The Buyer Interview: 10 Essential Questions

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Buyers aren’t the only ones who should be asking questions during the buyer interview. There are a plethora of articles (like this one) designed to help clients find the right agent, but there aren’t very many that tell agents what they should be asking buyers.

After answering all of the buyers’ queries, now it’s your turn! Cement your expertise and your relationship with the clients by asking these ten questions. We’ve even created a mini real estate script so you can introduce these questions in a way that positions you as the knowledgeable and helpful expert.

Buyer InterviewI know real estate. Now is my chance to get to know you!

To help you find the home of your dreams in the right time frame and for the right price, I need to know the answers to these ten questions:

1. Why buy and why now?
Gain valuable insight into their reasons for buying a home that will help you tailor your services (and the rest of this conversation) to their situation.

2. Are you working with a lender?
This question lays the ground for a financial conversation. If they’re not pre-approved yet, this is your first opportunity to help them by recommending a lender.

3. How many houses have you already looked at?
Learn a little about their level of real estate experience and determine whether they are or have been working with other agents.

4. How do you prefer to be contacted?
Demonstrate your communication skills by offering to communicate via phone, email, text or even Skype. This is also the time to set expectations as to when they (and you) are available.

5. What if we found the perfect house tomorrow?
Gauge their readiness to move and get insight into their ideal timeline. Are they looking to move in the next three months? If they’re first time buyers, now is the time to discuss escrow and the closing process. 

6. What are your 3 favorite neighborhoods?
A fun way to talk about where they’d like to live, how important schools are and showcase your neighborhood expertise.

7. What is your favorite room in the house?
Learn more about the lifestyle of your buyer(s) and begin the discussion about features they are looking for in a less predictable way.

8. How important is outdoor/garage space?
In many areas and price ranges, this question quickly eliminates a number of options, so get it out of the way early. Would they be willing to live in a condo with a park space or do they require a private back yard?

9. How long do you think you’ll live in the house you buy?
Some clients may want a house they can enjoy for now that will be easy to sell later. Others may want a forever home and have more particular requirements. There is a difference!

10. What is a dealbreaker for you?
Roads with a lot of traffic? Apartment complex neighbors? No front yard? Save time by knowing their dealbreakers upfront.

Whether you’re a new agent who is learning the ropes or a more experienced REALTOR® looking to freshen up your routine, we hope our buyer interview questions help you secure and keep more happy clients. Because you know what happy clients lead to… referrals!

What question do you always ask first time clients?

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4 comments

  1.    Reply

    I always show my potential clients a buyer representation agreement at the first meeting but explain it to them in easy terms and then let them take it and explain that after our first set of showings I’ll expect them to sign it so that I can start working with them fully. So far so good.

  2.    Reply

    […] Ask your friends and family and search online to find your real estate agent. You may end up interviewing several before you find one with the expertise and communication style you’re looking for. A good agent will also be interviewing you, so keep your ears out for questions like these. […]

  3.    Reply

    Great questions. Next step is to get an exclusive buyer representation agreement signed. Now you are ready to go house shopping!

    1.    Reply

      Thanks for commenting, Mike! We often wonder how many of our readers ask buyers to sign an exclusive respresentation agreement. We’d love to hear from more of you.