All home buyers want one thing – a good deal. Sure, a good house, good neighborhood and a swimming pool is great too – but it all starts with a good deal. Ali Safavi Real Estate has a number of blogs about finding good real estate. In this post we’re turning you into a real estate detective. Sellers often leave a number of unintended clues which hints at their level of desperation to sell the property. Desperation is great for buyers. If you can sniff out desperation you can sniff out a good deal. But what does desperation look like? Here’s a few clues to get you on your way.


Overcrowded House Ali Safavi

One or two-bedroom homes are great for couples, but once you have a couple kids space can get a little tight. Put a few screaming kids in small quarters and you’ll do just about anything to get out!

If you’re walking through a potential home and see multiple beds per room, that’s a clue that the family has outgrown their habitat. An overcrowded house is a mecca for stress. Plus, if you are looking in the summer, chances are they will want to move before school starts…which means an internal ticking clock to sell.

Related: 4 Hidden Costs of Moving

Aging Out

From the very young to our most senior. A two-story home is perfect for a growing family or even a couple whose kids have left the nest. However, once you get to a certain age, stairs become more and more difficult to handle. As with many unfortunate elements of aging (there are many positives too) sometimes it sneaks up on you. One day those stairs just aren’t as easy as they used to be.

So what clues do you look for in these situations. If you are walking through a home owned by senior citizens, look for blankets on the couch. This is often a sign that the upstairs bedroom is too difficult to get to. Most likely the seller is looking forward to moving out to a more comfortable living situation.


Divorce is no laughing matter; however, it is a good sign that the sellers want a quick exit. Money is often at the heart of many of the issues and the house can be an ugly sticking point that the couple just wants out of their lives. Obviously, you don’t want to celebrate their misfortune or use it as a bargaining tool. But, often people will mention their situation in a casual off-handed comment. These are the moments you want to listen for.

No One Lives There

Homes that are currently habituated sometimes take a bit more detective work to figure out the reason for the sale.  Empty homes, on the other hand, are a glaring sign that the owner is ready to sell. If the property is wiped clean this often means the homeowner has already moved into their next location and is dying to put this house behind them. In real estate this is one of the clearest signs of desperation. We all know that staging can up the value of a home and get it sold more quickly. So, doing the opposite of that is a pretty big clue that they don’t care about getting maximum value.

Negotiations are the key to getting a good real estate deal. Finding leverage doesn’t mean you have to stick it to them like a federal prosecutor in court. After all, they can always decide not to sell to you. Instead, use the knowledge you’ve gathered to set a price that makes the buyer think “good enough.”