How to Know if Your Client is Serious About Buying a Home

Figuring out if your buyers are serious about buying a home without having your time wasted can be difficult. Here is a list of things you can look out for when vetting buyers!
<a href=''>Cameron Odom</a>
Cameron Odom
September 8, 2021
3 min read

As the millennials are approaching the period when buying a home becomes more financially feasible, the competition for houses is skyrocketing. Interestingly, a Zillow report showed that houses now spend an average of six days in the fast-growing real estate industry. While this appears to bring a smile to the sellers’ faces, one worrying trend persists — identifying a serious client.

Realtors and sellers are often obsessed with exposing prospective homebuyers to available houses while failing to acknowledge whether the prospective buyer is a serious client or one that is weighing alternatives for a future decision. Here are simple ways to identify a serious buyer.

• Pre-Qualifying or Pre-Approval Letters

A pre-qualification or pre-approval letter is a document issued by the lender which contains the amount of loan a lender is willing to provide. While the pre-qualification letter does not ascertain that the loan is guaranteed, it is evidence that shows the realtor or home seller that the homebuyer is a serious client. Pre-qualification letters often carry an expiration date which could be within 30-60 days. The letter and its expiration date show the seller and the realtor that the client is serious and willing to go through the homebuying process.

Also, since the borrower’s credit has to be looked at thoroughly, the pre-qualification letter informs the realtor that the buyer is not just in for a bargain on what he can not afford. 

• Level of Inquiry

You’re not going to do a tour of a home that requires a large amount of money, and in which you’re going to spend many years, without asking several questions. So, it’s going to be a difficult interview experience, even with a relatively reserved homebuyer. They are likely to raise questions concerning the different features in the house while thoroughly checking the rooms and the closets. Serious clients often ask questions, such as the cost of heating or cooling the house. Serious homebuyers also ask their realtors or agents several other questions to ensure they’re getting a good offer. Failure to show any sense of inquiry or properly check the house could mean that the client isn’t significantly interested in the house or is not a serious client.

• Intensive Follow-up

An open house is the first stage in buying a home. At this stage, both serious buyers and those who are not really in need of the offer can show interest. However, a serious buyer does an intensive follow-up on the offer by requesting additional details, while some prospective homebuyers can use realtors to negotiate on their behalf. The desire to follow up separates the serious buyers from those who are not serious about the offer.

• Weight of Offers

One very reliable way to identify a serious homebuyer is the weight of the offer they’re bringing to the table. Unserious buyers are not really in need of a home, so there are chances they’ll only jump at ridiculous offers or make proposals with a low offer. Nevertheless, it’s worth treating them right because they could be a prospective home buyer or a future client. A serious homebuyer is likely to make a reasonable offer capable of beating off most competitors for the house. However, it is important to treat low offers and high offers with respect.  An early indicator of a serious homebuyer is using a real estate agent or a realtor to negotiate for them. Despite not being paid by the clients, unserious buyers consider wasting realtors’ time since the need for the home is not significant at the moment. 

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