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Exercise caution when dealing with potential homebuyers

Selling a home is a big project that comes with a fair amount of stress. With all you have to think about at a time like this, it is easy to overlook warning signs about potential buyers.

From the moment the “For Sale” sign goes up to the day you sign the closing documents, using a little caution will go a long way toward helping you find the perfect buyer.

Dealing with passersby

The “For Sale” sign will attract a lot of attention, especially if your house has outstanding curb appeal. Do not be surprised if strangers knock on your door and introduce themselves as prospective homebuyers. They are angling for a tour, but you do not know these people; they could be respectable-looking thieves interested in finding out what you have of value. Passersby truly in the market to buy a home will not object when you explain that they need an appointment.

Your turn for questioning

Do not be afraid to ask questions. For example, find out why a potential buyer has an interest in your home. Ask about their job and how quickly they need to move. Beware of someone who asks if you will carry the mortgage because this indicates possible credit issues.

Pre-qualification versus pre-approval

Is the potential buyer pre-qualified? This means the borrower has provided financial information such as income, debt and a listing of assets to a lender. After performing some calculations, the lender will provide an estimate of the mortgage amount the borrower can afford plus what the closing costs and approximate monthly mortgage payments will be. Pre-approval, on the other hand, is a step closer to homeownership. The borrower completes a mortgage application. The lender then performs credit checks, determines how much mortgage the buyer can afford and provides a letter that serves as a conditional commitment for the exact loan amount.

On to closing

The closing will be the final hurdle. You can ensure it goes smoothly by relying on legal guidance that includes a review of the transaction and the drafting of the necessary documents. By exercising caution in dealing with potential homebuyers and narrowing the field to only those who are pre-qualified or already pre-approved, you can sell your home with confidence and move on with your life.

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