Home Buyer’s Guide

Real Estate
A Home Buyer’s Guide to Motivated Sellers
Like here, in middle America, Aitkin, Minnesota, in many parts of the country, home shoppers often outnumber home sellers. 
If you’re a home buyer, you need every competitive advantage you can get. 
That’s why it pays to work with a real estate know how to find motivated sellers and persuade them to choose you.
The definition of “motivated seller” has changed since the depths of the economic crisis about a decade ago,
when many motivated sellers were trying to avoid foreclosure. There are fewer of these desperate sellers now,
but you can still find motivated sellers if you know where to look.

What is a motivated seller?
“A motivated seller is someone that needs to move out quickly,” explains Sonia Figueroa. 
Figueroa, a real estate agent with Century 21 Affiliated in Chicago, lists common motivators:

- The home has been on the market for three months or more, and the sellers feel impatient
- The sellers are relocating for a job
- The sellers are divorcing. “They’re super motivated because they want to get rid of each other, get rid of their assets and be done,” Figueroa says.
- The owner died and the sellers are the heirs. “They just want to price it to sell it, to divvy up the money,” Figueroa says.

Identifying a motivated seller
According to Stacy Hennessey, a real estate agent with McEnearney Associates in Falls Church, Virginia, here are telltale signs that the seller is motivated: 
- The home is priced to sell quickly
- It has been fixed up and staged
- The listing photos were taken by a professional photographer,
- Seller is willing to negotiate.
- Sometimes a home’s listing contains the phrase “motivated seller,” or the seller’s agent says the seller is motivated.

Tips for buying from a motivated seller
- Ask what the seller’s priorities are. 
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. 
- Offer flexibility on the closing date. 
- Offer a larger-than-usual earnest money deposit. 
- Pay your closing costs instead of asking the seller to pay. 
- Offer to rent the house to the seller for a limited time. 
 
The article A Home Buyer’s Guide to Motivated Sellers originally appeared on NerdWallet.