5 types of buyers to look out for when selling

The housing market for sellers is the best it has ever been. Homes are being listed and sold in the same day, often with competing buyers paying above asking price for your home.

But it is YOUR home! You’ve made the decision to capitalize on a lucrative market and find a new home for yourself, but when you put that listing sign in your front yard, it’s going to attract different types of buyers.

Many people think they can sell their home on their own. However, while real estate agents bring a level of expertise to the process, as well as a higher sale price, they also insulate you from having to deal with the unique personalities of buyers. Think of them as your own bodyguard.

As a Realtor, we’ve seen all kinds of people walk in, out and into doors of homes. As a seller, not every frog is a prince or princess. While the market is in a great position to sell your home, as agents, we know we are going to run into a very vast and interesting group of people who want to buy your home. By choosing a real estate agent, we get to handle these individuals for you and deal with their…unique…personalities.

Just like the deals these buyers propose, there is more to their story that lurks behind the offer. Here’s a look at the five different types of buyers Realtors encounter and learn how to deal with when helping you sell your home.


Everyone loves cash buyers…just ask them! Cash buyers may come across as arrogant and aggressive, and with good reason. They don’t have a care in the world when it comes to financing mishaps or even escrow periods, helping seal the deal even quicker.

Most of the time, the discussions are quick and a deal is even quicker. Negotiations are immediate, and you are kind of left feeling like you should be thanking them for even looking at your house to purchase. While the cash buyer wants to “make it rain” to buy your house, be careful because flexibility is key with this group. An all-cash buyer likely will aim for an extremely lower than normal asking price or may focus on specific contingencies they want done or else they are quick to walk.

While they want to flaunt their liquid situation, their thought of a cash buy means a lower price. A real estate agent can help you avoid this by pricing your home accurately and fairly, so you get what you deserve and what your home is worth. But here’s the thing to remember: The promise of cash is more of a bragging point than a financial benefit to you, the seller. You’re going to get your proceeds in cash regardless of how the buyer pays. A well-qualified buyer getting a loan is as good as cash, so don’t be afraid to walk away from their outrageous demands.


These buyers are the opposite of the all-cash buyer. These individuals have little cash for a down payment and likely qualify for FHA loans. While these loans help underdogs achieve the “American Dream” of owning their own home, it can be rough on you, the seller, since these loans have stricter home qualifying requirements, requiring you to do more work on your home or even contribute to closing costs. But everyone roots for the underdog, right?

Those buyers are aware of their situation and don’t want to be a headache to you or a burden — they want each of you to WIN! Unlike the buyer who wants to “make it rain,” the underdog is more flexible to needs, just don’t ask them for more money. A real estate agent has creative ways to make these buyers achieve their dream while making sure you don’t have to have any nightmares in the transaction.


For these buyers, it was love at first sight. They are so in love with your home, they accompany the offer with pictures of their pets or family, or even freshly baked cookies or brownies, making you feel like you have given them everything they hoped for in a home. But beware.

While these buyers make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, those types of efforts don’t pay off your mortgage or earn you the fair value of your home you deserve.. These are the most rewarding buyers you can encounter, but these grand gestures and thoughtful notes need to be followed up with an equally large offer that is representative of the feelings they have for your home.

This is still a business transaction. A Realtor can make sure that you don’t lose sight of the fact that your priorities need to remain in line in selling your home for the right reasons and price while ensuring you don’t sacrifice your home’s full potential in the sale for a box of chocolates or pumpkin latte.


We all have dreams. I wanted to be a professional boxer or even an actor on Broadway, but I smelled the smelling salts and roses one day knowing that wasn’t in the cards for me.

Beware of these buyers as while they dream of owning a home someday, today isn’t the day. They take their tour on the road and go to every open house they can find, but when it is time to put pen to paper to make a deal, they can never seem to find a pen.

Having a real estate agent helps you by both identifying these individuals from their appearances at several other homes your Realtor may have seen them at, but also from getting involved in futile negotiations. These buyers aren’t serious about buying a home and likely start engaging in hard negotiations with lowball offers insulting to your home and time.

Your real estate agent is your safety net. They’ll uncover if these individuals are looking at multiple properties and just how serious they are at closing the deal. The more properties they’re looking at and the more wishy-washy the answer, the more likely you should close your windows and tell them to go shopping elsewhere.


Not many properties are on the market too long these days. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you now become the hunted and Wolf Buyers are going to start being on the prowl.

These buyers will look at every single inch of a home, trying to figure out why it hasn’t sold. They are intimidating and intelligent, but don’t let them get to you. Be honest with them and make sure you disclose everything. A real estate agent will help see what concessions can be made if the price is still fair for both parties.

However, while this buyer is prime to pounce on your home, they might be doing it to satisfy another craving of theirs: flipping it. They may be individuals who are simply flipping houses. Again, your Realtor can help you negotiate and deal with this buyer, including finding out if this is the case by looking at The Vindicator or Tribune Chronicle’s real estate transfers to see if they’ve been on the prowl around town.

These are just five types of personalities you may encounter when selling your home. Like when you made your memories in the house you’re selling, you don’t invite just anyone into your home. Having a real estate agent is an investment into your peace of mind as well as your home’s ability to sell for the best possible price and buyer it should.

Patrick Burgan is president of the Youngstown-Columbiana Association of Realtors.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)