Friday, July 10, 2015

Poker Face

Buying and selling real estate can be just like a high stakes poker game. No one wants to reveal their hand and give the other person the advantage.


That’s right!

Sellers are often warned not to do things that make them look desperate. “Don’t keep reducing your price,” “Don’t be renovating while showing your house.” “Don’t show an empty and vacant house.” And on and on…

But what about buyers?

How is a seller to know if a buyer is serious?

While a real estate transaction can get derailed at any point in the process for a variety of valid reasons, there are some tell tale signs that a buyer may be wasting your time. If you are selling your house yourself, or even if you are using an agent, there are some pretty obvious warning signs. Here are a few to pay close attention to.


Pre-approval sets your buyer apart as a serious customer. 

These are not people curious about what your house looks like on the inside as opposed to theirs, or dreamers touring properties that are out of their range. 

A pre-approved buyer is a serious client. 

Yes, We Are Pre-Qualified

Pre-Qualification is not the same as Pre-Approval. It does not mean the buyers' pre-qualified loan amount is set in stone. It is simply a guide as to how much house your buyers may be able to afford. A pre-qualified buyer does not carry as much influence as a pre-approved borrower.

I’m Not Pre-Approved Or I Will Get My Approval Soon

The buyer may love your house and be ready to make an offer, but if they are not pre-approved for a mortgage, it is possible that they may not qualify. If they are in the process of qualifying, they may tie you up unnecessarily only to find that they cannot get a mortgage or that they qualify for less than is needed to purchase your property.

Yes, I Am SO Pre-Approved!

If your buyer is pre-approved for an amount significantly over your range, they might be keeping your property on hold as a back-up plan. It is possible that they might throw your property back when they find their ideal home.

Size Matters

When buyers look at properties, they usually have specific needs in mind. 

Along with those needs come want and a wish list. 

While it is possible to make allowances and modify one’s needs and wants at any point in the process, there are some warning signs to look for:

This House Is Too Big!

If your buyers are marveling at how many extra rooms there are or if they are wondering how to use them all, it is possible that they may be looking at “too much house”. If they are pre-approved and can afford your property, they may still come to the realization that your house is still well beyond their needs.

This House Is Too Small!

While buyers can often discuss changes they plan to make in a property they will live in, it is worth understanding the extent of their plans if you can be a fly on the proverbial wall. If your buyers go through your house and spend their time discussing what they will be knocking down and how they are going to re-organize the space to suit their needs, what walls they will break down for the extension, then unless you have the most spectacular view in the city or some other phenomenal feature, they may end up coming to the realization that your house just isn’t the right property for them.

Give Them Credit

If your buyers discuss finances (for renovations, how a property purchase will need sacrifices, etc.), pay attention to how they view spending and credit. 

If you are lucky enough to be in the room, this insight can help you to determine if they are financially responsible, or even solvent – especially if they have not been pre-approved.

A New Car!

Are your buyers looking for a garage (or two) extra to park their new car? Or boat? Or RV? While that sounds like a harmless and even exciting event, a seller should be on guard if the buyer has not yet been pre-approved. Large purchases like cars or other vehicles often involve credit checks. These checks may raise a red flag and impact upon their mortgage approval.

We Have a Lot of Credit

If you learn that your buyer has a lot of debt or makes late payments or is otherwise struggling with financial obligations, this could also be a strong warning sign if they have not yet received their approval. If they are shopping because they lost their house in foreclosure, they may not even qualify for a mortgage for several years.

New Arrivals

While immigrants and temporary visitors can be great buyers, if they are not already pre-approved, watch out. 

If they do not have sufficient funds or have not yet established their FICO Score, they – and you- may be set up for disappointment if they do not qualify for a sufficient mortgage.


If you are approaching the end of the inspection period, and your buyer has not arranged for an inspection, don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. 

While it may be possible that your house is in impeccable condition and didn’t need one, the buyer may just be keeping you on the hook (while waiting for a report on their preferred property) until the last minute - before backing out.


If you have not been contacted about closing dates or details, this may also be a sign of trouble. 

If you have not heard from your buyer or closing agent, make a few calls to find out if everything is on track.

If you don't have time to play games with buyers or come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, if your house isn’t prepared, or if you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this summer, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. Contact me for details.

Next time we will take a look at what to expect during a home inspection.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 
Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory