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The Serious Buyers Conundrum


By Steven Bell, Associate Editor. Read Steven’s biography

One of the most frustrating things about home selling, especially  if you’re doing it FSBO is when you spend so much time on potential buyers who turn to be Looky Lou’s – you know, the types who act like they’re so ready to buy your house or a unit when really, they are just looking around. That’s just total waste of time and a great way to bring your hopes down; just when you thought you’re finally done with the selling process and you’re ready to get paid, they vanish in thin air.

This is frustrating enough for the pros, we can all imagine how much more frustrating it is for the regular home owner who just wants nothing but to get his house sold and move on to his new one.

Thankfully, the experts in the trade have had one too many Looky Lou’s to work and deal with that they have developed not only the perfect, most fool-proof way to deal with them without wasting their time, but also to spot the real and serious buyers with the very first look.

Spot Serious Buyers

Here are some tips on how to spot serious buyers and differentiate them easily from the Looky Lou’s:

  • Serious buyers, though not all, often come armed with the right paraphernalia. One good indicator of a serious buyer is either or both a real estate agent to represent/show them around and a mortgage pre-approval. Other mortgage-related papers are a good indicator as well. They can only mean that these people have done mostly their fair share of homework and ready to go.
  • They can tell you how much they are willing to pay for down payment. They are so ready to get the house that they could write you their down payment check right then and there if they want to. Serious home buyers, like I said earlier, did their fair share of preparation and they would not waste gas and money on looking around just for the sake of looking around.
  • They ask detailed questions. People who are just looking around could not really and exactly picture out living in the house because, well, the thought of moving in is not their next priority. Sure it is on the list but definitely not urgent. Meanwhile, the serious ones are asking all the detailed questions that almost always pertain to scenarios of themselves actually living in the house. If they ask about the size of the house, of the repairs done, of how many bedrooms there are, and have there been cases of flooding, etc, they are likely to be interested.
  • They talk about closing the deal and about writing an offer (if they haven’t made one yet). The written offer is always the best indicator of a serious buyer. It tells you that they’re down right and ready to close the deal and all that they’re waiting for is for you to sign on your end of the paper.

Don’t treat the Looky Lou’s any differently though; just don’t get your hopes too high with them. Your Mukilteo apartment may not be as exotic as, say, a unit at Hampshire Park, but it deserves all the respect that it gets.

NEXT: How to spot serious sellers, naturally.