How to Spot a Motivated Seller

How to Spot a Motivated Seller

  • Sapir Team
  • 02/23/23

A seller may not flat-out tell you they’re willing to negotiate… but they will often leave clues. Here are a few ways to spot a motivated seller:

Multiple Units for Sale in the Same Building

Sometimes multiple owners put listings on the market at the same time in the same building. If the units are similar, on the same line with similar finishes and room numbers for example, it is safe to say the owners will want to beat the competition and be willing to negotiate. The same goes for new development: if you’re looking in an area that has multiple projects going on, there is a high chance the developer is motivated.

Listing Language and Behavior

If the listing contains phrases like “motivated seller”, “seller must sell”, or describe the seller as “willing to listen to offers” or ready to make a deal – it’s a clear indication of how serious a seller is about moving the unit. If the listing has seen multiple price reductions it may signal the seller is eager to sell, but don’t expect to negotiate beyond the already lower price.

Time and Timing

If the unit has been on the market for over 6 months or is already on its second round of listing agent, the seller is serious. If the seller is putting the unit o market in the typically slower months of December to February, they’re 100% a “real” seller – they’re listing when there’s less buyer inventory and also less buyer motivation.


Once you sense that a seller is motivated, try to figure out why. Maybe they already bought elsewhere and have to move or maybe it’s an estate sale? Either way, don’t lowball that motivated seller and don’t cheat yourself out of a deal! Speak to their broker and negotiate wisely!


Source: Brick Underground