The perfect buyer comes in all different shapes and sizes… but one thing we all want in our buyer is confidence. Confidence that they will complete and move into your home and live happily ever after. Sounds easy right? Guess again!
As sellers, we are always keen to accept the buyer with the highest offer for our properties, allowing us more money towards legal fees or towards our a new home – but before accepting an offer consider the entire picture.
With buyers comes a range of complications, it is about weighing up the best buyer, not just the best offer – if you are lucky enough to have buyers to choose from. If you have the opportunity, meet each buyer during the second (or third/fourth/fifth) viewings. This will allow you to gain your own perspective on each individual or couple. You may also be able to openly discuss their situation and understand further if they are the buyer for you.
A Buyer offers you asking price after the first time they view your property – a lovely 3 bed in Herne Hill on the market for a sizeable chunk of the green stuff. They fell in love with it when ‘just researching’ properties in your area. They themselves have a home outside of the area which is on the market and awaiting offers. They are sure that the mortgage won’t be an issue, after all, he has just had a promotion & pay rise, not to mention they have a property already. They plan to talk to their mortgage lender once finding the right home for them to buy… this way, they’ll also know how much they need to borrow! They don’t need you to throw in any of the white goods, they have all their own & they’d love to complete quickly.
This buyer may seem perfect & savvy on the surface.. but look deeper. Your property is worth considerably more which they will need to borrow & they have no mortgage in principle. Before accepting any offers, ensure they have a mortgage in principle agreed. Additionally, their own property has been on the market for what appears to be a period of time – does this mean they will have to reduce the price? or, may not be able to sell at all? Its great not to have to chuck sweeteners into the deal – but if you have to say goodbye to your dishwasher to gain a reliable buyer – its a small price to pay.
So what should you look for in a buyer?
Chain Free Buyers
Do you have an offer from a first time buyer? Old timers? Property Developers?
Being chain free allows more security that the chain won’t fall out from under your buyer – meaning they wouldn’t be able to purchase.
It’s not always possible to know the current living arrangement of a potential buyer, but your Estate Agent can help find this information out during viewings.
If you are being offered your asking price by a Property Developer – question yourself “why”? There is a reason that they are looking to purchase your home and that is usually because they can make more money from it. Consider your options here – if there is a development happening in the area, consider sticking around 6-12months to find out more.
In 2015, cash purchases were at a record high with 4 / 10 homes being purchased away from the mortgage lender. Tighter credit restrictions have helped drive the increase which has been good news for sellers.
If you are lucky enough for someone to put an offer in with a cash purchase – consider it strongly. Without a mortgage lender to rely upon, cash purchases can mean that your property sale can take less time and may be more reliable.
Current Buyer Circumstances
There are many circumstances that may prevent the sale of a home completing, such as current home sale, financial implications and personal circumstances.
Ask your Estate Agent to discuss with the buyer the sale of their current home. How long has it been on the market? Do they have a mortgage agreed in principle? Are the buyers known to the Estate Agent? How many other properties have they viewed with the Agent? Have they put any previous offers in on other properties? If so, why didn’t the sale complete?
Understanding the situational context surrounding each buyer can help you pick a buyer that is reliable & serious. The value of a buyer isn’t just in monetary terms, especially if they are more likely to pull out of the sale. Remember, this isn’t about liking the buyers personality, but about them being the best buyer for your property.