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I learned long ago that whenever prospective buyers call or email, I give them enough information to satisfy their basic inquiries.But if they request to see a property, I try to set the stage by asking them questions. I figure that if they're hesitant to provide information, then they're not good prospects or there's no chemistry between us. If I'm willing to give them my time, they should be willing to give me theirs.Basic questions I ask:1. Are you currently working with a realtor --- if they are, then I politely tell them that they should consult with their realtor2. Are they preapproved for a loan. If they say they think they know what they can afford, I still encourage them to see a lender in case they're underestimating (or overestimating) their buying power3. If they want to see a property, I ask them to meet me at the office first so that we can pull up information on this property and other similar properties to gauge their level of interest. I won't show a property until I meet them first at my office and I have all their contact info (full names, emails, phone numbers, etc) and unless they're already preapproved.4. When they show up and after getting all the required information, we go through the exercise of pulling up properties in their price range, their preferred locations. Then together, we discuss the choices -- and I give them background information about type of sale, comps, etc. Doing this together lets them see that searching for a property is a process that is more than just driving around and opening doors.And it they don't show up.... that's fine too. While waiting, I had other things I could do at the office. And....I just saved myself a major hassle of working with potential buyers who may not be ready or serious about buying, or who can't commit.
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