How to Gauge Buyer Motivation in a Hot Real Estate Market

Young couple and male real estate broker wearing face masks while looking a new home

If you are a listing broker in a hot real estate market, you’re one of the lucky ones. Properties often fly off the market before you even break a sweat. But if you are representing buyers, your job can be more challenging. You may have to show dozens of properties—and receive multiple rejection offers—before you find your client that dream home.

Time is money. Before you log too many hours chauffeuring buyers from property to property, make sure they’re truly motivated to navigate the challenges of a hot sellers’ market—from competing with other buyers to committing to contracts that favor the seller.

Here are some good indications that your North Carolina real estate clients are truly ready to buy.

They don’t say “I want to see what’s out there”

If clients are merely interested in browsing properties, they likely aren’t serious about buying right now. Even if they find a property they love, it will be off the market before they are able to move forward with a purchase. Explain the realities of a hot real estate market to “browsers.” And encourage them to take steps, such as securing financing, before they begin their search.

They take their search seriously and understand the realities of a hot real estate market

Motivated homebuyers know exactly where they want to live and are tuned in to the realities of the market. As a result, they spend a great deal of time researching properties online, rather than waiting for you to send them a list of homes. They schedule regular showings with you, because they feel a sense of urgency and don’t want to miss out on a great property.

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They are pre-approved

Pre-approval shows that the buyer is at least moving in the right direction. However, it is based solely on information the buyer provided the lender. It doesn’t include a review of the buyer’s credit report or an in-depth look at their ability to finance a home. So it’s definitely not a sure thing.

On the other hand, a pre-approval letter is an actual conditional commitment in writing from the lender for an exact loan amount. The buyer has undergone a credit check, completed a pre-approval application for a mortgage loan, and provided documentation to the lender. Pre-approval puts buyers at a huge advantage, especially in a hot real estate market.

They have a down payment in hand

Down payments that are contingent on the sale of another property can discourage sellers from accepting an offer. Truly motivated homebuyers will already have a down payment in the bank.

They keep their expectations in check

In a hot real estate market, buyers realize that they may not be able to find a property that fulfills their every wish within their price range. They are willing to compromise, scale back their must-have list, and increase their price range when necessary.

If your North Carolina homebuyer clients don’t meet the above criteria, should you decline to work them? Not necessarily. If you have the time, it might be worth it to coach them through the process and prepare them to move forward with purchasing a home.