As a seller, your main goal is to find the right buyer who’s willing to offer you a fair price for your home. In a perfect world, these would be the only types of prospective buyers that you would have to deal with. Unfortunately, there will always be those tire kickers out there who may express love for your home but just end up wasting your time.
So, how can you differentiate between buyers who are serious versus those who have no intention of making a purchasing decision any time soon?
Here are some signs that a buyer isn’t a serious one.
1. Your Home is the First One They’ve Seen
If the buyer literally just started shopping around and your home is the first one they’ve visited, odds are not in your favor that the buyer will be “the one.” Generally, speaking, it takes buyers an average of three months to buy a home. They usually want to be able to look at a number of houses before they find the right one, and for good reason: buying a house is a huge financial investment, so the decision should not be made in haste.
If the buyer is only on the first day of the house hunting process, chances are pretty good that the buyer won’t be submitting an offer just yet.
2. The Buyer Has No Agent
A buyer with no agent is probably not serious about buying just yet. If they haven’t taken the time to seek out an agent to represent them, then they are probably nowhere near ready to buy just yet.
Buyers generally don’t have to pay a cent to their agents; rather, they are compensated through commissions paid by the seller. A buyer who isn’t motivated enough to take on free professional real estate assistance is likely not driven to sign a real estate contract with you.
3. The Buyer is Not Pre-Approved For a Mortgage
Unless paying in all cash, every buyer should get pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s the best way to determine a budget and narrow the focus on homes that only fit within a certain price range.
Pre-approval also helps to get the ball rolling with the actual mortgage process should a purchase agreement be signed, and it shows you that the buyer is serious about buying. Getting pre-approved is rather quick and easy, so there’s no reason not to take this step, unless the buyer is not quite ready to purchase. Besides, without a pre-approval, there’s no telling whether or not a buyer who seems interested and even submits an offer can actually afford to buy your house.
4. The Buyer Rushes Through the Showing
Breezing through a showing or an open house is a sure sign that a buyer is not serious or interested. Considering the magnitude of such a purchase, buyers who have every intention of going through with a purchase typically take their time and cover every corner to make sure they’re making the right buying decision. If they rush through, they’re probably not serious.
5. The Buyer Finds Fault With Everything About the Home
A tell-tale sign that a buyer is not interested or serious about buying your home is if they nitpick about every tiny little issue. Whether it’s a burned-out lightbulb, and chip in a tile, or a scuff mark on the wall, minor issues like these that can easily and quickly be fixed shouldn’t deter anyone from wanting to go through with a purchase.
6. The Buyer Takes Forever to Submit an Offer
Just because a buyer seems gung-ho about your home doesn’t really mean anything until you see an actual offer on the table. If the buyer is taking an extra-long time to submit an offer, chances are they’re not interested in buying.
7. The Buyer Puts in a Lowball Offer
It’s not uncommon for buyers to want to get a good deal on a home, but throwing a lowball offer shows that they’re just testing the waters and aren’t concerned about their offer being rejected. If the buyer is serious, they’ll submit a solid offer that’s worthy of entertaining.
The Bottom Line
When it comes time to sell your home, you want to ensure the process doesn’t drag on any longer than it has to. The faster it takes to find a qualified and willing buyer, the better, which is why it’s helpful to be able to distinguish those who are serious from those who aren’t. This will help you avoid wasting your time on buyers who probably have no intention of going through with the deal and focus your attention on a buyer who will.