Ring Ring Ring…
The phone rings. You answer.
“Hi, I saw the house you have for sale at 123 Main St. Can we see it tomorrow at noon?”
What should you say?
Here’s a hint – it’s not YES!!!!!!
Why Should You Say No
While the desire to show your house to every potential buyer with a pulse can be tempting, don’t let a prospect through the door until asking this question: “Can you provide a letter of prequalification?” If the buyer says they haven’t had time to meet with a lender, refer them to a lender you trust. (If you don’t have one, we’re happy to send over some names and numbers of folks who have done a good job for us.) Unqualified buyers are a potential hazard to you and your property, and you should always insist on seeing their pre-qualification letter prior to a showing. Once you receive the letter, make sure it’s dated within the past 30 days, and then call the lender to verify the amount and validity of the pre-qualification.
By skipping this step, you risk bringing thieves or scam artists into your home. You could also prematurely take your property off the market for a buyer who can’t actually close. If a buyer (or buyer’s agent) gets upset when you ask for proof of pre-qualification, don’t second guess your request. Protecting your home, family, and a potential qualified opportunity is more important than an agent or buyer who doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by following the proper protocol.
One other tactic you need to be aware of is the claim that the buyer is using cash. If they are using cash, they should able to provide a “proof of funds” letter from their bank or fund manager. If they are unwilling to provide a letter that verifies the specific amount of money available to buy your property, please beware.
I hope these tips help you avoid potential pitfalls and lead you to a safe and successful closing.
Good luck out there!