The best news an estate agent can give to a home seller is that an offer has come in on their property. Sometimes, on a house that has higher demand than expected, a number of offers might come in and this could lead to a bidding war. Usually the vendor will choose to accept the highest offer, however there are several factors to consider when selecting the best buyer.
Video: How to select the best buyer when selling your house
Finding out the position of your buyer
The main thing to consider when there is a table full of offers is the position of your buyer; are they ready to proceed immediately? There is no point in having a very high offer if the buyer does not have the funds available!
Cash buyers are usually the preferred choice of buyer to a home seller. An estate agent much check the proof of funds and also verify where the funds have come from (anti-money laundering regulations). Often buyers will say “I’m a cash buyer, I just have to sell my house first to get the cash”. This is not much different to a mortgage funded buyer as they are still involved in a chain. Therefore the best option is clear funds available to send immediately. The only potential downside to offers from cash buyer is that the offers are likely to be lower than others as the cash rich buyer knows that they are in a strong position to proceed with a purchase.
The majority of buyers do require a mortgage. A good estate agent will not just accept an “Agreement in principle (AIP)” by their broker, but should actually get to know the buyer’s financial lifestyle and verify their findings with the mortgage broker. The AIP is not actually a mortgage offer, therefore technically the sale could fall through if the purchaser is unable to provide all the paperwork required at the final stages. Also the lender may down value the property and refuse to lend the amount required for the agreed sale. So although the majority of mortgage buyers will have no issues, occasionally things can go wrong.
Managing a chain
Chains can often be the biggest threat to a sale. Unfortunately chain issues cannot always be controlled by your solicitor or estate agent, as there could be a number of related sales involved in the chain that are being dealt with by other parties. Chains are common – basically anybody that needs to sell their house in order to buy your house is in a chain. Similarly for a seller – if you need to find a new house or are waiting for the seller above you to move out before you can complete on your purchase, then you are also in a chain (and your buyer may pull out due to the frustration of waiting for you to find somewhere!).
So who is the best buyer to sell your house to?
In a perfect world the best buyer is a cash buyer that has funds available and is not reliant on selling their house to obtain the cash funds. Basically the longer the process takes, the more chance there is of something going wrong. Unfortunately a very small percentage of buyers are in such a position. So it’s very important, when selecting the best buyer, to have a good estate agent that will work smart and closely with you to ensure you have a smooth selling process until the day of completion.
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