It’s easy to get super excited about enquiries flooding your inbox when you first set off to sell your home; but more often than not, trying to filter out genuine prospective homebuyers from the time-wasters can become a massive chore. Some people will ask about your home with zero interest in actually buying for a multitude of different reasons: maybe they’re looking to sell their own property and they’re seeing how the competition is faring, or they’re just really, really curious about what’s happening next door.
Either way, there are a few common patterns in the behaviour of genuinely interested buyers that you can look out for and hopefully make your life a little easier.
They Already Have Finance
One of the most telling signs that a person is really in the market to buy is that they’ve already arranged their finances. It might seem like an obvious thing to overlook, but the bottom line is that you’re not actually a genuine homebuyer until you have the full financial ability to purchase.
You might have people inspecting your property who seem very excited about making it their next home, but have they been approved for a loan yet? Maybe they’re months away from approval, or maybe they haven’t started getting their finances in order at all. If someone comes forward with an expression of interest, make sure that asking about their financial situation is one of the first things you do. It’ll save you a lot of time and energy.
They Ask a Lot of Specific Questions
Sure, asking a lot of questions about your property can be a clue that someone’s an interested party; but what real estate agents have noticed about genuine homebuyers is that they will ask targeted questions that more casual viewers wouldn’t even think of. These are generally more administrative questions relating to the buying and selling process, the details around the contract, and the history of the property. Be sure to follow up with these individuals when responding to enquiries.
They’re Overly Critical or Disinterested
Ah yes, the classic negotiation tactic with a sprinkle of reverse psychology. If you see someone who’s going out of their way to comment on or engage in a discussion about the downsides of the property, chances are that they’re actually quite invested in it. It could be that they’re trying to hide their enthusiasm, or they’re trying to draw out an explanation for the less-than-perfect aspects of your home. Maybe a little bit of both.
They Inspect More Than Once
For casual buyers, a once-over of your property is already more than ample opportunity for them to have a little snoop around. For serious homebuyers, though, a thorough inspection warrants extra visits just to make sure your property is really the one they want to lock themselves onto. Combine this behaviour with the excess criticism from above, and you’ve got yourself a very likely genuine buyer.
They Follow Up
It’s a common story: you have a friendly person show up at your house inspection (maybe with their spouse), ask a lot of questions, tick all the boxes of someone who might actually want to buy your home - and then they disappear off the face of the earth after promising to give you a call later in the week.
Genuine homebuyers will take the time to contact you after viewing the property, maybe via email or text, and make further enquiries. They might even track updates to your property listing on realestate.com.au and comment on that. The more interested they are in the progress of your property on the market, the more likely it is that they seek an understanding of their potential investment in the long term.
They Give You an Offer in Writing
Verbal offers in person or over the phone are okay, but they could also be a sign that someone isn’t fully committed to their decision. If a buyer goes out of their way to send you a formal offer in writing, it’s - more often than not - testimony to their seriousness in purchasing your home.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
In summary, there’s a lot to look out for in a person’s behaviour that will reveal if they’re a serious buyer or not. But as a rule of thumb, you want to focus on the buyers who keep coming back to ask you questions about your property and the contract, and who are already in a position financially to be settling the deal when they contact you. Follow these guidelines, and you should save yourself a whole lot of time and hassle.