PROPERTY: How to avoid time-wasters

TIME WASTERS: Let an agency pre-select potential buyers. Credit: Shutterstock

IT’S a sad fact that there are a lot of time-wasters or voyeurs out there who want to come and look around people’s houses when they have no intention of buying.
To sort out the buyers from the spiers pre-qualify them by asking a few questions before arranging a viewing.
Explain politely that there is a lot of interest in the property and that you need to make sure that anyone who comes to view is serious. You’ve had some people who were complete time wasters. Go over the details of your property like how many bathrooms, bedrooms etc.
Listen for buying signals such as people who ask a lot of questions, or people visualising themselves in the room. Asking about the property’s utility bills and taxes, community fees, rubbish collection bills and requesting a second viewing are also good signs.
Voyeurs look at photos and ask you questions about you, your family, being over friendly. They are only interested in you rather than the property.
Over-complimenting the decor could mean a guilty conscience and subsequently, no offer.
Ask questions like: “Are you selling too? What stage are you at? Who is selling it?” This information can then be checked. “Are you in a chain? Is this going to be a holiday home or are you moving here” are also good questions to ask.
‘It doesn’t have enough bedrooms’, means they never looked at the property description and they are maybe just being nosy.
Depending on their answers you can assess their level of seriousness and whether you want them in your house at all. If you’re not sure, say you’ll have to refer to your partner and will call them back.
Try to get some background about why they’re interested in your property. Working in the area or having family nearby reinforces their reasoning for buying locally.
All the above is a good reason for having a selling agent. The best ones will ask all the right questions for you, and hopefully only bring people serious about buying.

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