“How serious is my buyer?” asks Frosts agent Andrew Gilchrist

House hunting in Herts? Don't lead sellers on...

House hunting in Herts? Don't lead sellers on... - Credit: Archant

All too often huge numbers of poorly qualified “window shoppers” are leading sellers up the garden path...

As the internet continues to gain ground as the first port of call for many (if not all) prospective buyers, estate agents can feel somewhat swamped with buyers. The issue is not a lack of enquiries, but which of those enquiries will turn out to be serious.

This is because many estate agency websites are simply an invitation for buyers to register online, yet all too often this results in huge numbers of poorly qualified “window shoppers” applying. Whilst this is a good service for the buyer who is “just browsing” it can be difficult to assess the seriousness of genuine buyers from their basic requirements alone.

This is where the skills of a good estate agent come in, and part of your estate agent’s job is to identify the most able and motivated buyers. One of the ways good estate agents do this is actually to speak with their buyers rather than simply accepting a brief online “wish list” at face value. The agent can probe and listen, and respond accordingly, saving buyer and seller alike time otherwise wasted on unsuitable viewings.

Only by fully understanding a buyer’s needs in context can an agent direct that buyer to the most suitable homes.

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For example, does a request for a garage mean that the buyer needs to park a valuable car, or do they just need good storage space? If the latter, then the agent will be able to offer that buyer a far wider range of suitable homes than just those with a garage.

A deeper understanding of buyers also means that the agent can discover what has prompted the move, the likely timescale involved, and whether there are related sale or finance issues to be addressed. A successful sale does not depend solely on the suitability of the property, but also on whether the buyer’s circumstances are compatible with those of the seller.

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At Frost’s we promote this way of working with buyers and believe the results are clear for our clients; less but better qualified viewings result in stronger offers with more chance of proceeding to a successful move.

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