How to Spot a Serious Home Buyer: Tips for Sellers

By Home Bay

Posted on August 24th, 2016

The last thing you want when you start marketing your listing is to deal with lookie-loos and flaky buyers. But what can you do to make sure you’re not wasting time on buyers who aren’t ready to make an offer? Read on for some tips on how to pick serious home shoppers out of a crowd.


  • Defining Your Ideal Buyer:
    You’ll encounter buyers at many stages of readiness when you go to sell your home. Some will just be daydreaming about the day they can buy and will spend Saturdays leisurely strolling through listed homes. Others will be planning for a move that’s a few months out and will parade through homes to get a better idea of what they want. And the best of the best will be actively looking to buy – ready to put in an offer on any home that matches their wish list. Let’s take a look at how you can spot a serious home buyer who is ready to wholeheartedly pursue a purchase.

  • Prioritize Preapproved Buyers:
    A would-be buyer that is still in the “dreaming” stage doesn’t do much for someone trying to sell their home. Because of this, one of the first things that you should ask for before letting a potential buyer in for a personal showing is a preapproval letter. A letter like this shows that the buyer has been screened by a lender to make sure they can obtain and afford a mortgage. This shows a level of commitment and shows that they are financially able to put in an offer for a home.

  • Look for Buyers Who Know What They Want:
    If a potential buyer is preappproved for a $200,000 home, it doesn’t mean that they should tour every home in their price range. It makes little sense for a buyer looking for a five-bedroom house in a semi-rural area to be shown your two-bedroom home in the city. Showings like this are not a good fit and can take up valuable time for both the buyer and the seller.

When you set up showings, get a sense of the buyer’s wish list and see that your home is a good match on paper. You can talk to the buyer’s agent, who in theory should be vetting this for you, to make sure it’s a good use of time. You can also use this list of five questions you should ask buyers before a showing to help identify serious shoppers.

When both the buyer and seller are motivated, it makes for easier communication and a smoother transaction when it is time for the home purchase to go through. Now learn how to spot buyers at showings who are ready to put in an offer!

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Posted in Selling a House