I am selling my house on my own - is it a good idea to ask if a prospective buyer is already pre-qualified before they look at the house?

Asked by XX, 06067 Wed Feb 15, 2012

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Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Wed Feb 15, 2012
Why would you let anyone in your home that isn’t?
1 vote
Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Wed Feb 15, 2012
Well, there are the safety and inconvenience factors if you don't do this. Do you really want to be dropping everything and accommodating a showing for people that don't qualify for a loan or have anyway to pay for your house? More importantly, if they can't buy your house, what are they doing looking at it? Are they scoping out the place to see what you have inside or who lives there? Are they trying to figure out the easy way to steal from you or worse? BUT, as the previous poster says, you could turn off a real prospective buyer if you don't offer to show them and work feverishly to accommodate them.

It's a catch 22, and as a professional has taken a lot of practice to get the balance right.

Best of luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.VickyChrisner.com
1 vote
Brent Bell, Agent, West Hartford, CT
Sun Mar 4, 2012
As an Unrepresented Seller you have many difficult tasks ahead of you. The first is assuring your safety (& that of your family plus your possessions). An experienced agent representing a potential home buyer will require a pre-approval letter from a responsible lender and learn additional background about that buyer before showing any properties to them. This preserves the agent's valuable time and protects both the agent and the sellers.

Unfortunately, there are mortgage companies---especially some that are internet based--who will issue a qualification letter without running credit and based entirely on information supplied by the potential buyer. You can probably guess what that type of letter is worth! So simply asking if your caller is pre-qualified relies on the honesty and understanding of the caller---having them email or fax you a copy before the showing could help, but you may lose a good potential buyer who feels you are being too intrusive.

The largest problem most Unrepresented Seller's share is an inappropriate asking price (usually averages 20% above the actual value of the property). A buyer's only incentives to purchase a home from an Unrepresented Seller are big $$ savings (the average buyer expects a 10% discount from actual value if the home were listed with an agency--on average 30% below the Unrepresented Seller's asking price)... the alternative motivation is that the buyer's credit is so poor that they are hoping to find seller financing or to have the seller lease them the property.

Please note that a good buyer will expect the services they receive from a Buyer's Agent and expect you as the seller to pay for those services....if you are not offering this upfront, they will expect a significant discount from you in exchange for your decision...

Good luck with your quest!
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed Feb 15, 2012
Probably a really good idea, it is easy to get a pre-qualification letter, but that one does not check credit etc. you are better served with a pre-approval letter where the lender checks credit etc. ---- You would probably be best served to work with a local experienced Realtor to have your property marketed, advertised and assist you in preparing it for showings, staging and other included and make sure potential buyers are pre-approved and a pre-approval letter is attached to an offer...

Give it some thought..... Good Luck to you
Edith YourRealtor4Life! and Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
0 votes
Seth Winklem…, Agent, Bristol, CT
Wed Feb 15, 2012
I would say that for safety sake it is a good plan. Imagine of this "potential buyer" was just casing your house? With a pre-approval letter you will have their info and contact information.

In this day and age, I would say safety first!

If I can help in any way feel free to call/text 860-985-5816.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Wed Feb 15, 2012
Hi, This can go either way...some people wait to get pre approved knowing they won't have a problem. Others will have the pre approval in advance. there is absolutely nothing wrong with making sure a buyer is wualified before showing them your home. There are alot of window shoppers and asking wll help ensure qualified buiyers are viewing your home. It's about how you deliver that question...and be sure to ask every buyer to avoid violating any fair housing laws.

0 votes
Candace Lipi…, Agent, Norwalk, CT
Wed Feb 15, 2012
All valid points below. As Realtors, in this environment, we ourselves must be very careful who we show homes to. We are warned by CAR, CT Association of Realtors, our local Boards, police and our office managers to screen potential buyers we have never met or spoken to at length on the phone. It is essential you ask many questions. I won't get into the list right now, but they are common sense questions. For example, if a saleman called you cold, unsolicited, and said he would like to come by and discuss whatever they were selling, would you just accept their word as to who they were or represented. No, you would call the company they represented to make sure they were who they said they were. If you went to a dating site and found that match, would you meet somewhere that wasn't public for the first time. No, these dating sites urge meeting in a public place first. Your home is not a public place.
We are warned to meet a "cold" perspective client at our office first, with witnesses around. This is not paranoia, it's being safe. Please make sure if you are going to show your home you are not home alone. And ask any questions you like. It is also recommended when we Realtors meet someone cold for ID. If they are insulted by your questions, then they are not serious. Better to be safe than sorry. We have had enough Realtors harmed themselves. Be safe rather than regret.

