- When a buyer asks why you are the best, skip the humble pie and tell them the truth.
- Go into a meeting with a seller knowing exactly what your marketing plan will be including all of the online details -- extra points for a virtual tour.
- Speak tactfully with the seller's agent to find out how the sellers might respond to a low offer.
As a real estate agent, your job is to assist homebuyers and sellers in one of the most stressful transactions of their lives.
Being prepared for the hard questions from the buyer and seller will keep you from being blindsided during the process. Prepare answers to these 10 commonly asked questions and enter your next client meeting with confidence.
Top 5 seller’s questions
Sellers treat the real estate process like an interview. They want to see what you are really capable of doing for them, so be prepared for an onslaught of tough questions from a seller.
Here are a few you should expect to hear during your meeting with a seller:
1. How much do you think my home will sell for?
As a real estate agent, you need to go into every seller meeting with all the available data for homes in the area. Research the real estate market and find out how much comparable homes have sold for in the past months in that specific region.
If there are reasons that their house is going to sell for drastically less than other homes in the neighborhood, don’t sugarcoat them. Tell the seller what aspects of the property could be improved to make their home sell for more.
2. What makes you stand out from other real estate agents?
Skip the humble pie and show off your impressive stats. A high list-to-price ratio should be shared, in addition to your average days on market for previously sold properties.
If you have won any awards in the past, let the seller know — and feel free to brag about great deals you have recently closed for other sellers.
This is your chance to demonstrate your marketing abilities. Give the seller a presentation that highlights your previous wins. Trusted references are a great way to give the seller confidence in your abilities.
3. What is your commission rate?
Commission is a touchy subject. This is when the gloves come off and money enters the equation. Some sellers feel the need to play hardball on negotiating a commission rate.
Although you need to feel comfortable with the rate you set, go into a client meeting understanding that you might need to budge a little bit on a commission rate to land the client. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you are willing to do for the sale.
4. Where do you plan to advertise my home?
Explain your real estate marketing process and what avenues you use to sell homes. This should include a wide range of channels, including the Internet.
Raising interest on the Web is imperative in selling a home. Many buyers now look exclusively online to get information on homes before setting up meetings with a real estate agent.
You will get bonus points in answering this question if you implement virtual tours in your marketing process.
5. Have you sold many homes that are in the same price range?
A seller needs to feel like you have done this before. No one wants to trust their home to someone who doesn’t have a proven track record.
Bring this information to the meeting to prove you have the experience required to get the seller the best price without wasting their valuable time.
Top 5 buyer’s questions
You might find buyers to be more skeptical than sellers. From their perspective, they are about to put down a large amount of money on something that has very few guarantees.
It’s common for the buyer to bring lots of questions to the table, but expect these five at almost any buyer meeting.
1. What do you think this property is worth in the current market?
It’s not a big surprise that money is the first question to pop up on both sides of real estate transactions. Although you cannot tell the buyer how much to offer for a home, you can provide comparable prices for other properties in the area.
Find similar homes in the region and see how long they have been on the market. Knowing how homes in a specific neighborhood are selling gives you an idea of the price range. Bring this information with you to the first meeting to provide a reasonable range for the buyer.
2. Is the seller flexible on price?
Once you know how much the property is worth compared with how much the seller is asking, you have the information needed to discuss wiggle room in your client’s offer.
Are there home renovations that the seller should make before your buyer puts in an offer? Although you don’t want to insult the seller with a lowball offer, it’s also your duty to help your client get the best price on a home.
Speak with the seller’s agent to feel out how they will respond to a lower offer. Be careful with phrasing this question.
Ask about flexibility rather than stating an extremely low offer. Some sellers might rule out a buyer if they deem an offer insulting.
3. What service options are available for the area?
Buyers in today’s data-driven age want to ensure that their home has options when it comes to Internet and phone services. Ask the seller for information about their current Internet and phone provider package, and be ready to give that information to the buyer.
Then go a step further and do your research on service coverage in that area. The more information you have to give to your client, the better.
4. Does the seller have paperwork for the mechanical systems?
Ask the seller’s agent to collect copies of any mechanical system paperwork for your client. If the seller refuses or does not have copies of these documents, it could very well be a red flag for the home.
They might be lying about when HVAC systems or appliances were installed or replaced, which could lead to some major headaches down the road for the buyer.
Get everything about the home systems in writing to be sure they are telling the truth about installation dates and the quality of the appliances. This way, if something goes wrong with one of the mechanical systems after the sale, they have the information needed to prove warranty coverage and avoid paying full price for repairs.
5. Is there anything wrong with the property?
In today’s market, many sellers get home inspections performed before the house even goes on the market and release a home disclosure report.
If this is the case, you will be aware of any problems with the home before your client considers making an offer. Many states require the seller to be upfront about any issues in the home, but it’s not a federal mandate.
Know the current laws for your state before trusting a seller to reveal any potential deal-breakers. The seller’s main goal is to sell a house, not to provide a perfect home for the next person.
Don’t wait until they’re asked to find out the answers to these common real estate questions. Prepare your answers beforehand to impress your next potential client and close the deal.