As we head into the spring the housing market is bound to pick up, more homes will begin to trickle onto the market and buyers will be out on sunny spring afternoons looking at properties. Sellers in most cases will likely have multiple offers on their homes, especially in early spring as there are fewer homes on the market for buyers to choose from. But, not all buyers are created equal, choosing the right buyer from the start can save a lot of time, limit your stress levels, and ensure a successful transaction. Here are eight signs to beware of when evaluating buyers.
They Lack Representation.
According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) 2017 survey of home buyers and sellers, 87% of buyers purchased their homes through a real estate agent or broker. If a buyer is flying solo it more often than not means they have just started their search for home and are just feeling out the market, they most likely are not serious about shopping for a home yet. Buyers agents come at no cost to the buyer, if a prospective buyer can’t be bothered to enlist free expert advice from a professional who knows the local market they probably aren’t motivated enough to follow through on the purchase of a home.
They just started looking.
Typically, home buyers take three months to find the right home, that time frame is longer in our area due to a more competitive housing market. A home buyer who just started their search who views your property is less likely to submit an offer than one who has been shopping for a while. You should also beware of a buyer who jumps at the first home they see and does present an offer, they run the risk of backing out at the next “perfect” home they see a week later.
You meet the buyer at an open house.
There’s a whole other blog post I’m going to write about the truth of open houses later but I’ll stick to the buyer side here. According the NAR report mentioned above in sign 1 only half of home buyers even visit open houses and those that do tend to be more curious than serious. The serious home buyer will conduct their search online and will want to schedule a private showing with their agent where they won’t be rushed or have to worry about other people interrupting them. Seeing a home one on one carries more weight than touring with a herd.
No pre-approval from a lender.
This is pretty self-explanatory, if the buyer hasn’t taken the time to get a pre-approval then they’re not serious yet or not qualified.
A speedy visit or just one visit.
Buyers who rush through a showing or open house aren’t likely to write an offer or if they do are more likely to change their mind during the inspections period. After getting in contract and revisiting the property for inspections they may notice things they missed on their initial rushed viewing.
All promise no action
“We loved the property, should have an offer for you shortly”
I’ve heard this referred to bait and stall. It’s usually done through their agent and its done in the hopes of preventing a listing agent from accepting an offer before “all” the offers are in. The buyer may have an offer on another property and they’re waiting to hear if that one is accepted or they’re not entirely sure if your home is the one for them, either way if they were serious you’d have the offer in hand.
A really lowball offer.
Everybody wants a deal but if a buyer writes an unreasonably low offer they’re letting you know they aren’t that serious about your home. Serious buyers put their best foot forward with their best offer right out of the gate. They understand the market and want to lock up your property as soon as they can.
The nitpicking buyer.
Sometimes a buyer may make a good offer and still not be 100% committed. If you find yourself in contract with one if these buyers it essential to have good representation on your side. If after accepting an offer your buyer becomes obsessed with finding faults and problems with your home and wants every little thing found on the home inspection remedied it may be a sign there are disinterested or having second thoughts and are looking for a way out.