you get to know the buyer during the inspection process you should
have a very good idea of whether or not the buyer qualifies for the
was also mentioned that qualifying the buyer before inspection is
particularly important for a stock and station agent as usually; the
inspection process is time consuming. Qualifying can be considered in
prospect at first will know little about the property except that
stated in the advertisement. In that regard the advertisement is a
success in that it has caused the prospect to get in touch with you
to learn more about the property. The agent’s initial contact is
important, don’t be too pushy but at least obtain the prospect’s
name, address and phone number. Make sure you have his/her details in
case you need to follow up.
that prospects who have responded to an advertisement or For Sale
sign will only know the details in that advertisement or on the sign.
Those responding to the advertisement will know the asking price.
agent should not volunteer negative information at this stage as on
inspection the positives may outweigh the negatives so that the buyer
will still buy the property.
prospect could be referred to you by another party. In this case you
will know that your goodwill or standing is good. On the other hand,
he/she may only be making general enquiries. In this case the agent
should spend more time qualifying the prospect as most likely they
are interested in a wide range of properties in type and price.
are 2 types of qualification:
determine the prospect’s needs and desires
determine the prospect’s financial
NEEDS AND DESIRES
you find that the prospect does not have a good idea of their own
needs and desires. Even when they do, they are not adequately
expressed so that the agent is still not sure which property is most
common but unflattering statement by some agents is that “buyers
are liars”. However, this is not true and better reflects an
agent’s inability and inexpertise in qualifying the prospect. The
buyer is said to be “lying” when the property finally chosen is
quite different from that they initially stated. However, there may
be a number of reasons for this including financial so that the fault
lies with the agent in not properly qualifying the prospect’s
financial capabilities. That is, there is poor communication between
agent and prospect.
referring to reading 1 on decision makers, the prospect may have to
change his/her needs and desires after consultation with the other
decision makers involved in buying the property.
other reason for poor qualification is a lack of empathy with the
prospect. In the reading above it is recommended that the agent try
to empathise with the prospect during the initial contact and during
the drive to the property.
qualify on a “one to one” basis. Never have an associate with you
during this process. The prospect will feel outnumbered, and less
likely to be honest and express him/herself.
is also opportune to qualify on the farm during the inspection as the
farm atmosphere will aid the sale, adding incentive and is after all,
a refreshing change to your office.
appear to be in a hurry. Invite the prospect to sit down, make
themselves comfortable, get them a coffee (important!) and start with
small talk before the serious business (all farmers or potential
farmers are interested in the weather).
is important. Do not incessantly talk to the prospect. Buying a farm
is a momentous decision and the prospect will need time to think
things over. Remember silence is better than a nervous and negative
prospect being wary and contradicting your statements.
office must be clean and tidy. The colour scheme should restful and
the furniture comfortable.
advantage in meeting prospects in their own homes and/or on their
farms rather than your office is that you can determine quite
accurately their financial situation by the size, style and location
of the house/farm and less importantly, the type of car parked in the
the prospect is looking for a lifestyle change (“seachange” or
“treechange”) a home visit will allow the agent to ascertain how
serious they are. Prima facie, a prospect is less likely to want to
change a luxurious urban lifestyle for the vagaries of rural living
if they are currently living in a luxurious house. On the other hand,
their desire for a lifestyle change would be supported if they live
in a modest house and are unhappy with their current environment.
Some urban families see a rural property as a “better environment t
bring up the kids”. Remember, during the interview:
qualifying is important and should be carried out early in the sale
process. Without financial capability to purchase the subject farm
both the prospect and agent is wasting each other’s time.
Never assume you know what the prospect
agent must be tactful. Do not ask “how much do you earn per year”
or “how much can you afford?” too soon. Further, particularly in
country towns, do not judge the prospect by their appearance! The
agent must determine the prospect’s financial situation early as
this will dictate the type or need of further negotiations and
agent should learn the value of indirect questioning. Instead of the
above questions the agent can ask:
is your first farm and I assume you would like to start with
the prospect has indicated that he/she will borrow to buy the farm
the agent can talk about “high” interest rates and how hard it is
to keep up with repayments today. The prospect’s response will give
the agent a good idea of their financial situation.
agent should not forget that the buyer of a rural property,
particularly a substantial farm, will often be a family formed
company or partnership. Therefore, financial qualifying in this
situation is really qualifying the extended family.
in a country town, local knowledge will be enough to qualify both the
prospect’s family needs and financial situation. For example, if
the prospect is a member of a well known and successful farming
family then there is probably no need for the agent to spend too much
time on qualification, The agent’s time is better spent on
inspections and finding a suitable property.
an agent asks a prospect what price range of farm they are interested
in, invariably the response will be an understatement of their true
intentions. This is because they are hoping for a bargain but more
likely, they are out of touch with current rural prices. In this
case, the agent quoting sales will help the prospect appreciate
current market prices.