5 Signs Your Buyer Leads Are Ready to Buy A New Home
If you’re a real estate professional, odds are that you’re pretty good with people. You can empathize, lead small talk to the sale at hand, identify subtle clues on a buyer’s face that can help you isolate problem areas for them during a showing, etc. You could be everything short of a mind-reader and all outside indicators are blinking green: you have a buyer that is ready to buy a new house! Well, apologies for the psychics out there, but everyone is capable of self-deception. Your buyer may be picturing their triumphant move to new digs, but they very well may be seeing their own situation through rose-colored glasses. Putting aside the benefit of the doubt, here are 5 cold hard signs that your buyer leads are ready to purchase a new house.
Good Credit and Financial Solvency
This seems pretty boilerplate, no? Well, it tends to be something that a buyer lead may try to obscure or downplay. Do they have a good credit score? How is their debt to income ratio (DTI)? Bad, but they’ve been making on-time monthly payments on their $25,000 credit-card statement? Your buyer leads may have formulated a plan to pay for their $3500/month principle plus HOA plus property taxes, but this is where a simple accounting course (available at reasonable rates at your local community college) can come in handy when vetting your buyer leads. Verify their employment and banks statements along with the aforementioned DTI to give yourself the clearest picture of your buyer lead’s financial picture and see if this house is made of concrete blocks or cards.
Locate Their Position in The Buying Cycle
The Buying Cycle is divided into three parts: Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase. Awareness is analogous to browsing. Consideration is when your buyer lead is weighing all options with (hopefully) careful analysis of their needs against the inventory. Purchase is when the buyer lead is ready to pull the trigger. In the present-day (2020-2021) red-hot market, it seems that every buyer is locked into the final phase of this cycle. Using the Buying Cycle as a metric to judge your buyer lead’s behavior will allow you to make measured and thoughtful decisions on how to engage them. Removing ourselves from the present-day, where every Awareness-phase interaction will be a hard or soft push towards purchase as quickly as possible, consider taking a measured response to Awareness by making yourself available with subtle e-mails once a month to keep yourself at the top of mind. Consideration will be an in-depth conversation. The purchase will require your most agile focus and timely responsiveness. During the Purchase-phase, the buyer lead will have all of their appropriate documentation organized, be ready to get or be pre-approved for a mortgage, and have a clear and concise list of their needs in descending order of importance.
They Are Available Immediately
Eight a.m. calls are music to a realtor’s ears. Your buyer lead has rung as early as possible to get the ball rolling on seeing one of your listings ASAP. Today? Even better! Hone in on that sense of urgency, but be aware of our previous warnings – make sure to vet the lead’s financial situation in a polite but brief manner that takes less than 10 minutes (or 5, if you’re an absolute machine). Don’t delay, because they aren’t, and set up an appointment.
They’ve Lived in the Same Place for a Good Long Time
They’re a couple approaching retirement and both children have moved on to school or careers. Or they’re a family with 4 grade-schoolers and they’re bursting out of their two-bedroom apartment that never has a rental increase of more than 2% year over year. The average US home is occupied by its owners for between 11 and 14 years – sometimes more or less depending on the metro area. Taking these national figures in contrast with your buyer lead’s situation and locality will give you the clearest picture of whether or not they are ready to enter the purchase phase.
You’re “The One”
They’re not speaking to any other agents. Maybe they have in the past few weeks or months without success, but right now, you’re the belle of the ball, their insider. Buyers who have moved past the Awareness and Consideration phases of the buying cycle will not be interested in playing games or (in the coming return to normalcy) juggling multiple offers through different brokers to hedge their bets. You’re the only one they’re talking to and you’ll know it when they push your promise to “always be available for them” to its absolute logical limit and 1:00 am texts.
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