We all know the questions that a buyer will ask an estate agent or an agent who sells oversees properties. However, what about the agent? What sort of questions will the agent ask you? There is a reason for every question that you will be asked and the agent asks certain questions so they can determine the best way to help you find your ideal property. You may feel the questions are probing – they are not, they are asked simply to understand the bigger picture of what a buyer wants.
What does probing mean?
Probing is asking follow-up questions when we do not fully understand a response, when answers are vague or ambiguous or when we want to obtain more specific or in-depth information.
An agent asks:
Where do you want to buy a property?
What is your budget?
Do you need finance?
What type of property do you want?
Is it a holiday home or is it an investment?
When will you visit a specific area – especially if the buyer is investing abroad?
What date will you arrive?
How long will you stay for?
Where will you stay?
An agent will also ask for your full name, email and a contact number – is that unreasonable?
A buyer has contacted an agent for help and advice and all the agent wants to do is to be able to send the requested information. The agent may not have all the information the buyer is asking for and needs to obtain it and send it to the buyer as soon as the agent has it.
Where do you want to buy a property? – Obvious why asked.
What is your budget? – The agent needs to determine if the buyer has enough funds for the country or area they want to buy in. If they are on a tight budget the agent can suggest an area which may be more suitable.
Do you need finance? – Again if the buyer really wants a specific area but funds are limited its possible the agent could help with arranging finance if the buyer wants it.
What type of property do you want? – Sometimes the buyer thinks he/she can afford a villa when in reality they can afford an apartment.
Is it a holiday home or an investment? – A holiday home is personal to what the buyer wants, an investment is completely different. Often investment properties are to be rented out only and an agent can advise specific properties they currently have for sale which offer the best rental potential.
When will you visit the country/area? – You may be surprised to learn that some buyers ask if a particular property will still be for sale in a year’s time. How can an agent answer that question? Who knows when a property will be sold? The agent asks to determine if the buyer will visit imminently or it could be 6 – 12 months later.
What dates will you arrive and how long will you stay for? – If the buyer has already booked their travel the agent will ask for dates so they can arrange viewing appointments. Lots of buyers of property abroad often only visit for a few days maybe 4 or 5. Therefore if they want to view for 2 days the agent need to prepare in advance.
Where will you stay? – This is so the agent knows where to pick the buyer up from usually a hotel or private rented property. It’s not because the agent wants to stalk you, it’s possible the agent’s office could be 30 minutes away from where you are staying. The agent needs to plan in advance. Many buyers will say “leave a message at the hotel for me” – the hotel never passes this message on and the buyer thinks the agent is not interested.
Why agents ask for a phone number
If an agent is abroad (in the country where the investor wants to buy) sometimes the email he/she needs to send to the buyer fails and this is where a contact number is necessary. If the buyer doesn’t receive an email and the agent doesn’t have their number they are not contactable. A number is also important to arrange viewings, possibly either party could be running late and need to let the other party know they are going to be late or they need to rearrange the appointment.
Usually when a buyer contacts an agent they are happy to give information but sometimes a buyer thinks the agent is asking “probing” questions – they are not its simply because the buyer isn’t giving enough information – possibly some buyers don’t think they need to answer questions but if they don’t how can an agent help them fully?
Property agents are here to help you find the right property within your budget!