If you work with home buyers, you'll find there are some you want to work with and some you wish you never worked with. The challenge is figuring out who belongs in each category as early as possible.
While these aren't necessarily hard and fast rules since your tolerance for PITA people may be different than mine, but here's what I've learned as red flags over my 15+ years in the business:
1. Buyers that ask for a rebate at the beginning. They're tipping their hand right up front that they don't respect you or your paycheck. Are there times I've accepted granting a rebate? At the right price point and conditions, yes. And I've usually regretted it by the time we got to the closing table.
2. They're not willing to meet you at the office and your gut is sending you signals. Listen to your gut.
3. They refuse to get preapproved. Unless their name is Warren Buffet, I'll give a buyer one outing for "free". It's a chance to get know each other and whether I want to proceed. Next step, I want confirmation that I'm not wasting my time and theirs showing homes they can't buy.
4. "But Zillow says the home is worth ________". The first time is free, but if I keep hearing that after we've had the discussion around why Zestimates are maybe good for rough ballparks, but NOT the true determination of a home's worth, we have a trust and expertise issue.
5. "But my friend says _________". Pretty similar to #4. How often does said friend buy and sell homes?
6. "But I read online that ____________." Okay, we're trending on a theme. Again, trust and expertise. If I explain why the article may not apply to our local market and the buyer STILL keeps going back to it, we have another trust & expertise issue.
7. They think it's okay to yell at you. Sorry, but you have yet to pay me a dime, and only people that pay me have any right to even think about yelling at me.
8. They don't respect your time. Way too early or way too late calls/texts/emails with an expectation of an immediate response.
9. They're late to appointments and don't extend the courtesy of at least letting you know. I can tolerate late within reason. You stiff me entirely, MAYBE I cut you some slack, but I'm just as likely to terminate unless you've got a GREAT reason for why you couldn't even text me.
10. They just can't make a decision. Suitable home after home, and no offer written. Meanwhile you're on your 10th outing and you've shown 50 houses so far. You might think you've sunk too much time to quit, but they've shown you who they are, listen to them.
11. Okay, they write offers, but they're not going to buy unless it's a steal...and the market is TOTALLY a seller's market. The clock is ticking and you could be working with a realistic buyer.
12. Your MLS posts the buyer's name that they've been arrested for squatting in vacant homes and as part of his sentence he has a TWO year ban from talking to any agents and if he contacts you, contact the local police department. (True story, but I'd already fired him months before for stiffing me on an appointment).
13. They only want to speak with the listing agent. You MIGHT be able to convert them if you can get them to fully understand the listing agent works FOR the seller and not them.
14. They let slip about seeing another home long after they started working with you and you know it wasn't an open house. They've just told you they don't have loyalty to you.
15. They're absolutely convinced they can get a better deal on new construction WITHOUT you and won't let you register them with the builder's rep.
There are more warning signs of course, but these are the main ones that tell me I'm working on thin ice with a buyer. I may feel lucky and gamble that I can "fix" whatever seems broken, but most times it just turns into something that spikes my blood pressure.
Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz