Doug Van Etten

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November 29, 2012
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Local real estate Q&A

A: For starters, congratulations on having so much interest in your property. You have not provided much background information on these buyers so I will speak in general questions and terms. First, did you get contact information from these three and every other party that has looked at your home? You can easily and comfortably ask for contact information since these people are asking to enter your private space. Once you have that information, have you followed up with calls or emails to respond to any questions they may have about your home and to keep your property foremost in their minds?At the time these people expressed interest in buying your home, did you ask them or did they provide a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter from a reputable, preferably local mortgage lender? As a listing agent for my clients, my advice to a seller is to always require that we receive a lender letter alongside a purchase offer. If they are not already qualified with a lender and present this letter, they may not be a real buyer.When you meet prospective buyers, there are a number of sample questions you may want to ask to determine their readiness and motivation to purchase your home. Even though you may not have asked already, you can still call and ask the following questions, or variations, to determine if one of these parties is really likely to be the buyer for your house. Ask:• How did you become aware of my home for sale?• Are you working with a Realtor or will we simply be dealing with each other?• Where are you moving from? • Do you currently rent or own? And, if you own do you have to sell an existing house in order to buy mine?• What is your motivation for buying a home at this time?• What are your wants and needs in your next home?• Is there a time that you absolutely need to be moved into your next home?• What will happen if you do not get in by that time? How will you deal with that and how will it make you feel?• Have you pre-qualified with a lender? If so, who? If not, please do that as your next step.These are some of many pre-qualifying questions you can ask. This list gives you an idea of how you can gather information to determine buyer motivation and the likeliness that they are a "real" buyer for your home.Since you can only sell your home to one buyer I suggest you quiz all three, determine who is qualified and motivated, thank the other two for their interest, and apply all your efforts to get that one real buyer to complete the purchase process. If the buyer is qualified and motivated, you can most often close a sale within 30 days of accepting a purchase offer.Doug Van Etten is an associate broker with Keller Williams Colorado West Realty and is also the founder/organizer of the Real Estate Investors Network (REIN). Van Etten has been helping homebuyers, sellers and investors with their real estate needs since 1992. Contact Van Etten at or 970-433-4312. For information on the REIN,

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 29, 2012 12:54PM Published Nov 29, 2012 12:53PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.