One of the hardest things to do when selling a home is not getting your hopes up when it comes to prospective homebuyers. A buyer can seem infatuated with your home at every turn, including the price. And yet, no offer is put on the house. This can be disappointing, but there are some warning signs to be aware of in an effort to help you sniff out a potentially flaky homebuyer.
Here are the red flags to look for:
1. The buyer’s doing it alone.
This could mean two things, and both of them aren’t exactly the sign of a committed homebuyer. The first scenario is, you know the homebuyer has a spouse—but they haven’t seen the house yet. Buying a house is kind of a big deal, and going through the process without the husband/wife present could lead to many headaches for you.
The second scenario is when the buyer(s) are going forth without a real estate agent. Considering the fact that that 87% of homebuyers used a real estate agent in 2018, a homebuyer flying solo probably means they aren’t ready to buy a home just yet.
2. They’re very nitpicky.
You may run into a fussy buyer in the open house, or even as late as when an offer on the house is made. Suddenly, this type of buyer is pointing out all the tiny faults your house has. We’re talking about things like a loose door knob, chipped tile, scuff marks on the wall, etc. These blemishes can easily be fixed and shouldn’t deter someone if they’re really interested in your home.
3. You get a lowball offer.
You can’t fault a buyer for trying to get a great deal on a home, but it needs to be within reason. An offer on your house so low that it makes you second guess your asking price probably means they aren’t too worried about getting rejected (and probably can’t afford it). If the buyer is for real, they’ll be educated enough to give you an offer on the house that’s worth consideration.
4. They’re all talk.
An interested buyer can say all the things you want to hear. “It’s exactly the style we’re looking for.” “The neighborhood is perfect for our family.” “We’re ready to move forward.” But, truth be told, these phrases mean nothing if the homebuyer doesn’t take action. If you have an “all talk” buyer, it usually means they’re either not as interested as they seem, or they ARE very interested but they’re considering making an offer on another home.
5. They aren’t prequalified for a mortgage.
There’s a good chance the buyer isn’t in a position to buy the home in cash, which means they’re going to need to get a loan. A prequalified holds a lot of weight, because it shows you, the seller, that they’re committed and equipped to buy a home. If the buyer isn’t prequalified for a mortgage, they might not have a sense of your home is even in their price range.
When it comes to selling your home, having a timid or noncommittal buyer will only prolong the process for you. So be on the lookout for the homebuyers above – and once the right one comes along, you’ll know.
Next, ease your worries of having a home up for sale with this: 7 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Selling a Home.