Shortly after you enter a model home, a new home salesperson will greet you and begin to ask you a few questions about your new home goals. Their ultimate goal, of course, is to help you purchase a home, and these questions will help them, and you get there. Though some of the questions may seem a little personal, they’re asked with good intentions. You answers you give will help the salesperson direct you toward houses that fit into your budget and deliver the things you want in your new home.
What has you out shopping for a new home?
Can you imagine how many times new home salespeople greet a home shopper who has walked into their model only to hear them answer, “Oh, we’re just looking.” Salespeople know that everyone who buys a home was “just looking” at some point, and they want to see how ready you are to discuss buying a new home seriously. There is no “just looking” in a salesperson’s mind, only shopping or buying! Everything a salesperson says or asks you will be used to determine your readiness to buy a new home. Introducing the word “buy” into their discussion will at least allow you to start moving toward a buying decision. Be ready for the word “buy” to come up in several different ways. In your discussion with the salesperson, the word “buy,” in all its forms and tenses, will come up often. You’ll hear phrases like “When the Johnson family bought this floorplan, they …”, “Buying this home is probably easier than you think with some of the discounts we’re offering.” Don’t be put off by a salesperson who seems a little pushy. You have the ultimate power in this discussion, and if you feel the conversation is getting away from you, you can tell the person that you’re not ready to buy in the near future, and they’ll probably give you a little more space!
Are you Pre-Qualified?
We recommend that you become pre-qualified for a home before you begin shopping. This process will tell you how much home you can afford and help you keep your new home search focused. If you’re not pre-qualified, the salesperson may feel that you’re not a serious buyer and may not take your new home search too seriously. If you tell them you’re not pre-qualified, they’ll probably ask when you will be. If you are pre-qualified, the salesperson may ask you if you have a price for your home or monthly payment. In many cases, you’ll find that you’re pre-qualified for “more home” than you are comfortable buying. If a salesperson asks the amount you’re pre-qualified for, instead of telling them the full amount, tell them how much you want to spend on a home. As you get closer to making a buying decision, you’ll probably start discussing a monthly payment with the salesperson. Giving the builder your desired monthly payment will give the builder more options to find a home that can work into your budget, and in some cases, they can get you a home that fits into your budget that is nicer than you thought you could afford. Remember, you’re not obligated to buy any home that you and the builder discuss if you’re not completely comfortable with the home, the elements in it, and the price. Let the builder do all they can to find a home that fits all your wants and needs. In the end, if it’s not perfect, don’t buy it! Give the builder the information they need to do their job and see what kind of a deal they can create! You might be really surprised at the homes you can afford.
What do you do for a living?
This isn’t a question about your job; it’s a question about how much money you earn so that the salesperson can mentally qualify you for a price point. If you answer, “I’m an engineer,” they’ll assume that you make whatever engineers in that city make. If you say you’re store manager, they’ll do the same. This is the easiest way for them to get a range on your household income in a polite and non-invasive manner.
Children, Family Living In the Home & Hobbies
The salesperson will want to know what your hobbies are and if you have any children or family members that will live in the home so they can better understand your needs as you approach a new home. Families with young children have different needs than those with older ones. Families with a parent or relative living with them have different needs than those that don’t. Creating options that don’t meet your needs is a waste of time and money and won’t get you any closer to the perfect home. Make sure the salesperson knows who will live in the home, any needs they have, and their ages. Once you do this, get ready to hear the names of your children or parents come up as the salesperson discusses rooms (Won’t Julie love this room?) as they show you the home!
You’ll also want to let the salesperson know your family’s hobbies or activities. Salespeople should know their community and neighborhood well, and they can inform you of local activities, organizations, shopping, and restaurants that will become part of your decision. These are all important elements of a community, but if you’ve done your homework, you probably know all of them already; however, you may not know some of the things that the neighborhood has in the works. While the salesperson is talking to you, ask about churches, schools, parks, or highways planned for the area. The information you need is new information that you can’t find on a builder’s website, but you should get it from the salesperson. New information is what you need from the salesperson while they’re telling you about the community.
What is the most important thing you’d like in a new home?
As a sales manager, I thought this was a great question for both the shopper and salesperson. Generally, your most important needs will have more to do with the neighborhood than the home. Having good schools for your children, a shorter drive to work, an amenity center with a splash pool, or great shopping and restaurants nearby may be more important than oil rubbed bronze faucets or granite in the master bedrooms. Either way, you should be prepared to let them know what you need in your new home. Remember, this is an extremely early stage of the conversation, so let the salesperson know several of the things you want in your home and see how they handle it. If they say ask if there are some things you could live without, you can politely tell them “not at this point” then, let them do their job!. This is also an important question if you have preferences about the direction your home faces or certain interior design features.
In trying to sell you a home, most salespeople will ask you questions designed to get you thinking in a “buying” direction. These questions help them do just that. Being prepared for a salesperson’s questions is the first step in getting the information you’ll need to make the right decision. In most cases, getting the salesperson the information you want them to have should also help them put homesites, floor plans, and upgrades in front of you that meet your budget needs.