Make no mistake about it, selling a property can get incredibly expensive. Every day that goes by with your home on the market, there is a chance that you will lose money on your asking price. And, while everything is up in the air, you will continue to pay your mortgage, insurance, utility bills, and everything else that costs homeowners huge percentages of their income each month.
The trouble is, a lot of people struggle to get a single offer on their property these days – and even when they do, there is no guarantee the offer is qualified. There are a few things you can do, however, to ensure you get the best possible deal and prevent time wasters from causing trouble. Time, after all, is money – and these questions will help you root out the jokers in the pack.
Can you prove you can afford it?
Don’t be shy about asking this tough question to prospective buyers. Many deals fall through at the last minute, just because the purchaser can’t afford it or has a problem finding a mortgage. And make no mistake – it can be a seller’s nightmare. You might be in a position where you are waiting to buy another property, and everything will be back to square one, with – possibly – months wasted. So, don’t be shy, and ask to see a pre-qualification letter. If the buyer is serious, they won’t have an issue in showing it to you.
Are you working with a real estate agent?
Most people who buy a home will be working with an estate agent, although there are some exceptions. You can find trusted home buyers online who are working with house-buying companies, for example. However, the vast majority tend to use realtors, but will only do so once they are serious about making a move. People that just come to look at your home without a representative are often in the early stages of the house-buying process, and scoping out the market. It’s not going to be in your interests to spend a lot of time with these people – however nice they appear.
How long have you got?
Buying and selling properties can be a complicated process for everyone involved. But it’s important to understand if there are any deadlines in place from the buyer’s perspective. You could work hard to thrash out a deal, only for them to pull out because the process is taking too long. Or, you might need to close the sale and transfer ownership within a specified timeframe, which the buyer has no hope of meeting. Either way, it can prove problematic, and a complete waste of your time and money.
Are you in a chain?
Finally, some buyers will be relying on a contingency sale – they need to sell their home before buying yours. In most cases, this won’t be a problematic situation. However, it can be a dangerous game when you are relying on yet another individual to buy first. Also, offers will come and go while you are waiting. It’s almost always advisable to avoid contingency buyers wherever possible.