6 Ways to Qualify Sellers

6 Ways to Qualify Sellers

 September 18, 2018

At first glance it may seem that qualifying people who want to sell their homes is not as difficult as it is to qualify buyers. After all, the reasoning goes, they will either sign a listing or not. Besides, sellers don’t need to be qualified for a new loan – selling is much simpler.

Yes and no

While some of the details of getting a listing and selling it are a bit simpler, not all sellers or their listings are desirable. A seller who insists on too high a price, or refuses to provide required information, or even simply refuses to make up his mind about selling is a time-sink you don’t need.

You also don’t need a seller who won’t tidy up her property and deal with needed repairs.

Sellers who, in hot markets, won’t pay for staging are also a potential problem.

It’s all about your time

There are only 24 hours in every day. As a real estate agent, you have only so many of those hours to work, particularly if you want a life in addition to your work.

Sure, you want to be of service. When listing properties this includes things like:

  • Learning about the property – it’s great points, it’s not so great points and everything in between.
  • Educating the seller about price, showing, offers, curb appeal, advertising, signs and the rest.
  • Preparing both the seller and the house for the MLS tour and for open houses.
  • Scheduling showings and open houses.
  • Sitting open houses.
  • Showing the property.
  • Cooperating with other agents.

Then there’s taking offers, negotiating offers, and handling the details of the sale until it closes.

Everything takes time, your time.

Listing a home that won’t sell for whatever reason is a waste of your time.

Okay, it’s more than possible that you’ll run into a situation where you don’t know if the property will sell or not. You simply have to consider whether or not it’s worth your time to find out.  You don’t have to take every listing that appears or work with every seller.

6 Signs the seller is really ready to sell

Here are some signals a seller may send, directly or indirectly that will help you know if the seller is really ready to sell.

  1. Listens to you about selling price – maybe not agreeing with you totally, but listening to you and considering what you’re suggesting. At least willing to compromise on price.
  2. Is forthcoming about reasons for selling – knowing why the property owner wants to sell helps you understand their situation and urgency.
  3. Is willing to talk about their plans for moving – if they have some plans about where they will move after the sale they are much more likely to be willing to actually accept a reasonable offer. Be cautious if the seller is vague about this.
  4. Is upfront about what’s wrong or needs fixing – there probably isn’t a home anywhere in the world that doesn’t need something fixed or doesn’t have a problem of some sort or another. You want your seller to point all of these out to you. Sure, you ask questions about the age of the roof, water heater and any problems unique to your area. Your seller should be forthright in discussing these with you.
  5. Willing to act on your suggestions re painting, curb appeal, tidying up, etc. – Curb appeal, fresh neutral paint and a tidy house and yard make a huge difference when it comes to selling a home. You know that. You want a seller who not only agrees, but takes action.
  6. Cooperative about showing and open houses – you can’t always tell this in advance, but you may be able to get a sense when you discuss how the seller wants to be notified, and what kind of warning they need. It’s almost impossible to sell a house that’s hard to show.

A few sellers will meet all sixof these criteria – they’re golden and are likely to be ideal sellers for you. Others may want to negotiate all or some of these points, which may be fine as long as what you agree to is really workable.

Although listings are a great way to build and keep a real estate business growing and thriving, not all listings are worth the time. Learn to pick and choose for maximum profits.

real esate



Anne Wayman

By Anne Wayman

Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.