The two awkward questions REALTORS have to ask a potential buyer can open the door to a better relationship from the beginning if asked a different way.
Instead of “Are you pre-qualified?” consider asking “Where are you in the financing process? What lenders are you talking to?” Asking where they are in the process lets the buyer know the expectation is that they have at least started the finance process, or they wouldn’t be asking to look at property. It’s not offensive and uses familiar language; finance process rather than pre-qualified. Instead of “Do you have a REALTOR,” try “Are you committed to a REALTOR at this time?” Again, it’s subtle, takes away the “salesman” edge, and might make you sound more likeable.