“Here are 7 signs that a buyer is serious about buying your home.”
So you’ve hired a Realtor, listed your home and are ready to sell. Now all you have to do is find a serious buyer. The only problem is you can’t tell if potential buyers are actually interested in purchasing your home. After all, while plenty of “house hunters” don’t mind dipping their toes in the world of real estate, few of them are actually willing to take the plunge and make a major home purchase. Not sure how to tell if a homebuyer is serious about purchasing your home? Fortunately, there are usually quite a few clues that can help you gauge a home buyer’s interest and intent. Here are 7 signs that a buyer is serious about buying your home.
How to tell if a homebuyer is serious
1. They’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage
Did the homebuyer make an offer on your home but fail to include a pre-approval letter from a lender? Newsflash: they probably aren’t serious about purchasing your home. In fact, they may not even be able to afford your home. Most serious homebuyers will submit a pre-approval letter with their offer on a home to prove that they can afford the home and to make their offer more competitive with other buyers. A pre-approval letter is a letter stating that the buyer has been pre-approved for a mortgage and will be granted a loan to purchase the home. Without it, sellers should be wary of entering into a contract that will likely only fall through in the end.
2. They make a legitimate offer
There are lowball offers and then there are low lowball offers. If the buyer makes a ridiculously lowball offer on your home, chances are he or she is not a serious contender. A serious buyer who can actually afford the home and genuinely wants to purchase it will likely make a legitimate offer – meaning an offer that is at least close to the asking price. This shows they are serious about the property and intend to purchase it. Even if it’s not the full asking price, most sellers will entertain a legitimate offer and work towards an agreed upon price. On the other hand, if the offer is absurdly low, many sellers won’t even waste their time with a response.
3. They have hired a Realtor
Do the buyers have a real estate agent representing their needs? Or did they come to the showing by themselves? If the buyer comes to a showing with their Realtor, then you can bet they are serious buyers. It means they’ve already enlisted an expert to help them through the home buying process. Few buyers (unless they are Realtors themselves) are capable of negotiating and dealing with a real estate transaction without the assistance of a professional Realtor. Why? Because Realtors bring deep knowledge of the local housing market as well as guidance on the legalities and paperwork required to purchase a home.
4. They know the local housing market well
Buyers who are familiar with the local housing market won’t waste their time looking at your home unless it’s worth their while. So how do you know if they’re familiar with the market? Well, for starters, the buyers likely have a seasoned Realtor on their side. Your Realtor may have also seen these buyers at multiple open houses and showings. If they’ve lived in the city or neighborhood for a long time and/or been searching for a new home for a while, then they’re more likely to know the ins and outs of the local housing market. However, if they are just beginning the house hunting process, they may be less likely to make an offer on your home in the near future.
5. They spend time touring the home and asking appropriate questions
Do the buyers spend less than 10 minutes touring the home without any questions or comments? This is probably a sign that they are not serious buyers. After all, they barely looked at the place. A serious buyer who is seriously considering paying their hard earned money for a home will more than likely want to spend quite a bit of time inside and outside the house. They will want to check out every room, closet, appliance and feature in the home. They may even want to tour the home multiple times (tip: this is a clear sign that they’re interested). Serious buyers also ask serious questions. They won’t buy the home without asking about its utility costs (i.e. how much it costs to heat or cool the home, etc) and other various features in and around the home. They may even ask about the neighbors and safety in the area. Asking important questions is a sign that they are actually in the market for a home and are seriously considering yours.
6. They have already listed their current place
Is their current home for sale? Is their rental lease ending soon? These are the types of questions your Realtor may be able to find out while showing potential buyers your home. If the answer is “yes” to either of these questions, you can bet they are seriously looking for another home. While it’s no guarantee that they’ll purchase your home, it’s a surefire sign that they either want or need to be out of their current living situation soon. This added pressure may also make the buyers more likely to pay close to asking price for the home.
7. They follow up after an open house
Did the buyers come to your open house simply to browse or do they intend to buy? If a serious buyer attends an open house, he or she will be sure to follow up with the listing agent. If they are serious about purchasing the home, a serious buyer will either reach out to your real estate agent with an offer or a request for a private showing. Keep in mind that many serious buyers choose not to attend open houses, as they don’t want to appear interested in the home (and possibly add more interest from others).
Ready to move?
After finding a serious homebuyer and selling your home, you’re finally ready to move. Fortunately, we can help. To find the best moving company to move your belongings, check Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!
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