A First-time Home Seller’s Guide: How to Identify a Serious Homebuyer

So, you’ve listed your home for sale and gotten several offers from interested homebuyers. As you scroll through their large buyer pool, feeling proud of what you and your agent have accomplished, a question pops into your mind, “Which one of these buyers is serious about buying my home?”

Identifying a serious homebuyer is a bit technical. But not so technical that we at Bost Redevelopment can’t break it down for you. In this article, we explain the tell-tale signs that can help you identify a serious homebuyer. But before we get into that, what are the benefits of identifying serious homebuyers?

Benefits of Knowing How to Identify a Serious Homebuyer

Benefits of knowing how to identify a serious homebuyer

1. Saves time

Being able to identify the genuine homebuyers in your buyer’s pool will save you a lot of time. You won’t waste time negotiating or scheduling a home inspection for the uninterested ones. This will help you close the deal quickly, especially if you are in a hurry to sell your house. Saving time will save you money; the sooner you close your sale, the sooner you won’t be paying the bills on that property! 

2. Get you closer to the right buyer

Entertaining a buyer who can’t afford your home or who is not serious about buying can cost you the right buyer. While you are negotiating with them, a serious buyer who knows what they want may move on. 

3. Prevents disappointment

Imagine this: A few days before closing the deal with your buyer, you discover they can’t get the loan to pay for your home. How will you feel? Being able to sieve out unprepared or uninterested buyers will minimize the chances of failed transactions like this. By reducing the risk of the transaction failing, you get to avoid at least some emotional stress during the sale process.

Now, how do you know a buyer is serious?

6 Ways to Identify a Serious Homebuyer

1. A serious homebuyer will make a serious offer

A serious homebuyer making a house offer

Did any of the interested homebuyers on your list make a ridiculously low offer? Unless that buyer is offering cash and can close in under two weeks, that buyer is probably not serious about buying your house. They are probably just assessing the housing market.

How did we arrive at this conclusion?

Serious home buyers typically make offers on par with the asking price or slightly below it. They don’t make unreasonable offers. They know what they want and understand that making a frivolous bid may cost them the home.

Also, most serious homebuyers want to seal the deal as quickly as possible. They understand that they are not the only ones interested in the house. So, they will want to negotiate fast and close the deal to wade off other buyers.

2. They are inquisitive

As you know, home buying is a significant and long-term investment. Most people are cautious before taking this step and will ask a lot of questions for clarification.

If you have a buyer asking many questions, they are probably serious about buying your house. They will want to know everything they can about the place. How much does it cost to heat the home? How safe is the neighborhood? They won’t stop at just asking questions. They will check out all the internal and external features of your home. 

In fact, the more time a homebuyer spends checking out your home, the more interested they are in it. It shows they are already envisioning themselves as occupants of your house.

3. They already list their current house

A miniature house in a shopping cart symbolizing a listed property

Has your buyer put their current house up for sale? Is their rent or lease expiring soon? You need to get answers to these questions before seriously considering any buyer.

A buyer who hasn’t listed their house for sale or who still has a lot of time left on their lease is probably just window-shopping. They are not in a hurry to move and therefore not serious about buying your house.

For a buyer who has listed their home or whose lease is about to expire, getting a home is necessary. Such a buyer is serious about buying a house because of the implications of not securing a purchase on time. 

4. They are pre-approved for mortgage

As a first-time home seller, how will you be able to tell if your potential can afford your home? Ask them to include a mortgage pre-approval letter from a lender.

Like most home sellers, you should be wary of buyers without mortgage pre-approval letters. Negotiating with such buyers will likely fall through in the end because they can’t afford your house.

If a buyer has a pre-approval letter, it means they are serious about buying your house. The letter they have from their lender is proof that the buyer can afford your home. It is also evidence that they will be granted a loan to purchase it by their lender.

5. They follow up

A serious homebuyer calling a seller to follow up

After a home inspection or an open house, a serious homebuyer will want to keep in touch with you. They will show clear interest by following up within days or even hours.

They may call to ask questions, try to negotiate, or send their agent to you. Any buyer that does not follow up is probably not interested in buying your house.

6. They have an agent

Hiring a real estate agent is practically free on the buyer’s part. The agent commission fee is part of the selling price. Therefore, buyers have no excuse not to get one.

If you come across an offer from a buyer without an agent, it is a red flag. Such a buyer is probably just testing the waters. Hence, you should be wary of them.

However, if a buyer has ticked the other boxes in this list but does not have an agent, Bost Redevelopment is here to help. We can help both parties finalize a favorable deal and agreement.

Let Bost Redevelopment help you sell your house for more!

Do you need help marketing your home and attracting the right buyers? We are here to help you!

At Bost Redevelopment, we are experts at handling every home selling problem you may be facing. We would use our marketing expertise to ensure you get the best buyer for your home at the maximum value possible. Want to talk more about your options? Please leave us a message below with your contact information and let us know how we can help you.

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