Real Estate Buyer Questionnaire and Guide
Buyer Consultation Interview Questions For Real Estate Agents
As a real estate agent, working with buyers can be a rewarding and exciting process. Helping a buyer purchase a home can be one of the most enjoyable processes in real estate. However, it can also come with hurdles. With a real estate buyer questionnaire in hand, you can set yourself up for success during the buyer consultation interview and take many of the pain points out of the buying process. What are the best questions to ask a buyer when you are meeting them? Let’s find out!
In this post, you will learn about the buyer questionnaire, and you can download your copy of the questions plus you can even download a buyer’s presentation for free.
One of the biggest challenges in working with buyers is the amount of time it can take to find them a home. New real estate agents and experienced REALTORs can become frustrated going through home after home without making any strides. If you use the real estate buyer questionnaire properly, you can eliminate some of the wasted time during the home buying process and really help guide the buyer through the process instead of just going from house to house hoping the next one is the winner.
When To Use The Buyer Questionnaire
Ideally, you go over the buyer questionnaire during the buyer consultation. If you are not sitting down for a buyer consultation or presentation with your new buyers, then put this at the top of your list. Even if you haven’t until now, take all your current buyers out for a quick coffee and discuss the process with them.
If you are a new real estate agent, you might a little nervous about going over the buying process with a client. If that is the case, ask an experienced agent if they can tag along for. Make sure that you are learning from a mentor whom you fit with and even have them take the lead on the meeting.
How To Use The Buyer Questionnaire
During the buyer consultation, you will go over the questionnaire in detail, however, I also like to provide the buyer with a list of questions before the meeting. This helps you prepare the presentation and tailor the questions to their needs. This is called the Pre-Meeting Questionnaire and is best used in electronic form.
Next, when I meet with the buyer, I will go over the interview questions in detail and continue to ask probing questions. This is called the Meeting Questionnaire.
Finally, there is an interactive portion of the questionnaire. Buyers love this! It is a small activity that works great when you are working with people who are buying together. This is called the Interactive Questionnaire.
You open your computer at the office and see an email from a potential buyer.
“Hi Rockstar Agent,
My name is John Smith. My partner and I are thinking about starting the home search and you were referred to us by Suzzy Doe. Can we line up some viewings with you in the coming days?”
Unfortunately, most agents start asking for MLS numbers and are ready to get out there and show some homes. But, you are not “most agents.”
The first thing we need to do is get a general understanding of what they are looking for and their motivation. This is covered in the buyer consultation, but right off the bat, it is best to get them thinking about more than just MLS numbers.
From here, I send the buyer a Pre-Meeting Questionnaire. I set up an online form, so I can capture the buyers information and stay organized.
Here is my Pre-Meeting Questionnaire
*Note that I will go over these questions in more detail during the buyer consultation, however, this gives me a great place to start
You can see from this form; I will receive a lot of valuable information so I can be prepared for the meeting.
Pro Tip: If the buyer refuses to fill out a simple form such as this, then you may question if you want to work with this buyer. If they fail to fill it out they could be working with another REALTOR, a builder, not organized, or some other reason. I take my job seriously so I also want to work with buyers that take the process seriously.
Meeting Questionnaire and Interactive Questionnaire
Once the buyer has submitted the online form, I reach out to book the buyer consultation. I shoot to arrange the buyer consultation at my office or at a coffee shop. Some people are adamant about having the buyer consultation at their office, but I think it’s best to have the meeting at a spot that suits the buyer. During the buyer consultation, I want to get to know the buyer and I want a relaxed environment for them. Also, when asking a buyer what they are looking for in a real estate agent, on the top of the list is usually availability. Buy catering to their needs and meeting them in an area that suits them, you are already showing you are available!
After some small talk, I like to jump right into the questionnaire. Remember that they control the answers, but you control the process.
When working through the questionnaire, I start with a few foundational questions, then I jump into the interactive section.
1) Where are you living now?
2) How long have you been there?
3) What do you like about it?
4) Have you purchased a home before?
o Yes - Tell me about that experience? Is there anything you would have changed?
o No - How familiar would you say you are with the purchasing process in STATE/PROVINCE
5) How long have you been looking for a home?
6) What resources have you been using to look for homes? Have you been out on any viewings with a REALTOR?
