How to Know When You’ve Got a Hot Home-Buying Prospect A 7-Point Checklist

When it comes to selling new homes — as in any high-ticket sales process — your sales team is only as effective as their filtering ability.

Pre-qualifying a prospect before investing time with them can save a boatload of time and frustration for the sales professional, the prospect and anyone in your company involved in the sales process. (In other words, everyone!)

Determining whether a person who has expressed interest in your community meets your ideal buyer criteria is the first, and often most critical step. 

It starts by listing the characteristics of your ideal buyer. 

Top sales pros internalize a checklist of questions to ask that help them know right off the bat if they’ve got a hot prospect — or not.

Used skillfully, an Ideal Buyer Checklist like the following can elicit every bit of information needed to make that determination.

Financial Ability

Obviously one of the first things to find out is, are they financially able? Have they been pre-qualified with a lender? If not, do they have one or more in mind, or do you start by connecting them with yours? 

It’s natural to feel timid about asking others to reveal information regarding their financial ability. 

Don’t be, though — you don’t want to get through your whole presentation with a prospect only to find out in the end that your product doesn’t fit their budget. 

Instead, you can ask simply, “What are you currently paying for the home you’re in now?”

When they give you a number, you say, “Great, and what are you hoping to pay for your new home?” 

When they answer, you can then ask, “If we were to find the perfect home for you that met all your wishes, could you stretch that monthly amount?”

That’s how we’ve taught hundreds of aspiring new home sales professionals attending our classes to get past their fear of numbers — and we know from experience, it simply works.


Feature Match

Does your community have the features they’re looking for? Do they want a location close to work and schools? Is yard size important? Do they need separate work spaces for different family members?

What’s their lifestyle — Retired? Family-focused… Socially active or reclusive? What kind of designs do they like? Vaulted ceilings? Open floor plan? Lots of light? Does walkability matter?

Discovering these things in advance helps you zero in on the best feature sets your community can offer for the particular prospect(s) you’re working with.



Do they need to sell first? Can they afford to wait? What about school, travel or summer vacation plans?

This can make a big difference, especially when supply chain issues impact delivery times.


Buying Stage

Every new home buyer goes through a series of stages in their buying journey, typically something like this:

  1. Unaware of the opportunity to own a new home
  2. Aware and starting to look around
  3. Actively researching
  4. Shopping
  5. Deciding

What stage is your prospect in? How much research have they done? Have they visited your website? How did they learn about you? What have they heard?

Knowing which stage they’re coming to you from enables you to zero in on where they need to be educated, informed and even indoctrinated into the unique value that your community and individual offerings can provide.


Decision Maker

If you’re dealing with a couple or family, knowing who the decision maker is can have a big impact on the selling style and approach most likely to succeed.

Finding out may take time. Often the best way to learn is to pay close attention to clues in your conversations with them. Does one person ask more questions? Or look often to the other person for their responses? These clues can be subtle. An ability to read non-verbal behavior can help you get a sense for their decision making process. 

Sometimes, the best way to find out is to simply smile and ask, “So who’s the decision maker?”



Not everyone shopping for a new home is brand new to the process. You’ll want to find out if this is their first time around, or if they’re an old hand at this. Or if they’ve bought and sold before, is this their first time buying a new home?

If they’ve never bought a new home before, what have they heard about it? Why are they thinking new vs old? What are their expectations?

Getting to know how they picture the buying process and eventual ownership can go a long way toward helping them picture themselves in one of your homes.


Problems Solved

It’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm you have for your product. But from your prospect’s point of view, they’re thinking about how you might solve a problem or fulfill a desire they have.

So, what are you potentially solving for them? Are they outgrowing their current home? Downsizing from an empty nest? Seeking a lifestyle change, such as shifting from a daily commute to working from home?


Winning Formula

Top sales pros know their best tools are questions

By making sure your sales team is asking the right questions, you help them close more sales with happy customers. And sales people who consistently close sales with the right buyers are happier on the job, and more likely to become the kind of team member who truly benefits and grows with your company.

Is this helpful?

It’s just one of the many strategies we use at Sales Solve Everything that help your sales team sharpen their ability to close more sales in less time and with happier buyers — consistently and predictably.

Would you like help building and growing a highly effective sales team for your company? 

Let’s chat! 

Contact me here on Linkedin, visit or call our office at (888) 738-4020 to schedule a free 15-Minute Sales Diagnostic Consultation. 

There’s no sales pitch and nothing for sale. Just a conversation about any sales management challenge you may be facing. 

If it looks like we can help, we’ll schedule a more extensive (and also free) 45-Minute Strategy Call, during which I’ll get to know you and your company, and offer appropriate guidance and solutions.  

In any event, best of success, and as master sales trainer Zig Ziglar often said… 

“I’ll see YOU at the top!”