Determining Whether Buyers are “RWA” (“Ready, Willing and Able”)

I don’t know about other listing agents, but when prospects come through my Sunday open’s, I quiz them (gently) to see whether they’re “ready, willing, and able.”

sunday openHere’s what I mean by that:

“Ready“:  The prospect wants (needs) to buy now — not six months (or two years) from now.

They’re working with an experienced Buyer’s agent and know the market, prevailing prices, etc.

Collectively, sometimes Realtors refer to these qualities as “motivation.”

“Willing“:  They like your client’s house!  It’s a good fit for them, meets many (if not all) of their needs, and they’re considering it.

Able“:  They’re financially able to buy.

Assuming they’re not a cash buyer, that means they’ve connected with a good lender who’s pre-qualified them, and — combined with what they’re able to put down — established their budget.

If they’re currently renting, their lease expires soon.

yes noIf they currently own another home, they don’t need to sell it before they buy (they’re what Realtors call “non-contingent”).

Alternatively, if they’re Contingent Buyers, their home is already on the market, well-priced, well-staged, etc.

“Housing Market Serendipity”

So, how many people coming through Sunday opens satisfy all three of the above criteria?

I’d estimate, generously, less than 15%.

So, why do open’s?

Two reasons:

One.  The “you never know” factor.  While homes typically don’t sell as a direct result of Sunday open house exposure — once in awhile, they do.

Two.  Future Buyers.  While it doesn’t directly serve Sellers’ interests*, Buyers who aren’t ready now may be in a year.

Which is why newer, less experienced agents often “pinch hit” for veteran agents on Sundays, to scout for future clients.

*Sometimes, the Buyer you met at an open last year (or the year before) is a good fit for a home you just listed.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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