Is the Home Buyer serious?
So you have hired a Realtor, listed your home, and you are READY to sell.  But how do you tell if the potential buyers are actually interested in purchasing your home?   There are 7 signs to look for to help you tell if the buyer is serious.

1.  They have been pre-approved for a mortgage.  The buyer should include a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender with their offer.   If they didn't include one with their offer, you should be wary of entering into a contract with them.  
2.  They have made a legitimate offer.  If the buyer makes a ridiculous offer on your home, they may not be a serious contender.  The offer may not be at the full asking price, but it should be within a reasonable ballpark of the estimated value.   It's always advisable to respond to all offers, as a "low ball" offer is not always an indication of what the buyer will pay, but often an offer with ridiculous terms or pricing isn't going to pan out.
3.  They have hired a Realtor.   A serious buyer will typically have a real estate agent representing their needs and guiding them through the process.  Very few buyers are capable of negotiating and dealing with a real estate transaction without the assistance of a professional to guide them through the legalities and paperwork required to purchase a home.
4.  They know the local housing market well.  A buyer who is familiar with the housing market won't waste their time looking at a home unless it's worth their while.  If they have been searching for a new home for a while, they are more likely to know the ins and outs of the local housing market.  A buyer who is just beginning the house hunting process may be less likely to make an offer in the near future.
5.  They spend time touring the home and asking appropriate questions.   They may linger in the home  checking out each room, closet and appliance.  They may ask about utility costs or maintenance costs such as lawn and pool services.   The more questions they ask, the more likely that it is a sign they are interested in your home.
6.  Their current home is for sale or their lease is ending soon.   These are questions your Realtor may be able to find out.   If the answer is yes, then they are likely serious about finding a new home.   No one wants to be homeless!
7.  They follow up after an open house.  Although many buyers choose not to attend open houses (opting for private showings with their Realtor instead), if they do attend one and like the house, your Realtor is likely to hear from them or their Realtor for a private showing within a day or two.

Please feel free to call or email me anytime with your real estate questions!   Whether you are contemplating a purchase, a sale, or both, I am happy to put my 32 years of experience in the industry to work for you.  My office is open 7 days a week for your convenience.