Client questions real estate agents should be prepared to answer
According to the statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS®, there are approximately more than three million licensed real estate agents in the US. This basically means that each agent gets a very small window of opportunity to convince a protective client that he is the best to help them sell or buy a home. The sheer number of agents means that the seller can always choose from a large pool of available agents to work with and they would want the best to help them with their property deals.
So, how is an agent supposed to persuade a client? Most real estate agents spend a lot of time perfecting their scripts. Whether it is a cold call script or a listing appointment script. A lot of hours are spent on creating and fine-tuning these. Now we do believe that this is a good thing to do, but our experts have only one question for you. What will you do when the prospective client goes off-script?
In other words, our experts are asking whether, as an agent, are you prepared to answer any and all questions a client may have? Some agents tend to trust their instincts and decide that they can answer these questions on the fly. Definitely, you can choose to do so, but our concern is whether you should be risking a potential chance of earning an income by doing this?
The clients nowadays are smart and well informed. Most of them are going to walk into an appointment fully prepared with questions of all sorts. Remember, these home sellers are going to go online and read up about most aspects of home selling. They are coming to you for expert advice and technical help. Therefore, you must be ready to answer some common questions that clients have regarding the aspect of real estate and home selling. If this does not convince you then remember, other agents are going to come in prepared so if you do not wish to lag then it is definitely worth your time to anticipate certain questions you might be asked and be prepared with detailed answers for those to ensure that you do not end up dropping the ball.
Questions Real Estate Agents Should Always Be Prepared To Answer
Now that we have sufficiently discussed why you should be prepared to answer the clients' questions, let us move on to the actual questions. We spoke to a wide range of realtors and asked them what were the most common questions that their real estate clients have asked them over the course of their many years of experience as agents?
1. Could I see your real estate license? Or Could you tell me about your qualifications?
A surprising number of agents tend to miss out on being prepared for this question. Yes, you have a real estate license and yes, you can show it to your prospective clients. However, this question is more than proving your bonafide. Think of this as an invitation to tell your clients about all your past successful real estate deals. All the clients you have helped, the number of homes sold in the neighborhood. Your expertise in all matters related to real estate. Expand upon the courses you have undergone and any awards or certificates you have received for excellence.
Instead of just randomly mumbling a few points about your work experience, you can prepare a short yet informative response, which is interesting and memorable for the sellers. The key is that they should remember you and should want to come and work with you.
2. Are You Familiar With This Neighborhood Or Residential Area?
The next frequently asked question is about how familiar an agent is with a specific locality. When it comes to residential real estate the agent is not just selling the house but also the community and the facilities of a particular neighborhood to the prospective buyers. This is why most home sellers are looking to hiring real estate agents who previously sold homes in a particular locality. Knowing these essential details will help the client be convinced that you will be able to present the house in the best manner to the buyers.
As an agent, when you walk into a client meeting you should have adequate knowledge about two aspects — the home and the neighborhood.
1.Knowledge about home
The total square footage, the number of rooms and baths, the age of the property, unique features if any, and more.
2.Knowledge about neighborhood
The kind of community and the common family type who reside there. Details about the local school district, stores, popular cafes, and restaurants. The public transport system. The safety and suitability of the neighborhood for families.
3. Could You Provide Us With A List Of Referrals?
Now, this is actually a question that most real estate agents expect to answer; however, our experts suggest that instead of merely handing over a list of referrals to the sellers you could do something slightly different. Something that will help them remember you as the best agent they met.
Therefore, once you have handed them a list of clients who you have served to great satisfaction, you should also show them your professional real estate agent profile. All you need to do is register yourself on an online real estate lead generation platform like Dorrmat. Not only will you benefit from the high-quality seller leads that you will get as a registered real estate agent on the platform but you also get a branded landing page. You can choose to display your past clients' testimonials. Your achievements and certifications. Most importantly, you are not handing over a static list of referrals, you are giving them a branded representation of your skills as a real estate agent.
4. How Should I Prepare My Home Before The Sale
One thing that all home sellers are a bit wary of is that they are a bit unsure if their home would fetch them a good selling price. They may or may not be aware of their house's value but all of them definitely want to sell their home at a good price. For this reason, they will be looking for suggestions and advice from their agents.
Simple steps like decluttering and cleaning, checking the electrical and HVAC systems, repairing any plumbing issues, etc will help the home strike a good first impression on the prospective buyers. Now, do not do what most agents tend to do is rattle off the above list of items. Personalize your suggestions for each individual home you are trying to get sold.
