Every real estate agent has his or her own methods for getting to know clients and moving them through the homebuying process. But there are some tried-and-true steps that every agent should follow:
1. Greet the client and develop rapport – Help the client get comfortable with you. Build trust through authentic interactions.
2. Ask qualifying questions – Ask about what the client is looking for, their financial situation, buying motivation, and timeframe.
3. Set expectations – Lay out the procedure for the client: how to prepare their lender paperwork, timing for making a decision, preview of a blank contract if it’s a resale, and review new construction contracts. Walk them through what happens after deciding on a home.
4. Present their options – Talk about homes on the market that fit their criteria. Present your plan for picking the best one or extending the search.
5. Demonstrate the homes – Show the homes, going over every detail and focusing on the home’s features and benefits. Keep client motivations and desires in mind at all times. (Though it’s really the listing agent’s job, this important step is often left to the buyer’s agent.)
6. Narrow it down to one home – Narrow down the options until the client is left with one home that meets their needs and that they’re able to buy.
7. Overcome objections – Anticipate objections and remove them before they even come up. When objections do arise, be prepared to address them.
8. Close the sale – You may know the saying “ABC” (Always Be Closing), which means that good closers keep closing in mind throughout the whole process, and use every opportunity to move the buying process forward.
9. Make sure the steps between sale and closing go smoothly – Stay on top of the lender, inspector, and appraiser. Assist with arranging movers or other tasks to help the client transition into their new home.
10. Follow up and get referrals – Seek client feedback via phone calls or a survey. Agents can ask for ways to help clients with any of their post-close suggestions and put them on a long-term referral plan.