A real estate agent can be your key to finding the perfect home. However, although they are endowed with a variety of valuable skills, they’re not mind readers. In order for buyers and agents to get on the same page before beginning the home search, agents will often ask buyers to fill out a homebuyer questionnaire.
What Is a Homebuyer Questionnaire?
A homebuyer questionnaire is a list of questions provided by a real estate agent to help them get a better idea of what you’re looking for in a home and how they can best help you. Along with your basic information, the questionnaire typically asks questions about the specific things you want and need in a home.
What Are the Benefits of Completing a Homebuyer Questionnaire?
A good questionnaire can help both you and your agent avoid wasting time during the home search. Filling it out can help you vocalize exactly what you want in your home and help the agent get to know your pain points, so they can do their best to eliminate those.
What Are the Top 10 Questions You’ll See on a Homebuyer Questionnaire?
Every homebuyer questionnaire includes a slightly different list of questions, but they all have the same goal of teasing out your ideal home checklist. In addition to gathering your contact information, a homebuyer questionnaire will likely ask these sorts of questions:
1. What features are most important for you in your new home?
Perhaps you want a home with extra bedrooms that your family can grow into, or maybe you’re looking for a condo in the city that’s walking distance from your work. More detail in your answer will help your agent narrow down the options and avoid wasting everyone’s time looking at homes that don’t have what you want.
2. Have you been pre-approved by a lender? How much are they willing to lend?
Prospective homebuyers will often meet with a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before looking for a real estate agent, because the pre-approval process helps clarify how much home you can afford.
3. What are your expectations of me as a real estate agent? What can I do to exceed your expectations?
As with any relationship, you have to tell your agent what you want in order for them to give it to you. Maybe you want an agent who will show you a wide variety of options, or perhaps you need someone who will be a keen negotiator and get you the best possible price. If you’re honest about your expectations, the agent will likely be candid about what they can offer.
4. What has prompted you to buy a new home?
Did you recently start a family and realize you need more room? Are you looking to buy an investment property? This question uses a different angle to help answer the question of what you need in a home. If you need a larger space and wouldn’t mind living outside of the city, the agent might look in a suburban area. If you’re interested in buying as an investment opportunity, the agent might make sure the property is in a great location with healthy property values.
5. What about this move are you not looking forward to?
Perhaps you’re nervous about placing an offer in a highly competitive market. Or maybe you’re stressed about finding the perfect home. By answering this question, you can give the agent some hints about what your pain points are so they can provide additional assistance in those areas.
6. What about this move are you most excited about?
Buying a home isn’t entirely stressful—it can be exciting, too. By letting your agent know what aspects of the process you’re looking forward to, they can try to involve you more heavily in those aspects.
7. Have you seen any homes that you really liked? What did you like about them?
This question is just another way to get you to visualize your dream home. Do you love that cottage down the block? Do you wish you had a large garden out back? Answering this question can help you get creative and have fun with the process.
8. Is there a particular location you would prefer to live?
Do you want to live in the city? Or would you rather live close to nature? Pinpointing your ideal location can help your agent significantly narrow down the options.
9. Do you have any special requirements in a home?
If you have any special requirements, such as handicap accessibility or being in a certain school district, the agent should know that right off the bat so they don’t start showing you homes that simply won’t work.
10. If we find the right property, are you prepared to buy now?
Your agent needs to know what your timeline is and how prepared you are to place an offer on a home. This question ties in well with the earlier question about pre-approval. Especially if you're buying in a seller’s market, you will want to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before shopping around for houses, because many sellers won’t take your offer seriously without one.
Take the Next Step Toward Homeownership
Most homebuyer questionnaires will ask about your budget. Speaking with a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is arguably the best way to figure out your purchasing power. If you’re interested in taking the next step toward homeownership, chat with a radius loan officer today.