When you're selling a house, you might be tempted to accept the first offer that comes along. But not all home buyers are created equal. If your buyer isn't sincere or has financial problems, the sale could fall through. Before making a deal to sell your property, vet your potential home buyers.
Ask Them Questions
Before working with a buyer, you should ask them questions to make sure they are ready and able to purchase your house. This is especially important if you have more than one buyer interested in your home, or if you have received multiple offers.
First, find out if the buyers have hired a real estate agent. People who are just looking out of curiosity aren't usually represented by an agent. Next, ask about their moving timeline, and if they have a house to sell before buying yours.
Make Sure They Can Close
Home sales can be delayed or even canceled if the buyer can't secure a mortgage loan. Ask the buyer about what type of loan they plan to get. Ask if they have received a preapproval letter from a lender, and what price range they're approved for.
Cash buyers don't need to get financing, so there's much less risk of encountering last-minute problems. Cash buyers are known to close fast compared to traditional buyers. Ask cash buyers to see a proof of funds letter from their financial institution.
Look for Signs of They're Serious
Potential buyers who are serious about buying your home and following through with the closing will ask questions about the house, neighborhood, schools, and so on. They will want to know how much the utilities are and what taxes you have paid. They will inquire about the age of the furnace and air conditioner, roof, and water heater.
A serious buyer may also look at your home more than once. If you hold an open house, and a buyer comes back for a second look, that's a good sign. It's even better if they start discussing how their furniture might look in the family room or which child gets which bedroom.
It's possible to be too eager in accepting an offer on your house. If you don't vet your potential buyers, you run the risk of delays and other problems. It's in your best interest to do your homework and become an informed home seller.
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