How To Tell If A Home Seller Is Serious Or Not

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, I’ve been looking for motivated property sellers.  How can I tell if a seller is serious or not? Chloe, Madison, Wisconsin

A: You are smart to target motivated sellers when prospecting for real estate deals. There are many homeowners who may place their property for sale just to test the market. The more motivated a seller is the more potential room there is as a buyer to negotiate.

Determining the motivation level of a seller requires building rapport with the seller and inquiring about their specific personal situation. There is a big difference between a homeowner saying “I just want to see what I can get for my house” versus “I just got a new job halfway across the country” or “I just lost my job” or “we’re getting a divorce”.

Significant life events (i.e. marriage, divorce, job loss, new baby) often make homeowners suddenly more motivated to sell–the savvy real estate investor will uncover this information early on in their due diligence process. This vital qualitative knowledge about the seller gives the savvy investor an edge over other narrow-minded investors who jump to price before getting a holistic perspective of the seller’s overall situation.

Thanks for your question, Chloe. For more real estate information and tips visit my blog at