Buyers that say “We are looking for a home to buy” generally fall into one of the Numbered categories and one of the Lettered categories identified below. It's our job to identify and determine intent of the buyer(s) and ensure they can and are ready to make a viable offer on a home.
The 4 Primary Types of Buyers
1. Buyers who are buying a home and paying all cash. This buyer requires no loan and can make it happen as soon as they find something they like. We call this a “Cash Buyer,” which is at the top of the list. Keep in mind we as Realtors will want to see the proof of funds to ensure they are really cash buyers.
2. Buyers who are fully qualified by a legitimate lender who requested and checked all of the buyer's financial documents before issuing a qualified loan statement. We call this a “Lender Qualified Buyer.”
3. Buyers who have verbally given their information to a loan broker who issues a letter of qualification based on their verbal conversation and most likely have not pulled a credit report. We call this a “Potential Buyer.”
4. Buyers who are out looking at homes but haven’t put the effort into getting the financing questions out of the way. We call this a “Fully Un-qualified Buyer.”
The 3 Main Interest Levels of Buyers:
A. Serious Buyer(s) are buyers who have been actively searching for a home for 7 to 20 weeks and longer in many cases, usually 1-6 weeks of on line searching before they get out and start reviewing the actual homes. Statistics show that a buyer that has been searching this long knows a the areas prices and are ready to make an offer when they find a home that fits their criteria. These buyers know that a home priced correctly will not stay on the market long and they are typically motivated to buy in this stage.
B. Warm Buyer(s) are buyers who have been previewing homes for 1 to 2 weeks. These buyers are somewhat motivated, however, they will generally take more time to decide which homes will fits their needs. These buyers are in the partial discovery mode and sometimes don’t know exactly what they are looking for and need time to figure it out. These buyers will be motivated in a few weeks or months depending on their housing situation.
C. Potential Buyer(s) are buyers who are just getting started. They request a lot of information from websites and Realtors, however, they are weeks and sometimes months away from figuring out what they really want in a home and finding a Realtor they’ll be comfortable working with.