If two people (or one) give them each a piece of paper and an MLS Map. Get them to PRIVATELY write down the things they want a home and circle the areas of your city that are their favorites. Give them 2 minutes the compare their pieces of paper. This is fun and shows what each is looking for in a home! I always get feedback on how much people like this activity!
This then leads to these questions.
1) Any homes that have jumped out at you? If yes, tell me about that home?
2) Describe your ideal home
4) What is your ideal location? — Use MLS Map to drawn on.
5) What can’t you live without?
6) What are some things you really don’t want in a home?
7) What budget would you like to stay within?
The Heavy Hitting Questions
These are extremely important questions for your questionnaire. These questions are not normally asked but will have a huge impact on how you move forward with these buyers.
1) What is plan “B” if you don’t find what you are looking for? – This question touches on their motivation for buying.
2) What are you looking for in a real estate agent? – This is usually discussed behind closed doors. Make sure you know what is important to them.
3) When would you like to be moved in by? – This also is asking about motivation and timing.
4) Do you have any questions for me? – This question is rarely asked but is very important for uncovering any unanswered questions.
These are the questions that I use in my buyer questionnaire. These are powerful questions that ask them the standard questions but also has strategically worded questions. There is also an interactive component to the buyer questionnaire that allows the buyer(s) to have some fun with the process.
[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Rev Real Estate School. The podcast with quick tips and actionable advice to help you sell more real estate in today's world. Moreover, now your host Michael Montgomery.
[00:00:11] Hello and welcome back to Rev Real Estate School. My name is Michael Montgomery. Do you know the questions that you need to be asking a buyer when you sit down with them?
[00:00:20] Today we are going to go over a few vital things to go over with the buyer when you are sitting down with them for a buyer consultation. Specifically, this is the buyer questionnaire. So if you do want to download a copy of the buyer questionnaire go to the show notes download it directly from there so that you can follow along and you can use it for your own buyer's moving forward. So what is the purpose of this questionnaire?
[00:00:44] Right off the bat the questionnaire you are able to get more information of that buyer than the buyer is telling you. That's one of the biggest things. Oftentimes with buyers, they tell you that they want a three bedroom house and a certain size but it's not necessarily just the what. It's also the why. So what we're doing with the questionnaire is we're pulling out the what. So that we're able to set up a criteria search for them. But we're also hitting on a few more subtle things and trying to get some more reasons out of them as to why they are looking for these things. So in the questionnaire, there are a few different parts.
[00:01:20] Number one is a Pre-Meeting. Number two is the Foundation Questions. Number three is the Interactive Questions. Number four is Rapid Fire. And number five is the heavy hitting questions Heavy Hitting Questions.
[00:01:38] The pre meeting questions are all in a Google Form or some other type of form where all I'm looking for is some basic criteria I want to know what they're looking for area, budget these sort of things I want to know exactly what it is that they're looking for. So again the what's plus. It also gives me a little bit more information on them so I'm able to get their contact information if there is anybody that they're buying with I ask questions such as this. So this is what I use in my pre meeting questionnaire. And this is sent as an online form so it gets them started on the process and gets some thinking even before we sit down and meet.
[00:02:14] Then when we sit down and meet I jump into what are called the foundational questions. Some of these will repeat what you will see in the pre meeting questionnaire but you will also be going into a little bit more depth with each of these. So you'll see I'm asking where you currently living. How long have you been there what do you like about it. I'm also asking them how they purchased a home before. I really want to know that in the foundational questions because it's going to determine how I'm going to go about doing the rest of the presentation. If they haven't bought a house before I'm going to get into a lot more detail about the process I'm going to ask them also on a scale of one to 10 how familiar they are with the home buying process in the current city you'll see that in the foundational questions to this just basically gets them started and they're open ended so it gets them moving and gets them talking in these sort of things. And that's the point of the foundational questions. I'm not really looking for exact criteria that comes into play more in the interactive side. I'm just looking to get some details out of them about what it is they're looking for.
[00:03:20] Moving along to the interactive section of the questionnaire. So for this I give them an MLS map. If there's two people buying together awesome. If there's one it still works but I get them to privately just circle the areas on the MLS map that interests them. And then on the back of the piece of the paper I ask them to write two to three things that are very important to them and two to three things that they absolutely do not want. So this is super fun if there's more than one buyer together because I have them do this privately. Give them a couple of minutes and then I compare the two. It always gets a few laughs. It gets the conversation going. So very very important part to getting into their criteria.
