The real estate market continues to be unpredictable as prices rise due to competition from buyers. You’d think sellers would be thrilled, but a lot of “buyers” often turn out to be less serious about purchasing than they let on. They may be more interested in just seeing what’s out there or what type of house goes with the higher prices that buyers are seeing.

This can give sellers a rather cynical view of anyone who wants to look at their house. If you want them to take you seriously as a buyer, you’ll want to prepare and go to that showing able to prove that you’re ready to make a serious offer.

Get Prequalified for Financing Before You Look

If you get prequalified for a mortgage before showing up at a house that’s for sale, that’s a good sign to the sellers that you’re serious. You’ve had your credit and financial situation looked over in detail by at least one bank, and you’ve worked to make your credit good enough to get a reasonable interest rate. Someone who’s just looking around for fun isn’t going to go that far.

Bring a prequalification letter from the lender if possible so that you can show the sellers. That’s the most straightforward way to show that you’ll be able to afford the house.

Have Questions About the House Written Down Ahead of Time

When you’re serious about buying a home, you need to prepare ahead of time. Before each show, write down questions about the home and the neighborhood so that you show you’ve thought about what it would be like to live there. When a buyer hears your detailed questions tailored to the house and neighborhood, they’ll know you’re truly interested in their home.

Not having detailed questions can make you look like you’re not thinking about purchasing that home. You may seem like you’re just checking out what’s available in general. The questions you ask don’t have to be intricate; they can be simple things, like questions about wildlife that may come into the backyard or how responsive the HOA board is to resident concerns. But the mere act of asking them can make a really good impression.

Spend Time Looking at the Property

If all you do at a showing, open or private, is glance around the house and check out a few rooms, you’re not going to seem very serious to the sellers. You could find your offers declined. When you go to a showing, check out each room carefully, looking in cabinets in the kitchen, for example, or investigating the side yards and seeing how much room you have there.

It may feel strange to go through someone’s house, looking in closets and bathrooms, but as a buyer, you have to do this. If you feel awkward, let the sellers and your agent know that you want to look in the cabinets or that you’re going to check this or that. Look for details like how many 20-amp and 15-amp breakers are in the circuit breaker box. It’s the attention to those little things that show you’re interested in buying.

Of course, one of the best ways to show that you’re serious is to work with a real estate agent. While there are people who buy houses on their own, you’re much better off working with a Realtor to ensure that you haven’t missed a listing or forgotten a fee as you negotiate a sale. If you’re looking for houses for sale in Montgomery County, PA, or Bucks County, you can call┬áPaul Gunter at RE/MAX Centre Realtors. Don’t let listings slip by as you search for that perfect home.