"But Selling Real Estate IS a Real Job!"
Selling Real Estate IS a Real Job!
Qualifiers Come From Experience
Behind every qualifying question there is scar tissue from a
previous experiences. We don't even think there is a problem
until it we get hurt. We say, "That's it; I'm not going
to take it anymore!" That's when we start getting more selective
in what we are willing and not willing to do. It takes most agents
about twelve months before we develop the guts to ask all the
questions we want to and be willing to risk loosing the opportunity
if buyers won't freely cooperate. It takes eighteen months to
develop a pool of experience to learn about what we need to know.
A veteran in real estate with ten years experience can smell
an ambush at 500 paces while a rookie usually doesn't see the
bus coming until after it has run him over. You can quickly learn
what to ask; instinct takes time. But you can also speed up the
process by knowing what to ask and when to ask it, even if you
aren't sure of why.
You are working at an open house, look out the front window and
see an old 1972 Ford Pinto pull up. The people get out dressed
"casually" and we say to ourselves: "Nope; it's
not gonna happen. There's no money there." Later it turns
out they are rich.
More common is being at an open house and seeing a brand new
Mercedes [leased] pull up in front, and the people get out of
the car WEARING their money; they've got their money ON! We look
at them and think, "No need to qualify here. Looks like
there's plenty of money!" Then it turns out that these people
can't afford lunch, let alone a house. There are even four banks
trying to repossess their VISA cards because these people are
so over-extended. They don't have cash, and they can't get a
loan for ANYTHING. Yet agents look at them and believe that POST-
qualifying is as effective as PRE-qualifying. These words make
a professional skeptical: "Don't worry about money, we've
got all the money we'll need."
There is an expression, "You never know until you find out."
Some years ago, an agent in my office had two couples flying
in together from Iowa to Southern California to make an investment
purchase on a strip shopping center. They were both farming families;
what I didn't know then about farming would have cost me their
business: In the U.S., there are really two farming groups: One
group is made up of businesses owning mega acres (more than 80%
of all U.S. farming). The other group is comprised of small farmers
who own small farms more like 40 acres and a mule. Question:
If these two couples were flying from Iowa to California to make
a large investment purchase, which of the two groups would you
expect them to be in? My problem was that I looked at them and
just saw "farmers".
When they got off the plane, the agent was there to greet them.
They were dressed modestly. They wanted to rent a car, but they
insisted, "When we travel, we always use Rent-A-Wreck or
Rent-A-Dent." Sound like big spenders yet?
Back in the office in response to a qualifying question, they
plainly said they wanted to keep their down payment to no more
than a million dollars cash, unless that would make their payments
too high. You could have heard a pin drop in that office! You
never know until you find out.
Here are some qualifying questions for buyers that will help
you make quicker, more reliable decisions concerning which buyers
you want to pursue:
1. Why are you thinking of buying right now?
2. What would happen to you if you couldn't?
3. What's the maximum cash you have to work with right now? (Does
that include your closing costs?)
4. No problem. But just so I understand you better: Suppose I
found you the right home, and it was what you wanted, but the
only way it would even work was if you could come up with an
additional $_________. Knowing that, is there any point in showing
it to you, or should we sell it to one of our other buyers?
5. What is the highest monthly payment you would even consider?
(Does that include your taxes and insurance?)
6. That's fine. But just suppose I found you the right house,
but the only way it would even work, given your down payment,
was if you could come up with another $________/month. Is there
any point in even showing it to you, or would you rather we sell
it to one of our other buyers?
7. What are all the things you want in a home?
8. Which of all these things could you do without if you had
At the end of those eight questions, you ought to have an excellent
idea whether you want to pursue the purchase with these people,
or to cut it off right there.
- END -