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20 Questions for Prequalifying Buyers

Every salesperson has war stories about indecisive, demanding, disloyal or financially irresponsible customers. They’ve learned firsthand how important it is to prequalify buyers. Real estate sales guru Walter Sanford, of Sanford Systems in Kankakee, Ill., asks buyers to fill out a detailed questionnaire to determine their motivation before signing a contract. Here are some of the questions he asks:

1. How long have you been looking?

2. Are you working with another salesperson or broker? If so, who?

3. Do you rent or own your current home? Rent amount? Mortgage payment?

4. Must you sell your home or complete a lease period before buying? How long is the lease?

5. How soon do you need to move?

6. If we find the right property, are you prepared to make a decision now?

7. What is your price range?

8. Do you have a budget for monthly payments?

9. Has a lender prequalified you for a loan? If so, for how much?

10. What’s the name of the lender that prequalified you?

11. How much cash do you want to use for the purchase?

12. Is there a particular location you prefer?

13. How many bedrooms do you need? Square feet?

14. Do you have a particular style of home in mind?

15. Will anyone else be helping you make the buying decision?

16. What special requirements do you need in a property?

17. Where are you employed?

18. What times are best for you to view properties?

19. How do you like to communicate—by phone, fax, mail, or e-mail?

20. What’s the best time to reach you? At what number?