New Real Estate Agent Guide: Preparing Your Clients for a Showing
At the start of a client’s search for a new home, there is a lot of excitement, for them and for you. But that feeling can quickly turn into fatigue and disappointment if the process drags on too long. In order to make the experience as pleasant as possible for all parties, follow these tips.
The Initial Consultation
It’s important to get a good sense of what your client is seeking and most importantly, what they can afford. By asking questions ahead of time you will avoid wasting your time and theirs. You will also avoid resentment and disappointment by not showing them homes that you know they will not like or are not in their price range.
Questions to ask include:
- Are you pre-approved for a mortgage?* If so, what is that number versus your preferred price range?
- What are your must-haves?
- What are your deal-breakers?
- What communities are you interested in?
- What type of neighborhood?
- What style are you looking for?
- What number of bedrooms and bathrooms would you like?
- What condition should the house be in? (New construction, some projects, fixer-upper, etc.)
- Do you want a yard or extra amenities such as pool or outdoor kitchen?
- How long do you anticipate being in your next home?
- How do you feel about belonging to a Homeowners Association (HOA) and the associated costs?
- Do you understand the added costs associated with a home purchase and how they work such as the earnest money, title inspection, attorney fees, home inspections and in some cases, additional insurance (such as if property is in a flood zone)?
*If your clients are not yet pre-approved for a mortgage, strongly encourage them to do so. By not being pre-approved, they will be wasting valuable time, especially in a market where homes are being sold so rapidly. If they are resistant, ask them to put themselves in the seller’s shoes. If it comes down to two potential buyers, a seller is more likely to go with a buyer who has been pre-approved. When someone puts their home on the market, they want to close as quickly as possible. Waiting for a mortgage approval that might be stalled or not approved after an offer is made is not something the seller will want to take a chance on.
During The Showing
Do your research ahead of time and be prepared to fully describe to your client all the pertinent details about the house and the neighborhood. Ask them to view it with an open mind and to try to ignore as much as possible any staging that has been done, because that has been done to show the house in the best light. Remind them that they should ask themselves the question – “Can I see myself living here?”
Of course, you will be accompanying them during their visit but give them space during the actual tour. Let them discover the house on their own and try to stay silent, only offering insight when necessary.
Remember not to project your own personal opinions about what you like and don’t like. It’s ok to be enthusiastic but stay neutral.
After The Showing
Ask your client:
- What did you like about the house?
- What didn’t you like about the house?
- Do you think the price is fair for this house? If not, what do you think would be a fair price?
- What did you think about the neighborhood?
- Could you see yourself living in this house?
Let them know negative feedback is ok! It will help you know better what types of other homes to show them.
More Houses to See
Even if your client absolutely loves one of the first houses they see, encourage them to visit a few more. They may find one they like even better or will have comfort knowing that first house was really the one they want.
Following these tips shows you respect the client’s wishes and time. It will help make the experience more enjoyable for all concerned. And a happy, satisfied customer will be more apt to refer you to their family and friends as well!
To watch an experienced real estate agent in action, click onto buffiniandcompany.com/100Days to watch industry legend Brian Buffini at work. You will follow Brian to see exactly how he handles every aspect of the showing process, from the pre-showing meeting, the showing itself and the follow-up phone calls he makes to his clients. Learn more at buffiniandcompany.com/100Days.