As Windsor real estate agents we often see buyers that walk into our offices and are eager to find a home as quickly as possible. Motivated buyers are usually plentiful during a seller’s market – in which there is a high demand for homes. This is because buyers want to get in on the action and not be left out. This is when multiple offers on a property often happen. In a buyer’s market – where there is a high inventory of homes for sale, buyers are more cautious and demanding and homes often sit on the market for months without an offer.
But what makes a motivated buyer? When a buyer contacts us, and says he or she is ready to buy a home sooner rather than later, we ask them a couple of questions.
1. Are you pre-qualified?
If a buyer is ready to purchase a home, then getting pre-qualified is a must. Why? Because if a buyer doesn’t have a clear idea on their budget nor unsure what a bank would loan them, then you are shooting in the dark. Maybe a buyer has credit issues that need to be fixed or they believe they can afford a certain price, when in reality, they aren’t even in the ballpark. It’s a waste of time, for both the buyers and sellers, to show anyone a home that may be completely over budget. This is valuable time that can prevent them from buying a home in their time frame.
So I tell buyers who want to buy quickly: Get pre-qualified. Find out exactly how much you can afford. Sellers who entertain an offer by a pre-qualified buyer are almost always given the edge in a bidding war because sellers know they can afford the home and won’t need to waste several weeks waiting to see if a buyer, who may offer more, can actually afford the home. When this happens, and it is determined the buyer can’t afford the home, then it is guaranteed the seller will race back to the pre-qualifed buyer to see if they are still interested. But often, that buyer has gone on to purchase something else.
2. Must have/Wish list:
A motivated buyer not only comes to our office pre-qualified, but also with a list of what they must have in a home. They know what neighbourhood they would like, how many bedrooms, type of property, etc. They will let us know if they prefer a condo near downtown, or a home on several acres of land. The “must have” list is an area that will rarely entertain any compromises. However, the “wish list” is what a buyer would like, but it is not mandatory. This list might include a bonus room, swimming pool or maybe an in-law suite.
Motivated buyers almost always have a very clear idea of what time of home they want. However, they does not mean a real estate agent will be able to show them the perfect property right at the start. Keep in mind that it often takes three showings or so before an agent gets a feel for a buyer’s taste.
For example, in a “must have” list, a buyer may say they want a newer kitchen, but it isn’t until we visit a home that we learn more, such as the buyer likes hardwood flooring, crown moldings, a kitchen with an open floor plan and so on. With each appointment, agents learn more about their clients until we have a very good idea what appeals to them or not.
3. Finances in order:
Obviously, buying a home costs quite a bit of cash. Writing big checks is necessary. Motivated buyers have down payments and other necessary funds readily available in their accounts so that when a home is found, they are able to proceed without waiting. How much does it cost to buy a home? This is where motivated buyers have done their research. I suggest anyone who is even thinking about buying a home in the near future, sit down with an agent to get some idea on what is required from a buyer. You don’t want to forget about insurance, inspection and other fees that can add up.
Finally, working with a professional real estate agent who can help a motivated buyer find their home quickly and effectively is a must. Buyers want to know that they are working with an agent who understands throughly the home buying process and has an eye and ear out about upcoming properties that will soon be on the market. A well-respected agent keeps on top of the volume of paperwork and follows the entire home buying process step by step and with a watchful eye.