You can tell your realtor, as one of your requirements, that only those with financing in place can make an appointment to view the house. This will cut down on lookie loo’s too. I don’t know if it’s true but I have heard that most people who attend open houses are not serious home shoppers, merely satisfying curiostiy.
We also made the requirement of “no contingencies”. IOW, we would not consider an offer based on the prospective buyer having to sell his/her home. I know to some it doesn’t matter. However, the deeper the contingencies go down the line, the harder it is to close a deal. It can really bog things down.
I believe one of the best things to make things happen quickly is to find a top notch agent/broker in your area. If you don’t know any, try this … as you drive around town on normal errands, look at the for sale signs in yards from real estate offices. First, see which real estate office keeps popping up. Then look for the most frequently seen agent name. You might want to start there with that office and that agent.
When we bought our old house in 2000, we sort of fell in to finding the right agent that way. We kept seeing signs for “xyx” real estate office … the most frequentlty seen at that time, and probably still today. We became personal friends with the broker and his wife the last 13 years …. we go to church together. They are both go-getters. Guess who we went with 18 months ago when we decided to sell/buy again?
As it turns out, our agent to sell was the agent for the house we bought 18 months ago. Helped us kinda keep it all in the family! LOL
Now the agent for the buyer of our old house.. that is a whole other story that I won’t recount here. Let’s just say she was not professional, fell completely short in her job by not communicating with her client, etc. In some respects he was left in a lurch due to her lack of communication … as in timelines, inspections, expectations of what we would do, etc. In fact, I believe a lot of the work was done by her broker. I heard from a friend that the broker was a real piece of work too … very unprofessional. That is why I recommend interviewing past clients and the agent. However, honestly they will probably not set up an interview with someone they know was unhappy with their service. So it’s kind of a tricky situation.
If you don’t know realtors, take time to interview. Ask lots of questions, ask to talk to previous clients, etc.