or not your client is sufficiently ready to buy a home. Otherwise, you might spend a significant amount of time walking them through the process only for them to change their mind.

It should come as no surprise that a situation like this should always be avoided.

3. How Long Do You Plan on Living in the House You Buy?

More often than not, people who are only willing to live in a home for a handful of years are likely to compromise on their criteria. For example, let us assume that you are interacting with a client who repeatedly declares they need a home with at least three stories.

But, they also plan on upgrading to a larger property within the next five years due to their career trajectory. If you are able to connect them with a three-story house, it is worth explaining to them that they should focus on this attribute at the time they move into a larger home in the future.

While this does not always change someone’s mind, it can allow you to move along with the purchase when you otherwise may not have been able to.

4. What Are Your Dealbreakers?

Most people have a few situations in mind in which they would instantly decline to purchase a home. More often than not, these include factors like the home’s proximity to a major highway, the overall crime rate of the neighborhood, or the year in which the house was built.

Interestingly, your clients will typically be able to talk about what they do not want far easier than what they do want. This can help you rule out properties that they would not be interested in, allowing you to save extra time and energy.

In the event that your client is unable to come up with any dealbreakers on the spot, ask them what would bother them most while living in a new house. They may then give you an answer like “noisy neighbors,” which will tell you that they may prefer somewhere more secluded away from a younger demographic.

5. What Is the Most You’re Willing to Pay Toward Your Mortgage Each Month?

Let us face it — our dream homes are often well beyond our price range. But, not everybody is conscious of this fact.

As previously mentioned, you will often encounter clients who do not have a thorough understanding of the real estate industry. So, the $500,000 home that they wish to purchase may be outside of the budget they have established for themselves.

Getting an idea of what your clients are able to contribute to their mortgage will help you better understand the realistic choices for them. From here, you will be able to show them houses within their desired price range that also meet their other criteria.

6. When Is the Earliest You Can Move Into a House That Satisfies Your Needs?

It is not uncommon for buyers to work with an agent in order to get a feel for the market. They might even find a handful of houses they could reasonably purchase.

However, this does not mean that they are fully prepared to go through with the transaction.

This form of browsing could easily lead to miscommunication between the agent and their client. So, it is in your best interest to ask them upfront whether or not they are prepared to move into a home that they find.

In the event that they are not, gauge their answer to determine what the primary obstacle is. If they say something like “I have to wait for my contract to finish with my current employer,” they could still be a serious buyer.

On the other hand, an answer like “I am not sure if I want to live in this state for the next 20 years” will convey that your client is unlikely to go through with the sale.

7. How Would You Prefer That I Contact You?

Staying communicative with the clients that you work with is imperative. As such, it is important for you to choose a communication method that works for them.

Since you will ideally be getting in touch with them fairly often, it is worth asking them how they prefer for you to do so. It is also recommended that you present them with a handful of options as opposed to email or phone calls.

It is fairly common for agents to communicate with their clients entirely through text messages. This is a convenient and fast way to let them know about a new home on the market, a price drop on a house they were interested in, etc.

8. Are You Currently Working With a Lender?

As previously mentioned, people sometimes sift through their local market looking for homes they never intended to buy. If the client you are working with has not received a preapproval from a mortgage lender, this is a factor that you should keep in mind.

More often than not, this is an indicator that they have not fully decided to purchase a home yet.

You can further determine this by suggesting a lender or group of lenders for them to get in touch with. If they seem disinterested in this comment or do not ask further questions, this is a red flag.

A client without preapproval who asked for guidance on choosing a lender, though, is someone who may be worth working with.

9. Are You Aware Of Auxiliary Costs?

Unfortunately, there is a large handful of costs associated with buying a home in addition to the asking price. Not all of your clients will understand this, and many of them will be caught off guard by the presence of closing costs.

The same can be said about miscellaneous costs, such as homeowners association fees. If these additional amounts cause your client to exceed their budget, they will not be able to purchase the home.

So, it is vital that you clearly outline what they should expect to pay and then see how it impacts their buying decision. Otherwise, they may place the blame on you towards the end of the transaction when all of these extra expenses arise.

In some cases, they may even walk away from the sale entirely.

Satisfying Your Client Needs Is Essential

Fortunately, the above information will help ensure that you do so as efficiently as possible. From here, you will be able to fully understand your clients' needs and provide the best service possible.

Want to learn more about what Hommati has to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.