Articles Negotiating Virtual Agent

Qualifying Interested Buyers

You do not have to be a mortgage expert to learn how to qualify a buyer or explain the various loans are available.

It is the rare buyer (and the very lucky seller!) who is able to buy a house outright with cash. Chances are, whoever buys your house will need a mortgage and, though it may ultimately be the buyer’s responsibility, they will look to you for guidance on financing options.

Don’t be frightened by this. You do not have to be a mortgage expert to learn how to qualify a buyer or explain the various loans are available.

When have found an interested buyer, an important next step is to find out whether they have good credit, earn adequate income, and have enough money in the bank to purchase your home. Remember that an unqualified buyer can cost you precious time and money. If it turns out they are unable to acquire financing and you proceed with the sale, you will have tied up your house for months and lost potential buyers. Therefore, if at all possible, you should try and pre-qualify the buyer prior to having your attorney draft the sales agreement.

Most buyers probably won’t be too eager to share their financial and credit history with you. If it is negative, they may be embarrassed or fearful that it may disqualify them. Even if it is positive, they may feel that you might try and use this information as leverage in negotiations. Often, a buyer may simply feel it is none of your business. However, it is your job to tactfully obtain this information. Once you are fairly certain you have an interested buyer, the most effective approach would be to mention approximate payment amounts. For example, if your selling price were $300,000, the typical 10% down payment would come to $30,000. That leaves a remaining balance of $270,000. Depending on the current interest rates and mortgage length, you can give the buyer an estimated monthly figure.

You can visit and use these calculators found here to figure out all the different payment scenarios based on current interest rates and length of mortgage. You can often gauge by a buyer’s initial reaction to this information whether your figure seems acceptable to them.

And, monitor the latest mortgage rates and lending news at our Mortgage page, with fresh content delivered daily by Bankrate. The more you understand current lending conditions, the better you will be able to put your buyer’s qualifications in perspective.

As a seller, you are trusting that the buyer will be able to follow up on purchasing your home. Accordingly, it’s essential that they share vital information with you. For you to take your home off the market, you must know that the buyer will qualify for the mortgage they need.

You can tell the buyer that they can see if they can get pre-approved by visiting Or, they can use any mortgage lender of their choosing to get pre-approved. Either way, give the potential buyer a suitable time frame to bring you a preliminary loan approval letter.

One last note, keep your home on the market during the pre-approval process. In today’s market, buyers are having a tougher time getting a mortgage necessary to buy your home.