Five Top Tips on How to Spot an Untrustworthy Buyer

Signing a contract

The process of selling your house is already incredibly stressful, and that’s without adding an untrustworthy buyer to the process! In fact, 45% of sellers say that gazundering – where a buyer lowers their offer just before the contracts are exchanged – is one of their main concerns.

If you want to avoid selling to an untrustworthy buyer then read on, as we’ve worked with body language expert Adrianne Carter, to reveal five top tips on how to spot a dishonest house viewer.

1. Is their body language open or closed?

Body language reflects how a person is really feeling: if they’re open and honest then they will maintain eye contact, have a natural posture, and open hand gestures, with their feet pointing towards you.

If your prospective buyer looks on-edge, unsure or at all nervous, and are failing to maintain eye contact, with tense posture, their arms crossed or hands in their pocket, then consider that a red flag, as it’s likely they’re not genuine.

2. Is their smile genuine?

If you can spot the difference between a genuine and a fake smile, you’re halfway there to determining whether or not a buyer is trustworthy. Here’s how you can distinguish between the two:

  • A genuine smile: The corners of the lips turn up, the cheeks are full and the eyes wrinkle.
  • Fake smile: The lips reach towards ears but don’t turn up, with no movement around the eyes.

3. Trust their body language, not their words

While you can ask questions to prospective buyers, it doesn’t mean they’ll answer truthfully. Rather than listening to what they say, watch how they deliver their words. If you don’t think their body language matches their responses, then go with your gut instinct – it’s rarely wrong.

4. Watch their feet

This may sound strange, but the truth is, that the feet point to where the body wants to go. So, ask your potential buyer about their plans for buying a house, and make sure to glance at their feet. If they point towards you, they’re likely being truthful in what they’re saying (if, of course, they say they’d like to put an offer in!). On the other hand, if their feet are pointing away from you or towards the door, then there’s likely somewhere else they’d rather be…

5. Always go with your gut instinct

If you have a feeling that something isn’t quite right with your prospective buyer, then the truth is, you’re probably right.

Many people ignore their gut instinct because they can’t rationalise the reasoning behind it, but what it often means is that our subconscious has picked up on subtle cues from the potential buyer that our conscious mind hasn’t. So, don’t ignore it – something likely doesn’t feel right for a reason.

Being able to spot an untrustworthy buyer once they’ve walked through your door will enable you to save time, money and effort; as you can concentrate on trying to sell your house quickly to people who are genuinely interested in buying from you.

For more tips on selling your property, continue reading our blog.



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