Buying a home is a process, not an event. It is a complex process with several twists and turns along the way requiring expert guidance; which is where you come in! Whether you’re dealing with a first-time or experienced buyer, the way you explain this process will set the stage for the road ahead.
Let’s be honest, some agents working with buyers are not prepared with a specific buyer consultation or something they know by heart that can be done repeatedly. A well-prepared buyer consultation must flow and its important it includes these main pieces below:
- Introduction (upon the first appointment)
- Wants and Needs
- Next Steps
The introduction is an important step that allows you to get to know prospective buyers as people first. Make sure you come prepared with two packets!
1. Buyer Packet (for them)
Giving the buyers an information packet will organize the consultation topics and help show your professionalism and encourages buyer loyalty. Some things to include in a buyer packet are:
- RE/MAX INTEGRA brochure
- Sales Associate Profile/Resume
- Service Guarantee
- Information on the property the buyer called about
- MLS print/information on other properties that might meet their needs
- Forms packet for anything they’ll see throughout the process
2. Forms Packet (for you)
Being well-prepared helps buyers feel confident about working with you. Having all the necessary forms and information needed makes the process smoother and less daunting for both you and the buyer. Some things to include in your buyer forms packet are:
- State-required Agency Disclosure Form
- Buyer Agency Agreement
- Consent to Dual Agency
- Buyers Needs Assessment
- State/Office required forms
Set up appointments to show a few homes that seem to best fit their needs based on what you know at this point. When buyers come in for an appointment, they usually expect to see some properties.
It’s important to ask if they’ve had a previous experience with a real estate agent. If they say yes, ask how they would rate that experience on a scale of 1-10, one being they hope they never see or hear from that agent again and 10, they wish they could use the agent repeatedly.
Continue the conversation by asking what the number they chose means to them. Pay attention to the answer, as it tells you how they want to be treated. Finally, ask buyers to describe what attributes an agent would have to possess in order to be given a 10. The first meeting with a buyer is a consultation, a double-sided interview. As you are gather information (interviewing) about the buyer, they are interviewing you to decide if they want to work with you. In many cases, you will be asking the buyer to sign an agreement that commits them to work exclusively with you as their Buyer Agent to buy a home. You must earn that right! (NOTE: Consult your office to ensure you are in compliance with all laws and policies).
Wants and Needs
Conducting a thorough interview helps both you and the buyers get a clearer picture of the Buyer needs and wants. A well-conducted consultation helps the buyers discover and set their priorities regarding the home they are seeking. Educate them on this process. After they’ve expressed any and everything they’re thinking of, or items they may be concerned about as they relate to the process, let them know how much you know. Transitioning to next steps will give you the opportunity to tell them about the process from being pre-approved to the day they get their key. This is also the time to discuss any concerns previously mentioned during the consult.
Know your objectives before going into the interview. This way you will know what questions to ask. Everyone’s circumstance is different. Take notes from the initial communication and develop your questions in advance. Other things you should do or make note of are:
- Take good notes – what they say is important and you will not remember everything
- Maintain neutrality
- Refrain from giving your opinion
- Listen attentively
- Do not interrupt
Lastly, finish off the conversation by discussing whether there are any questions they wanted you to ask, but didn’t, and whether there are any questions they wanted to ask, but haven’t and most important, never leave an appointment without having set up the next one!