The best salespeople have one characteristic in common. It’s taught in every sales training program and hammered into their psyche from day one. It’s so basic and simple it seems that it wouldn’t be a big deal – but it is. It’s called “qualifying the customer,” and involves asking a series of questions that will tell the salesperson what the customer is looking to buy. A good salesperson knows the right questions to ask. Simple yes, but there are so many variables that enter into a buying or selling decision that most folks usually find their final choice is very different from their initial idea. This is the reason that very few people buy the first house they see, and often what they buy is quite different from what they originally thought they wanted.
Many agents will start showing you homes without asking you any questions. Don’t let them. Make them do their job! You cannot get any answers without asking questions. Some people are more interested in the homes, others the land. Think about what is important to you. Aim high. You might find just what you want if you truly know what that is. Take the time to “self qualify.” You might be surprised what you discover.
1. Write down everything you want in a new home. Yes, everything. Obviously you aren’t going to get 100% of your wants, but if you don’t write it down you may miss something that may turn out to be quite important. For example: Waterfront, new home, classic lake house, privacy, etc.
2. Prioritize your list. Put the most important things at the top and list them in terms of importance.
3. Break down each component. Take “waterfront” and develop more detail “big lake or small?”, “close to highways?”, “sandy beach?”, “sunrise or sunsets?”, list any and all concerns or desires.
4. Put it away for a few days. Go back to it from time to time to change and add.
5. Bring it with you to meet with your agent. He or she will ask more questions and refine your search.
Sellers (a shorter list – still important)
1. What is the most important thing to accomplish? Sell quickly? Get best price?
2. What goes with the property? Furnishings? Appliances?
Buying or selling a home is a BIG DEAL! Do your homework. Make sure your agent asks the questions that will get you what you want. Good questions will get to the point and will usually get what you want.
Kim Cedarstrom is a licensed residential and commercial Realtor© and consultant and president of Great Northern Real Estate and Business Consultants, an affiliate of Roche Realty Group offering a lakefront/residential real estate practice as well as commercial property and business sales services. Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 603-520-6609.