Accept an offer from a fast-talker or a faffer, and your hopes for a speedy property deal could be scuppered. Here’s how to choose the right buyer.

When it comes to property transactions, we often focus on the long list of questions buyers want answers to.

What’s the local area like? Where are the nearest good schools? And what about the boiler, electrics, water pressure, broadband and energy ratings?

A good agent will be able to deftly answer all these queries without pausing for breath. But a great agent will also have a long list of questions for potential buyers.

This is because a successful sale is about more than accepting a good offer for your property – it’s about getting a deal over the line. And to do that, sellers need to make an informed decision about the best buyer to make this happen.

Given that about 30% of sales fall through, and completion rates average between four and six months, you want to steer clear of ditherers and time-wasters.

While no deal comes with an ironclad guarantee, ask the following questions before accepting an offer:

- How is the buyer funding the purchase?

- If they’re selling their current property, is it on the market?

- If it’s not on the market, when will they list it?

- If their current home is on the market, when was it listed? (If the property hasn’t budged for a long time, there could be a problem with it.)

- If your buyer has accepted an offer for their own property, does this sale involve a property chain?

- Does the buyer have a mortgage deal arranged? When will the offer expire?

- Are there time constraints associated with moving, such as a school place application deadline or job offer?

- Do they have a solicitor in place?

- If someone says they’re a ‘cash buyer’, do they understand what this means? (Some buyers mistakenly assume it means selling a home and using the cash to buy another property. A true cash buyer already has the money in the bank, meaning they’re not in a chain.)

Once you have this information, and assuming you have more than one offer, you can weigh up your options.

You’re looking for an offer that is financially sound but also has a good chance of completing in a timeframe that aligns with your situation.

It may be that the highest offer also has the highest chance of falling through, while an offer that’s a few thousand pounds less is not as risky.

We’re experts at assessing potential buyers. Contact us today to see how we can help you choose the perfect buyer for your property sale.