Spotting the desperate seller when you’re house hunting

Spotting the desperate seller when you’re house hunting
 OMG John 7/25/2018 12:06 PM

We’re currently in a seller’s market. Homes are selling quickly once listed while there’s a house inventory shortage. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a desperate seller or two out there!

How can you spot a desperate seller?

Length of time for the listing

If the listing is seen in the MLS system for a while, the sellers may be more desperate to unload the home. Especially, when the listing isn’t owner-occupied. This can signal that the home’s sitting vacant and it REALLY needs to be unloaded.

Multiple price reductions or price set below market value

If you see a listing on the market for a while and there are multiple price reductions or the price listed is set below market value, you may have a desperate seller situation on your hands!

Little to no curb appeal

If you drive by the home and the lawn is all weedy or unmowed, this can be a sign the owners moved out. Or at least, mentally moved on, from the property.

There are additional subtle clues to look for also like closed blinds on a gorgeous day or a stack of newspapers piled up on the porch.

The family is adding new members - or already has

If you walk through the house and spot new baby furniture waiting to be assembled or crowding the master suite, maybe bunk beds in every bedroom and perhaps signs of someone sleeping either on a couch or in a guest room, this can show how the family is expanding and needs more room. Translation: a desperate seller situation and potentially savings for you!

The home is listed by an estate

If the home is listed by the heirs of an estate, this could be a sign they’re willing to move quickly on the sale and more open to negotiation.

The couple is divorcing

This, unfortunately, happens often. Couples divorce and neither can afford the mortgage payments on their own, so they’re forced to sell the home. They also need to do it quickly in order to get all of the paperwork and finances in order.

The family is relocating for work

If you hear that the family is relocating to another city or state for work, this can prompt “desperate seller” status, too, and may prompt the desire for a fast transaction.

The sellers are TOO eager to answer every question

Home sellers are wary of disclosing too much information in the best cases, but desperate home sellers may give away more information in an effort to disclose everything and not slow down the sale with something that’s found on an inspection.


If you and your family are preparing to sell your home or are getting ready to start house-hunting, contact the Fairfield Team and we can help you get started, coach you through home negotiation tactics, or answer any questions about the Omaha housing market!