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6 Ways to Get Buyers to the Closing Table

September 23 2014

6ways truliaAt the beginning of the recession, homes were selling like hotcakes and there were great deals to be found. Since we are working off of the back end of this economic downturn, you may still find a few homebuyers who believe that those smokin' hot deals of 2008 are still rampant across the United States.

Unfortunately, those deals are now few and far between. So, if you want to actually make some money and write some "good" offers that will get to the closing table in 2014, you've got to set homebuyer expectations accordingly.

Here are six ways to get buyers off the fenceget buyers off the fence and writing offers that will actually get accepted in 2014 and not 2008.

1. Make a List

Before you tour properties with your clients, sit down and make a list. Have them tell you what they must have in the home they desire, and what might be an additional bonus. Note everything, and carry around those notes so that you can refer back to them as you tour local properties that meet your clients' specifications.

2. Provide Market Information

At that same meeting, provide prospective buyers with information about the local real estate market in the area that they have identified for their home search. In suburban areas, provide a list of homes sold in the last 3-6 months. In a rural area, you may have to go back a little further. You can even put your tech-savvy buyers on an email drip campaign so that they are constantly updated on the latest market information.

3. Discuss Seller Cues

When you tour homes with your clients, make sure that your buyers understand seller cues. First off, if a home is new to the market, immaculate, and updated throughout, this seller is probably not ready to bargain. However, if a home is vacant and has been on the market for months, it is possible that there might be some wiggle room with respect to the negotiations. Encourage buyers to offer accordingly.

4. Have the Lender Review the Financing Process

All buyers obtaining loans should be pre-qualified or pre-approved before beginning a home search. Having financing lined up for their home purchaseHaving financing lined up for their home purchase means they will actually be ready to write an offer if they see something interesting. Have their lender explain the process, and make sure that all of the appropriate paperwork is already in the lender's hands. Lending guidelines are tight these days, and you want to make sure that your buyers offer will actually end up in a closed transaction.

5. Review the Costs of Ownership

If the buyers are first-timers, it may be worth reviewing the costs of homeownership. It's not only about utilities and cable, but now there might also be a landscaper and a pool service company required. Have they factored that into their budget?

6. Listen!

The way to actually get clients into a home as quickly and efficiently as possible is to listen to them and hear what they are saying. Watch for cues, determine who the decision maker is and note every comment that they make as it may come up down the road. That's why the list you create in your first meeting is so important. If you cycle back to the list and to the market data each and every time you tour a home, you may actually be able to get buyers off the fence more quickly.

The key to getting buyers off the fence and writing good offers fast is in your ability to set expectations accordingly. When you set appropriate expectations about the home buying process and educate buyers about the real estate market, not only will you close more deals, but you will save time in the process.

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This article was originally published on the Trulia Pro blog. You find it, and other articles for real estate agents, herehere.