[00:03:58] Next I'm getting into the rapid fire questions. So this is their criteria. I'm asking them What's your ideal location. Now I have a pretty good understanding of that from the interactive section. But again it's just going to highlight some of these things. Also I will ask them what their ideal location is in the pre meeting questionnaire. So they've answered this question more than once and oftentimes at this point in time I'm already starting to get a quite a strong understanding of what it is that they're looking for. So I'm getting them to describe their their ideal home what they can't live without again coming back to the budget. And I use some strategic wording here I don't say. What is your price point? I say what budget would you like to stay within reason being is if you're just meeting somebody for the first time and you say well what can you afford that doesn't come across super well but if you say what budget would you like to stay within it is opening it up to the fact that they might want to go higher than this but this is what they're looking for. So a very strategic way to ask that question I asked them bedrooms bathrooms square footage these sort of questions and then I also asked them Are they looking for new home resale or both. Reason being is if they are looking on the new home side or if they're looking on the both side it's important for them to understand the whole process so I will go through that in detail even if they're looking on the resale side I'll still go over new homes just to be on the safe side to make sure that they understand how that process looks.
[00:05:19] The final section that you will see in the questionnaire the heavy hitting questions called these heavy hitting questions because they are so important. So let's go through them actually. Just so you can have an understanding of exactly why I am asking them. Number one is what is your plan B if you do not find what you are looking for. This tells me motivation. If they don't have a plan B and they need to find a place then their motivation is high. If they absolutely do not need to find a place because they're super comfortable where they're at then I might be saying something about their motivation too that doesn't mean I'm not going to work with them I'm not going to help them find an awesome place. It just means I need to have an understanding of how I'm going to approach this situation. The next question is What are you looking for in a real estate agent. This question when it's asked then you just have to make sure you are quiet. They will get into exactly what they are looking for exactly what they're looking for. This is very very useful. And then make sure you are taking notes. Once they answer this even if you can memorize exactly what they're going to say take notes because it shows that you're interested in what they are saying next. When would you like to be moved in by. So this is kind of playing off of what's your plan B. But I'm getting it directly out of them as winds their ideal timeframe. So sometimes people say you know what we're not looking for anytime soon. And then I ask that question they say you know what maybe three months or so. So although three months doesn't seem like soon to them it is soon. So I do want to know a date an idea of a timeframe of when they're looking to be moved in by. And this also causes them to think a little bit more about their motivation and when they're ready to get into a place.
[00:07:03] Next is do you have a great mortgage broker that you're working with. I ask this question because if they just say that they're pre-approved. Do I believe them. In most cases I would believe them but it is nice to know if they're working with a mortgage broker if they've thought about this and if they haven't. Or even if they are working with a mortgage broker by asking Are you working with her. Do you have a great mortgage broker that you're working with. It causes them to think about a little bit more. So even if they are pre-approved maybe they want to go and get pre-approved through one of my mortgage brokers where I have a close connection with and I can know that we're moving forward with confidence. So on this one. Sometimes people aren't super comfortable in that first meeting to start talking about finances and that's okay that's okay. I will still jump in my car I know that there's a few different schools of thought there but I will jump in my car and start working with them but not on a very grand scale until I totally understand that they are pre-approved so I'll go out maybe show them a couple of homes just to build a little bit more rapport get to know them a little bit better but then from there I do want to see some level of preapproval but the way that I approach this is in a way that it will help them. So I say by helping pre-approved you can provide a preapproval letter to a seller and it's going to strengthen your offer when they understand this it changes it a little bit more it changes the dynamic from I don't want to waste my time with you Mr. or Mrs. Buyer I simply want you to be in a best position in order to get an offer accepted.
[00:08:32] The next question and final question is do you have any questions for me. And again just like when you're asking what are you looking for in a real estate agent when you ask this question Do you have any questions for me? You also want to be quiet because they will start asking questions if they don't have any questions that's fine but still wait with them and see if anything comes up. So there you have it. Go to the show notes download the questionnaire so you can use it with your buyers. And again if you do have a couple of second zip on over and rate in review this podcast it helps so much I'm super grateful for that. Thank you again for listening and we will catch you in the next episode.
[00:09:11] This episode of Rev Real Estate School has come to a close. Thank you for tuning in. We'll see you back here for the next lesson
Follow Up Reading:
Question: do you have a buyer questionnaire that you use? Let me know in the comments below.