Part of the screening process is finding out as much as we can about the "customer." They are not a client until they have signed a Representation contract. We do not serve the buyer well when we are not prepared to look out for their best interests.

It's perfectly fine to ask if they have had the chance to speak with a mortgage expert. I never look at it as protecting my time. I look at it as making sure the buyer is equipped with the information he needs to understand what they can afford and the process. It saves them from disappontment when they find out they have to go down a notch or credit needs to be fixed, etc
For brevity sake, you also have to fill out a Property Disclosure form, published by the Consumer Protection Agency, even tho you are a FSBO. Without it, you will be charged a fee, $300.00? at closing.

I do not cover the Rocky Hill area, but would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the process of selling. It's called "Pay it Forward."

Wish you luck, to be prudent, wise and safe.

Candace Lipira
Keller Williams Platinum Properties
CT Licensed Realtor
Web Reference:  http://candylipirahomes.com
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Feb 15, 2012
You should ONLY show your home to folks who are qualified to purchase the home. If a pre-qualification letter is presented from a bank or lender you do not recognize, make a copy of their drivers license and get their telephone number. You need to have something that will allow you to find these folks should some issue require such action. Then stay within two feet of them as they walk through the home.

Cash buyers! Same thing! Have them show the statement showing liquid assets available.
Someone looking for son/daughter or sister in Omaha, demand to see evidence of ability to pay.
Open Houses? Same thing. If you can't buy there are no free tickets to get access to the house.

Now, what if you were buying? Here in Florida, many visitors had no intention of buying, but stopped and and acquired a piece of the Sunshine State.

Hopefully, you see you must be prepared to take the good with the bad. A greater matrix of influence is also at play that become compromised when great restrictions are applied. If you find ad-hoc showing incredibly inconvenient, you have many additional options. Nothing requires you to do what everyone else is doing.
Web Reference:  http://www.MyDunedin.com
0 votes
Lisa DiTullio, Agent, Southington, CT
Wed Feb 15, 2012
I agree with Michelle. I work with many buyers and sellers. Buyers are looking for that "Steal" and For sale by Owners are a good target. Many olks think in trying to sell there home on there own will save them money in commissions and only end up getting less in the bottom line.
A good Real Estate agent will not only take away the hassle of phone calls, setting up showings, holding open houses but will also, market your home to other Professionals, make sure the people walking thru your home are serious buyers. They will negotiate on your behalf to get you the highest price possible for your home and get it to the closing table...

If you decide to seek professional help to get your home Sold, I would be happy to interview for the Job...

All the best,

Lisa Milo-Ditullio
Realtor--Top Producer
Century 21 All Points Realty

Licensed in CT.
800.525.7793 x1445

0 votes
Michelle Kra…, Agent, Franklin Square, NY
Wed Feb 15, 2012
Asking before showing may turn buyers away. When I work with a buyer, I always suggest that they get pre-approval but I do not strongly suggest it until I know they are serious. Some buyers see a house they like, run to the bank, get pre-approval and make an offer.

Finding the perfect home could take months and pre-approvals have expiration dates so many prospective buyers hold off until they see something they like.

If you don't find a buyer for your home on your own after a month (or get decent good offers), I recommend getting a professional agent to sell it for you. An agent can generally get more money for your home and will always bring in more potential buyers with very little hassle for you. Many people see a For Sale Buy Owner sign and they see a bargain so they are going to offer the lowest price possible knowing that you aren't paying for high end marketing or professional agents.

I hope I was able to answer your question.

Best Regards,
Michelle Krapf
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Feb 15, 2012

This is something that many agents do to identify serious buyers and not waste the time of all parties involved. As a owner /seller, if not approached sensatively you could run the risk of alienating the customer.

Would you not show them the property if they were not pre-approved? Should you identify cash buyers as well? Another way of approaching this would be to invite the buyer in, show them the property, and work these issues into the conversation......

Good luck,

0 votes
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