When prospective buyers put an offer on your house, how can you tell if they are solid prospects? To avoid needlessly tying up your house, look for these seven indicators.
They are preapproved for a mortgage. It’s easy to confuse the terms “prequalified” and “preapproved.” The first means a lender has taken a cursory look at the finances of the applicant while the latter indicates the buyers have undergone an in-depth assessment of their credit and know how much they can afford. Your agent should ask immediately if the buyers have a preapproval letter from a lender. While they will still have more loan processing to go, they’ve taken a major step toward purchasing your home.
They’ve already been shopping. Through your agents, find out how long they have been shopping. If buyers have looked at several homes, it likely means they’ve done their homework, made their comparisons and mean business.
They took their time touring your home. Through online feedback, your agent should be able to find out how long buyers spent touring your house. The longer the better, obviously. Your agent should also be able to tell you if they returned for a second or third visit. Another solid sign of seriousness.
They ask about things you’ve done. Serious buyers want to know about repairs and replacements, improvements and whether you’ve kept up maintenance on systems. This likely means they are assessing what they may need to repair upon purchase.
They have an agent helping them look. Buyers who have sought the help of an agent are truly on the hunt for a home.
They make a reasonable offer. Buyers who’ve been at it a while, and especially if they have an experienced agent coaching them, will make a solid offer. They may offer 10 percent less than asking, but not 25 percent less. Unreasonable offers just beg to be rejected, and a serious buyer won’t do that.
They ask about contingencies that convey urgency. Look for telling requests such as asking for appliances to convey or a specific closing date, especially if it’s soon. These are signs they know exactly what they need and when.