Be prepared to answer these 5 critical homebuyer questions

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12/28/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

Don’t miss an opportunity to prove to prospective clients that you, as a Texas REALTOR®, are an expert on the real estate industry. Ace these five critical questions asked by homebuyers to assure them you’re a professional they can trust:

  • How much home can I afford? Some homebuyers may play with online financial calculators on their own, but they’re also looking to you to confirm their budget or point out any considerations they missed.
  • How much should I offer? When buyers want to submit a lowball offer from the start, do you know what to say to them? Be ready to hold their hand through the pricing process and counsel them on all the factors that go into a competitive offer.
  • How do we beat other offers? In a multiple-offer situation, make sure you speak with your clients about any steps you can take to indicate their seriousness to the listing agent and make the most attractive offer to a seller.
  • What are the closing costs? The lender has the final word, but you should fully explain all the costs associated with buying a home and why they’re charged.
  • What should I be looking for in a home inspection? Beyond a standard home inspection, if the property that interests your buyers has conditions that require an additional, specialized inspection, be sure to tell them. 

Categories: Buyers
Tags: buyers, homebuyers


Nancy Wolgamott on 12/29/2016

I urge my buyers to use a certified engineer for inspections even though they are more expensive than a TREC inspector.  I provide multiple names of engineers and their pricing information so they may choose whomever they like.  When they tell me who they want, I usually call and schedule inspections for them.

Nancy Wolgamott on 12/29/2016

I ask buyers if they have their financing , or are in the process of getting pre-qualified.  If they do not, I recommend multiple mortgage brokers who can help them do so.  Some buyers prefer not to discuss their finances with their Realtor.  I will give them general information regarding down payments on jumbo loans, etc. but do not want to get too far afield.

Tracy Gieck on 12/29/2016

As far as inspections are concerned, I’ve always advised my clients to choose from a list of inspectors versus me telling them who to choose. I tell them to make sure the inspector they pick is qualified to inspect whatever items that might be unique to the property (ie: septic, well, spas/pools)

I’ve never told a client what they could afford. I explain the process (LTV, income to debt ratios, etc) , but let their lender counsel them on what they can afford. I also advise them that the lender should provide a total list of all costs associated with the sale during the qualification process.

As for offers (multiple or otherwise), I’ve always advised my clients to assume the role of the seller and then make an offer that wouldn’t offend them if they were the seller, or for multiple offers, advise that the seller will take the best offer and to make their offer based on how bad they want the property.

In each aspect of the sale, I differ the different aspects of the sale to the experts in their respective fields. Realtors have been sued for trying to be loan officers or inspectors.

Michael S. Dougan on 12/29/2016

In reference to inspectors I always tell our prospective clients to look for;  what experience (how many inspections completed in a given time period)does the inspector have, how long has the inspector been in business, is the inspector licensed to perform the home inspection and the termite inspection, does the inspector perform well and septic inspections (if needed). Above all, don’t choose an inspector based solely on inspection fee prices. I see clients everyday trying to save anywhere from $50 to $150 on an inspection for a $350,000 to yes, $750,000 purchase. Or, the agent will pick the inspector for the client based on lower price or the fact that “the inspector is a nice guy”. When people are buying one of the largest purchases in their life, if not the largest purchase, its not the time to cut corners on inspection fees and experience. Inspectors who have been in the business for a while and don’t perform additional services can usually refer the buyer to a source for whatever service is needed.

Back to the original question…....there are design criteria, environmental conditions, systems and components, etc. present on some properties that are NOT covered or addressed by the TREC inspector Rules and Inspector minimum guidelines for inspection and the inspector simply will not address these items because they are NOT required under the RULES to be inspected. The buyer should choose an inspector that is familiar with ALL aspects of building design or at least know when they need to refer the client to another source for evaluation. Buyers and agents beware of inexperienced fast talking inspectors who talk a good game but don’t have a clue what is going on with an inspection and how much the report can impact the overall sale and occupancy of the dwelling. Inspectors that talk about it should be about it at the same time.

Mike McEwen on 12/28/2016

I’m w/ you, Mr. McNitt.

Mark McNitt on 12/28/2016

Great point Mike, but I think they are reminding us to be prepared.  No answer fits any Buyer perfectly, but having quick answers can make us look more professional and prepared to assist.
Other questions I seem to always get include “Is this a safe area?”, “How are the schools?”, “What kind of people live around here?”  Walking on thin ice when dealing with these topics so know how to answer them in a way that is positive and leads to more questions.  This will build your relationship with your new client.  And yes, don’t forget to introduce the IAB!!

Mike McEwen on 12/28/2016

My problem w/ this post is that it does not address whom the agent is representing because that has an effect on what advice a licensee may give.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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