The ‘tell’ of a home seller!

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What does a poker-style ‘tell’ have to do with buying a home? Well let’s first define a ‘tell’!

Tell: an unconscious action that is thought to betray an attempted deception.

In real estate the dance between a potential buyer and seller often has each side trying to convince the other side of certain things.

Buyers will look to convey an ambivalence and the fact that they could take or leave the house, that they have only a certain amount of money to spend  and not a penny more, that they have other options in the area and of course that qualifying for a mortgage will not be a problem.

Sellers want to put the best ‘face’ on their house and above all else not appear in any way to be desperate to make a deal because when buyers sense desperation it’s like sharks smelling blood in the water. The seller also wants the prospect to feel that there are other buyers who are interested and about to make an offer.

But what if in some way the homeowner tips off that they are actually becoming desperate to sell?

For buyers these are some tips for what to look for and for the sellers these are some things to try and avoid at all costs!

From the website Equialt:

With fewer homes on the market, it is still a seller’s paradise. They can choose from a variety of offers until they find the best one. This might lead one to believe that the seller still has the advantage. However, there does seem to be a few sellers out there who are desperate to sell their property as fast as they can.

When buyers come across this type of seller, the advantage suddenly shifts in their favor. Of course knowing how to find or spot this type of seller isn’t always easy.  Look for terms like, “priced to sell,” “quick close,” or “seller relocating,” to provide you with some clues as to the buyer’s state of mind.

If you are looking to find a good deal or a desperate seller, start by searching for properties that have been on the market for a long time. The longer the property has been listed, the better chance you have of buying it for a good price. A excellent indicator of this is a property that has been on the market for at least 100 days. This will most likely indicate that the seller has listed the property for too high a price, and may now be looking to make a deal just to get rid of it.

It is important to keep a few things in mind before making your offer, such as what type of home it is, where it is located and even the time of year. For instance, a higher-end home might not have as many buyers interested in it as a more moderate home. The same applies for the location of the home.

Good deals can usually be found in colder months, when not as many people want to venture outside to look at properties. If you are willing to brave the chill, you just might find a desperate seller eager to sell.

Regardless of how long the property has been on the market, always approach it with some skepticism. Some owners who might appear desperate on paper are really just waiting for a bid that will match their high expectations, and as such, they are fine waiting until that happens.

If you do find finally find a property that has been sitting on the market for an extended amount of time, that also has a desperate seller, be sure to offer a price that is about 15% off the list price. This will provide you with the best deal possible.

Desperate sellers aren’t always looking to sell because their home as been on the market too long, there may be other reasons. In this situation, you should find out what the motivation is to sell. Don’t be afraid to ask why, either from the seller directly or the broker. You want to ensure that there is nothing wrong with the home.

You can also hire a broker or agent who is very familiar with the area you are looking to purchase a home. They will have the best understanding of why a home is for sale and the motivations of the seller. You want an agent who is on the inside track of the goings on of your future neighborhood. They will be your best bet for finding a great deal.

Finally, don’t be afraid to look at distressed homes or low pricing. These types of properties usually sell at a faster pace, while offering a good deal. Sellers in these situations are looking to get rid of their property as soon as feasible. Just be careful, as these types of situations may mean you have less control of the deal and may make it harder to get financing. In addition, the homes might not be in the best condition either. (Source)


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