Working With First Time Buyers
I am speaking at our local Board of Realtors tomorrow on working with first time buyers and made some notes last night on what I wanted to talk about.
As I was printing the notes this morning it dawned on me that it might help you and so I decided to share my notes J
First, we get to know them by asking lots of questions to discover who they are, where they are, and where they’re looking to go.
I always tell the agents I coach to remember the person asking the questions is the one controlling the conversation.
The more questions you ask the more in control of the conversation you are.
There are three key points I wanted to share about asking lots of questions.
- It keeps the customer more engaged in the conversation.
- The more questions you ask, the more you learn about your customer.
- It’s been proven that human beings love to talk about themselves and you asking lots of questions allows them to do exactly that.
When asking the questions focus on making it comfortable and conversational. Don’t focus on the call being with a buyer you’re trying to convert or make a sale to. Focus on it being a live person on the other end of the phone. Pretend as if it’s a friend or family member that you’re talking to instead.
If you can develop some continuing conversation questions that you feel comfortable asking that will help you feel more at ease.
The more you practice and role play the better you’ll get at it.
Next we explain the highlights of the home buying process to them.
Sometimes this is done over the phone, sometimes through email, and if at all possible in the office face to face before we go out.
The main things we touch on are:
The importance of getting pre approved first. And when talking about this you want to be careful to focus on this being about them and not you.
The reason we want the buyer to get pre approved is so they go into the home buying process with eyes wide open on the numbers knowing exactly what price range to stay under in order to keep their payments where they’re comfortable. Also so they have time to understand and educate themselves on the different loan program, options, and benefits of each.
After all, this is one of their largest single investments and going into it blind on the numbers would only be detrimental to them.
You need to present it to them from this place and not from a place of you not wanting to waste your time showing them unless they’re approved.
If you can shift your way of being and communicating from being about you to being about the client this will win time and again even over years of experience another agent may offer.
One of my favorite quotes of all time was by Zig Ziglar, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
We don’t get into discussing the loan, numbers, or anything at all about the loan. We get out of the way and let our affiliates do their part. We just refer them to a few lenders and get them connected.
Next we explain the search for just the right home. We explain how MLS works and tell them we’re going to get them access to all homes currently for sale based on what they’re looking for and let them choose which ones meet their approval.
We explain the public sites, open houses, for sale by owners, other agents listings, and basically make sure they know we can show and help them with all of these.
We discuss making the offer and negotiations. We generally give them a sample copy of the contract to review ahead of time so they aren’t so overwhelmed when it comes time to sign on the dotted line.
Next we discuss the home inspection process. What to expect, the cost, the process, the monetary cap and how the negotiations of this work. We try to prepare them not to get too overwhelmed with this part of the process as it can escalate quickly and is the least fun part of the home buying process.
Next we explain the formal loan application, the appraisal process, getting set up with homeowner’s insurance and remind them not to make any major purchases or do anything to change their financing situation between now and closing.
We go over the closing date, moving plans, make sure they know everything is tentative and not set in stone and subject to change.
We explain the purpose of the final walk through and the final closing.
Some other things we touch on along the way are:
Are there any other decision makers that will be helping or advising you? Should we talk with them?
We ask their preferred means of communication
Ask what questions they may have
And of course we discuss agency and we have them sign the non exclusive right to represent buyer agreement.
“Christy Crouch is the co-founder of You’re The Difference Sales & Life Coaching, co-author of the highly acclaimed real estate objection handler book, Now What Do I Say? a collection of more than 400 answers to over 70 of the most common questions and objections faced in the real estate industry. She has been in the real estate industry since 1991 and is still an active Realtor in Virginia with RE/MAX and leads her team of 4 in selling 100’s of homes a year after year. Christy has participated in closing thousands of transactions during her career, was inducted in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame for her production, awarded with an excellence award from RE/MAX International for being in the top 10 for the Central Atlantic Region, The Lifetime Achievement Award for production and longevity with RE/MAX. She recently received the Chairman’s Club award from RE/MAX, is in the top 2.3% of her marketplace, the mother of two adoring children who are involved in Soccer, Marching Band, Boy Scouts, and both honor students. Christy is a runner, cyclist, Spartan racer, and enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family in her free time.” Visit more information at www.yourethedifference.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.