Home buyers are a colourful lot. You’ve probably met a few schemers yourself if your goal is to “sell my house”. If you haven’t met the different breeds of real estate buyers, then it’s a matter of time until you do. Have you ever hosted a visit and it feels like the buyer was waiting for you to fumble? It’s all fair game for house hunters in both traditional and for sale by owner deals. Many will see your house as easy prey.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If your house for sale in Australia has been sitting on listings for a while, you can expect the whole kit and caboodle of home buyers on your doorstep. As a seller, it’s a challenge sorting through the riff-raff; buyers eventually will telegraph their intentions, though, you just have to wait for cues. These five home buyer profiles help you sort out the best offers.
Type #1: The casual browser
You can break this type into two categories: the seriously interested window shopper, and the time waster. By default, it’s in your best interest to accommodate all interested buyers in for sale by owner real estate, because you never know when someone makes an offer you don’t want to refuse. Window shoppers are also justified to a certain extent, since most of them are just sifting through the listings looking for a good deal.
Some house hunt without the intention of buying, though. The key is to trust your gut during the walkthrough. If the buyer walks in like a nosy neighbour and asks too many questions, it’s a sign of mild or casual interest. If you think your time is being wasted and you’re past the point of being cordial, then you should ask the buyer outright, or end the walkthrough on a civil note.
Type #2: The cash buyer
This type tempts you with an offer you can’t refuse, especially when you fall asleep each night thinking “how do I sell my house privately?” but the offer often comes with strings attached.
Even the prospect of having cash buyers on your doorstep is initially invigorating. Someone is buying your house with cold hard cash in a for sale by owner deal where you get to keep all proceeds and not have to pay an agent– what’s not to like?
If the catch comes in demands and ultimatums, then you’ll have to reconsider. Cash buyers may come with low-ball offers, or they may demand that you repaint the entire house in their preferred colour before they commit. It’s still your discretion, so long as you know loan-backed buyers are as qualified as cash buyers in the long run.
Type #3: The cheapskate home buyer
You’ll immediately feel you’re short-changed on cheapskate offers. Some also finance their purchase with loans disadvantageous to you, the home seller (nit-pickers from the bank will snoop into your property before the deal is closed). You may even go out on a limb to ensure the sale, like chipping in on the closing cost.
The good thing about stingy buyers is they’re willing to accommodate your demands and this is truer in for sale by owner setups than in old school agent-based real estate. You can skip repairs and have the new owner deal with these. You can also extend your stay on the property, until you have everything settled on your new home. Stingy buyers won’t mind.
Type #4: The guilt trippers
They immediately frame your home with their children running around the yard, their dog on your porch. They’ll find your cupboards so adorable they’ll visualize where to keep the cereals and flatware. They’ll even send you follow-up letters with pictures of the entire family group-hugging the dog.
While there’s nothing wrong with being cosy and familiar, your focus should be on the money. It’s ruthless, but the bottom line is you’re selling property, not a home. You’re even staging your house so it looks generic. Buyers tugging at your heartstrings should have the money to spend on a good offer.
Type #5: The real estate property sharks
These are the most insidious of the lot. They pick up the scent of desperate entries on house listings, and then circle in for the kill. Unless the offers are great, the best place for property sharks is outside, on the curb.
Be cordial with inquiries, but spare them the details, especially when you sense they’re finding flaws to exploit. While some are just buyers in search of a bargain, some property sharks are also house flippers (pun intended), the worst of the lot. They’ll buy your house with the intent of reselling it for profit, which means their low-ball offers will hit you where it hurts the most: your pride and your wallet.
If this leaves an impression the game is cutthroat, in many ways it really is. Expect to run in with a few bad offers before you find one worth considering. So, what’s the moral in all this? Good offers don’t often come easy, but these are always worth the wait.
Want more for sale by owner real estate tips? Check out our other blog posts: