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Moving home is stressful enough without being led on by uncommitted buyers and wasting valuable time. In this two-minute read, we examine various methods by which sellers can determine whether or not property buyers are genuine.

The current situation in the property market in the UK, in which demand is higher than supply, puts sellers in the driver's seat. However, there is still one risk that could delay or even prevent a sale from going through, and that risk is an unreliable buyer.

When the market is competitive and prices are rising quickly, it is common for buyers to become anxious and make a hasty offer or stretch themselves beyond their financial means.

A buyer might act this way out of fear that prices will continue to rise and that the market will move too quickly for them to keep up.

Or, they've been outbid before and want to avoid making the same mistake twice.

Regardless of the buyer's lack of commitment, the result is the same: the buyer backs out of the deal several weeks or months into the sales process.

It is not only frustrating for the seller, but it also has the potential to cost them financially if they are a link in a chain that ultimately breaks down because the other parties involved become impatient.

Banner ad with lady holding binoculars looking for a serious property buyer

How to spot a genuine buyer for your home (and avoid the time wasters)

1. Second viewings.

If a buyer requests a second viewing and is willing to move their schedule around to accommodate it, this is often a positive sign. If the buyer makes an offer after the initial or second viewing, your agent should be able to help determine whether they are as enthusiastic as mustard about following through with the purchase of the property.

2. Due Diligence.

Every offer that comes through should come with an offer form containing proof of funds. Butcher Residential estate agents aim to present every offer to the vendor within 24 hours of the buyer making that offer. If your buyer is purchasing the property with a mortgage, there must be a mortgage in principle in place.

It is in everyone's best interest to do business with a buyer who already has their financial affairs in order and is ready to proceed. 

It's worth mentioning that even though an offer has been accepted, this is not legally binding until the "exchange of contracts" stage in the sales process is complete. In the UK, it usually takes 8 to 12 weeks to reach the point where you're ready to exchange contracts.

2. Understand your buyers' situation.

Have a conversation with the buyer about the reason they are moving.

It's a good bet that they're the real deal if they have family living on the same street and expecting a baby soon, moving because of their jobs or have any other genuine reasons.

Be suspicious of their commitment to the sale if they have little knowledge of the area and no desire to learn about the area. Be especially cautious if their story changes or, if the buyers are a couple, and their stories don't match up.

3. Be sure that there is an open channel of communication.

Your prospective purchaser should keep you and/or your estate agent updated on their progress as the survey, searches, and pursuit of solicitors continue.

4. Be wary if there is a sudden lull in activity. 

5. Consult with a seasoned representative.

Even though the market favours buyers in the current market, a good estate agent can help you move through the process more quickly and easily. They'll be able to tell the genuine buyers from the people just trying to take advantage of the situation.

We're here to help!

Contact your local property experts. 

Butcher Residential Estate Agents in Penistone, Barnsley, Denby Dale and Huddersfield is a long-established independent family-owned firm of professional estate agents with offices in Penistone in South Yorkshire, and Denby Dale in West Yorkshire. Our Penistone branch covers the sale and letting of residential and commercial properties in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley whilst their Denby Dale office in West Yorkshire covers the sale and letting of residential and commercial properties in the HD8 postcode area of Huddersfield.

At Butcher Residential, we have an extensive database of committed buyers looking for their perfect home.

If you are looking for a property to buy, follow these quick links below to start your search...

Properties for sale in Penistone
Properties for sale in Barnsley
Properties for sale in Huddersfield

Thinking of selling? 

Contact us to arrange a free valuation of your property today. At the appointment, we can discuss with you the state of the local property market, guide you through the process of selling your home, how we market your property to ensure it reaches as many serious buyers as possible and of course, discuss the listing price and expected achievable price for your property. 

Be the first through the door!

Be sure to like Butcher Residential Estate Agents Facebook Page. We post our properties as soon as they come to market and sometimes even before we list them on our website and all the major property portals!
Screenshot of a facebook post showing a new property to come on the market with Butcher Residential before it went live on our website and property portals.


By Holly Butcher 

Residential Sales & Lettings Valuer

Denby Dale Estate Agent T: 01484 943020 |

Penistone Estate Agent: 01226 767766