Some buyers are easy to read on viewings. They enthuse about every nook, declare undying love for every cranny, and freely admit they’re besotted before deliriously offering the full asking price on the spot.
Sadly, however, overexcited buyers are few and far between. People tend to be cagey when there’s hundreds of thousands of pounds at stake. Therefore, agents have to work a little harder to gauge their true intentions.
Luckily, there are a few important clues that even cards-close-to-their-chest type buyers can’t help but give away. We reveal our top five tell-tale buying signals below…
1. Asking lots of questions
It’s usually a good sign if a buyer starts enquiring about a property’s utility bills, council tax, or broadband options. It means they’re taking the property seriously.
Questions about the surrounding neighbourhood – particularly school catchment areas and proximity to transport links – could mean it’s game on too.
Don’t panic, however, if they also ask about a property’s negative points. They might simply be trying to ascertain whether a problem is solvable. A serious buyer will usually try to cover all bases.
What’s more, nit-picking can actually be a strong buying signal. It shows they’re thinking of all the little details. They might even be trying to establish a negotiating position in preparation for a below asking price offer – the crafty so-and-sos.
2. Taking their time
Most buyers decide a home isn’t for them within a few minutes. So there’s not much point in hanging around for longer. A potential buyer that takes their time, however, could be seriously interested.
If viewers look at each room slowly, and go back to certain rooms multiple times, then they could be picturing themselves in the home. Maybe they’re wondering where their furniture would go? Or perhaps they’re working out storage options? Either way, any lingering should have you licking your lips.
Always look for signs that viewers are becoming emotionally invested in a property. If they talk fondly about certain features, and start allocating rooms to their kids, then they might be ready to make this home their own.
3. Positive body language
If a potential buyer is being coy, then it’s time to tune into their body language. Nodding their head up and down is a classic non-verbal buying signal. Smiling, chin-touching, rubbing their hands together, and getting closer / leaning into conversation are also powerful signs that they’re weighing up an offer.
Don’t worry, however, if you’re not picking up any obvious signals. Experienced property buyers are good at hiding their emotions and don’t want to give the game away. Sometimes you’ve just got to go with your gut.
4. Arriving with third parties
If a potential buyer turns up for a second viewing with a tape measure then you know an offer is imminent. Nothing says, “I’m head over heels with this home” more than measuring up.
However, it’s also a great sign if they turn up for a second viewing with a family member. It means they’re seriously interested but want a second opinion or extra reassurance before taking the plunge.
You should also be encouraged if potential buyers arrive with a builder or surveyor. It shows they’ve either got big plans for the place or want to do their due diligence before proceeding.
5. Not-so-subtle digging
Even poker-faced buyers have to reveal their hand eventually. And this moment usually arrives when they try to ascertain whether there’s other interest in a property – a key piece of information they’ll need before negotiating a price.
Consequently, if a buyer starts asking how many viewings there have been, how many future viewings are lined up, or – the biggest reveal of them all – whether there are any offers on the table, then your buying signal detectors should be going into overdrive.
It’s a sure-fire sign that a buyer is keen when they ask about rival bidders. It means their competitive juices are flowing and that they’re thinking possessively about their potential new home. “My precious…”
Over to you
They say that selling is an art as well as a science. Consequently, although the above are great signs that an offer is coming your way, sadly there aren’t any guarantees.
What we can say for sure, however, is that viewers displaying our top 5 buying signals are thinking seriously about a home. And that should be your cue to jump in and seal the deal like the sales savant you are.