Sellers don’t have a crystal ball to tell them who is going to bypass their homes and who is serious enough to put in a solid offer. However, buyers do exhibit certain traits and behaviors that will allow sellers and their agents to be able to distinguish those who just aren’t in the game.
Keep an eye out for any of the following signs that likely point to a buyer who’s not serious about purchasing your home.
1. The Buyer Just Started Their Home Search
Most buyers don’t settle on the first house they see without continuing their search. If a buyer expresses interest in it but is only a few days into their search, you might want to take it with a grain of salt. It usually takes buyers about two or three months to find the home they want to buy after they’ve had the chance to see a variety of other properties. If they’re in the early stages of their house hunt, odds are not in your favor that they’ll be putting in an offer on your particular property.
2. The Buyer Makes a Ton of Empty Promises
Buyers can verbally tell you that they will likely be putting in an offer, but actions speak louder than words. If a specific buyer expresses a lot of interest in buying the home but no offer is coming in, that’s a sign that no offer will be received from that particular buyer. It’s likely that he or she is checking out other properties to compare to yours before finally putting in an offer, which might not be on your home.
3. The Buyer Hasn’t Been to a Mortgage Specialist Yet
Just because a buyer seems to be genuinely interested in your home doesn’t necessarily mean he or she can actually afford it. If buyers visit your home but haven’t even been to a mortgage broker to get the ball rolling with a pre-approval, they’re likely not anywhere near ready to make a firm purchase.
4. The Buyer Rushes Through the Home Showing
A buyer who breezes through the home during a showing and leaves within a few short minutes is clearly not interested. Prospective buyers who are serious about a home will spend as much time as they can spare to meticulously go through every space and see exactly how it will work for them. Leaving the home quickly after entering without any questions isn’t a good sign.
5. The Buyer Seems Overly Picky
Some buyers are just impossible to please. While some buyers may simply have in incredibly specific taste and are not easily won over, others may actually be looking for faults in the home to justify not putting in an offer. If all you’re hearing are complaints about minor little issues here and there, the buyer is probably not serious.
6. The Buyer Throws You a Really Lowball Offer
Many buyers will start the back-and-forth bantering with a price that’s often lower than the asking price. However, some lowball offers can be classified as completely preposterous, and are not a sign of good faith that the buyer absolutely wants the house. A serious buyer may offer under the asking price, but only within a justifiable range. If they’re definitely interested they’ll put their best foot forward to let the seller know that they are serious. If buyers are just tossing out a silly number, there’s likely no reason to further entertain the offer.
The Bottom Line
The game of real estate often involves a little psychology. Sizing up prospective buyers can give you some insight about who is serious about buying your home, and who’s just wasting your time. Luckily, your real estate agent will be experienced in deciphering who’s serious and who isn’t. If you’re selling your home, be on the lookout for any buyer who displays any of the above traits.