Before you walk into the house, take a moment and study the exterior and the yard. Make a mental note of that and once inside, ask for a home tour. And again mentally keep track of small improvements that can help enhance the home value. This will ensure that when you are asked this question by your home seller, you are prepared to answer with specific details.
You should ideally take a walk around the property with the seller again and show them how certain aspects of their home would be viewed by a prospective buyer. Do not just point out the flaws but also not the good parts and offer solutions for minor improvements.
Always keep in mind that it is their home and it should always feel to prospective sellers that you and they are on the same team and you are helping them.
5. Will It Take Long For My Home To Be Sold
Another major concern of most homeowners that comes up during these questions is regarding the average time it would take for their property to be sold. Now there are a lot of factors that affect the actual sale of a home. The time duration can be anywhere between four weeks to six weeks after it has been listed for selling.
Our experts advise that instead of just giving them a number, it is better to first explain to the sellers the current conditions in the real estate market. Take them through the selling process and help them understand that the market conditions will ultimately determine the final sale time and value.
This question also gives you an opportunity, as an agent, to ask the client about their expectations. Whether it is a quick sale or a good value that they are prioritizing. Knowing their expectations will help you guide them better and also help determine a rough duration by which any necessary home improvements and modifications can be completed and all the necessary paperwork can be finished.
6. How Are You Planning To Handle The Marketing Of My Home?
This is a question for which a well-prepared answer from the agent can help land the actual listings. Ultimately, marketing a home is more than just putting up a for-sale sign in the yard. What the client wants to know is what are your plans to reach buyers who do not live in the immediate area?
In the current situation where a lot of people are moving across states or cities to changes in their job or personal life, as a savvy agent, you should have a reliable way to market your listings to these people as well. Inform your client about the Multiple Listing System (MLS) on which you will be putting up the description of their home. The MLS is used by buyers and sellers to search for property and put up their houses for selling. A client's agent does the same on their behalf.
You could also discuss using the real estate website for online marketing and also the offline channels, such as flyers and adverts in magazines and newspapers in the real estate market section. All that the clients want to be convinced of is that you are well prepared to handle the sales.
7. Do You Have A Network Of Real Estate Professionals?
A question that surprises many real estate agents is this one. Not surprisingly after you have explained the entire home selling process and requirements for it, you should be prepared to answer questions or offer referrals for different kinds of real estate professionals that a homeowner can hire to carry out the preparation for selling their house.
Have a ready list of professional people who can handle any job related to houses. This actually has a wide range of people. Your seller may need the services of a handyman or cleaner. They may wish to hire a home stager for preparing the home for an open house. They may also need people like real estate lawyers or mortgage advisors.
As their real estate agent, they expect that you would have a relationship and contact with those who have the necessary job skills.
8. Could You Explain Your Commission/Fees To Me?
All agents should be prepared to answer the money question in their interviews with all prospective clients. No matter what else your clients ask you. The money question is something you should be ready to handle. Now it is vital to explain this in a clear and precise manner. Think of this as the question that actually gets your clients to trust you. So a proper answer for this query may help you land the listing.
Be clear and give a short explanation about the commission percentage. Explain how the commission is split between the seller's agents and the buyer's agent. Inform them about the average rates of commission charged in your area. If you are open to negotiating the fee then let them know about it.
However, do not finish your response by merely telling them the fees you will charge, it is vital to inform them what services they will be receiving in change for the fee that will pay you. Once again remind them about the services and expertise that you bring to the table and how you will be guiding them in the entire selling process.
9. Why Should We Hire You? Or What Makes You Better Than Other Agents?
This question would be the final question in most interviews between real estate agents and sellers. There is no need to feel intimidated thinking about how you would respond. Consider this as a final chance for you to pitch your skills and services and show that you are the right agent for the job.
You can summarize what you have already answered so far in an interview. However, our real estate experts suggest that rather than repeating what the client already knows, it is better to reframe and present your image with a fresh approach.
How You Can Deliver On Your Client's Needs
Think of this as a job interview, your client already knows that you are qualified, what they want to know is how you are the best realtor to help them get the best deal and sell their home for a good price. Clearly emphasize how you understand their requirements and talk about your knowledge and understanding of the functioning of the real estate market.
In the real estate industry, a realtor needs to be prepared to ace the interview with prospective buyers and sellers. In this business you are not merely selling a home, it is also your job to sell your skills and position yourself as a valuable resource. You need to sell the clients your skills as an agent first before you can help them sell their houses. By being prepared in advance to smartly and informatively respond to the frequently asked questions to realtors you will see a surge in the ratio of your interviews to listings.