When planning on buying a home for the first time, you’ll probably surf the Internet to do your initial research. You may look for homes on a property developer website for options, and even leave a question or two about a home that you’re interested in on their site.
So what’s next? According to this slideshow about sales statistics, your developer will immediately follow up with a call. Based on data collected by sales acceleration platform InsideSales.com, developers or real estate agents will most likely call you within 5 minutes of receiving your customer inquiry. This is because the customer is 9 times more likely to make a purchasing decision if the initial contact is done immediately.
But what should you as a prospective customer ask the developer when they do make the call? Here are the top ten questions that you could ask them during the call:
1. Ask your developer about the property beyond its description on the website.
Your developer knows more about a property than what is available on the the website. You can ask them about the property type, location, price, payment schemes available, incidental costs aside from paying your down payment and other details that will help you with your decision-making.
2. Ask questions about factors that may have an influence on the property’s price.
Business Today India wrote that some of the factors that usually influences the price of a property are:
- Prices of similar properties in the area;
- How long the property is being sold from initial launch;
- Number of prospective buyers;
- The property’s initial price upon launch;
- The number of property units left being sold; and
- The development’s turnover date.
- The following information might help you understand whether the property is in demand or if there is a likelihood that you could haggle for a good discount or a payment scheme.
3. Say your initial inquiry again, and ask if there are any visuals that your developer can provide for additional information.
If you initial inquiry has not been addressed from the first two questions, it would be best to say your question again about the property. You may also ask for the developer’s or the real estate agent’s help to guide you on the website if the answer is available there or if they can provide visual content in lieu of your inquiry, like photos, topographic maps, videos, and so on.
4. Ask about the drawbacks of the property.
This tactic will allow you to have a feel of whether the property is too good to be true. Caitlin Uttley for HowStuffWorks.com said a good developer, or at the very least, the person whom you are speaking to on the phone is a real estate veteran and not some phone operator who has been trained to say sales spiels. Moreover, Uttley also said that this is also a way to determine whether the developer or the real estate agent truly believes in his own product.
5. Ask about the current and planned property developments in the area.
This question will allow you to have an idea whether the location of the property that you are interested in is in a growing area. Your developer should also inform you about the development plans of its competitors, in addition to its own. It is important to know the development trends where the property is located so you would know if the property you wish to buy will have an added value in the future should you wish to sell it. A property situated in a location that has a positive outlook, like a condominium unit in Burgos Circle or a residential property in McKinley Hill, will definitely have its value appreciated in the coming years as compared to a home located in a community devoid of any business or commercial development plans.
6. Ask your developer about the turnover process.
The term “turnover process” is the process wherein the developer physically hands over the property to the homebuyer. You may ask the developer what the turnover process would be like for you should you decide to purchase the property in the near future. Developers typically give away a handover kit, which is usually a sheaf of documents about homeowner membership, property management, utility hookup, and use of amenities and facilities. DMCI Homes for one, usually sweetens the turnover process with a home cleaning set as a welcome gift for its homebuyers. You should also take note of what fees you would need to settle before the property is turned over to you, like utilities and homeowners’ association fees.
7. Ask the developer whether they will allow upgrades or improvements on the property before or after the turnover.
For prospective homeowners who require special features in their new home like ramps and handle bars for the disabled, or potential owners who wish to make small, aesthetic changes in the home, this is also the best time for you to ask whether you are allowed to make design improvements. Your developer should tell you the limitations of making upgrades to your potential new home, a schedule of when you would actually do the improvements, among other things.
8. Ask about your developer’s history is in the real estate business and the company’s recent projects.
These questions will allow you to have a good picture of how well your developer is doing in the business. The follow-up question will also help determine the developer’s current financial capability in developing real estate projects and their level of commitment in delivering them before or on the turnover date. Although it rarely happens, there are some developers who go bankrupt and tend to leave development projects unfinished.
9. Ask for customer references.
Where can you get an unbiased opinion about your developer? A developer normally provides a few of his best customers as referrals who could vouch for their track record. Even though the developer may be one of the most recognized brands in the Philippine real estate business, word-of-mouth recommendations are an additional vote of confidence about your potential transaction with the developer in the future.
10. Ask the real estate agent if he or she subscribes to the developer’s products.
In order for a salesperson to be effective in his job, he needs to be a believer of the product he is selling. You can ask the person who is calling on behalf of the developer if he has purchased a property from his company as a customer or has dealt with his company about a real estate product as a client. Although there is a likelihood that the agent doesn’t have financial means to purchase a condominium unit just yet, his opinion about dealing with the developer as a client could provide you insight about a potential transaction with the company.
11. Ask how the developer will keep you posted about updates regarding the property or others that would be of interest to you.
This is the time for you to tell them how they should communicate with you about the updates on the property in the future and other similar real estate units that you might take an interest in. Also, it would be best if you secure the sales manager’s contact details, or at the very least, the contact details of your agent. This way, you wouldn’t feel the need to reintroduce yourself in your follow-up inquiries about the same or other properties.
Like our guide of questions to ask a developer during a follow-up call? Have another question or two in mind you think we should add? Share your questions by leaving them as a comment below.