7 Ways to Learn a Seller’s Motivation When Buying a House

by Jul 30, 2018

When buying a house, a buyer needs to know why the homeowner is selling. Some homeowners are trying to sell their home in hopes of moving into a different one, but are not motivated to do the legwork. Others need to sell to get out of a mortgage that is facing foreclosure.

When it comes down to it, the more desperate a seller is, the easier it is to negotiate. Pay attention to these seven ways to learn a seller’s motivation when buying a house.

The Sale May Speak For Itself

There are some listings that simply speak for themselves. A buyer can tell before walking into the house that the seller is truly motivated to sell and as quickly as possible. Pay attention to the way the seller is advertising the house. If it is being sold “as is” or they are looking for “cash” offers only, they are looking to get rid of the house quickly.

Another way to know they are looking to unload the house is the price. If they have set the asking price below market value, they want buyers to snatch it up. A house that has many price reductions may not be moving quickly enough for the seller.

Bad Maintenance or No Maintenance

A desperate homeowner may not have the time nor money to make their home look great for a sale. The outside of the house is a good indication of a homeowner that is in a bad way. Look for a property that has an overgrown lawn. Most sellers will make their curb appeal as beautiful as possible, and an overgrown lawn is a sure sign the buyer is desperate.

Check The Subtle Signs

Unfortunately, some people must sell their house due to divorce. Many of these sellers cannot afford the home on their own or they do not want to live in a house they once shared with their spouse.

If the house is big enough for a family but only one bedroom seems used, the person may be going through a divorce. A quick glance at their closet can help to learn if there is more than one person staying in the house.

Cramped House

Sometimes families outgrow their homes. If a seller plans ahead, this may not be a problem. But a seller that has large family that changes too quickly may need to get out quickly.

Look for signs of any new residents in the house, either baby items stuffed into the master bedroom or even suitcases in the living room. If a new family member has joined the household with no room to sleep in, a change needs to be made.

Estate Sales

Some estate sales have very motivated sellers, while others have families fighting over their rights to the house. An estate sale is one run by a family member who inherited the home from another homeowner who has passed away. It can be easy to snag up a house if the sellers are all in agreement on how to sell.

Too Honest

No buyer wants to be yanked around when it comes to buying a house. However, a buyer that supplies too much information too quickly is desperate to sell. They may unload all of the bad aspects on a buyer at once. In the seller’s mind, it is easier to tell someone what is wrong before they get too far in the process and back out of the deal. It is an honest strategy, but it gives them away as a desperate seller.

Moved Out

A seller that has moved out of their old home is now paying for two houses. That can be a financial strain on any household. They will want to get rid of that second home as quickly as possible. If the house is empty, the seller has already moved on and needs to get out ASAP.

When buying a house, a buyer can learn why a seller is moving without needing to directly ask. The seller’s motivations are important to determine if they will accept a lower price or if they will be firm on their asking price. A desperate seller may take a very low price if there are no other offers on the table. It is up to the buyer to determine how motivated they think the seller is.

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