Property: Body language expert offers tips on how to spot an ‘untrustworthy’ buyer

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The stamp duty holiday has led to a surge in property market activity, with many Britons looking to sell their homes quickly for the best price. Untrustworthy buyers can make selling your home more stressful than it needs to be. Data from Statista has shown that 45 percent of buyers in the UK are worried about buyers putting in a lower offer at the last minute – also known as “gazundering”.

So how can you spot an untrustworthy buyer without asking them out right?

Property buyers GoodMove have worked with body language expert Adrianne Carter, to reveal five top tips to spot an untrustworthy buyer.

Open or closed body language

Ms Carter said if a person is genuine, then their body language “will reflect this”.

A relaxed posture, open hand gestures and natural eye contact are all signs a person is open.

If a buyer is “tense, unsure and nervous” then their body language will also reflect this.

Ms Carter said to look out for signs of tense posture and movements, limited eye contact, hands in pockets or arms being crossed.

Genuine smiles

It’s hard to spot when a person’s smile is genuine or fake, but identifying this early on could be key in identifying whether a buyer is “untrustworthy or genuine”.

The body language expert said to watch how a buyer smiles when they talk about your property.

Wrinkled eyes, cheeks being pushed up so they’re full and lip corners turned up are all signs of a genuine smile.

However, lip corners going towards the ears, no movement around the eyes could be signs your buyer’s smile is posed or polite.

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Body language

Ms Carter said asking questions and watching their bodily responses “will reveal much about how they really feel about your home”.

She continued: “People will often say polite things about your home, but sometimes it’s not how they feel – watching their face and body language will reveal the truth.

“If the words spoken and the body language don’t match, always trust the body language to identify a genuine or untrustworthy buyer.”

Watch their feet

The body language expert said to watch your potential buyers’ feet and see where they are directed.

If they have visited your home a few times and you’re unsure how they’re feeling, try asking them a few questions and watch their feet.

Feet pointing towards the door or away from you could mean they won’t follow through.

If they’re pointing towards you, they’re more likely to be genuine.


Ms Carter said it’s important to trust your gut, even if it doesn’t rationally make sense.

She added: “Many people dismiss their gut feeling because they can’t rationally explain it, but what could be happening is your subconscious picking up on clues that your conscious mind hasn’t. Always trust your gut.”

Nima Ghasri, Director at GoodMove, said if you can spot when a buyer is genuine or not, it could save you a lot of time and worry.

She said: “An untrustworthy buyer is one of the biggest worries when selling your home and can add so much stress to an already stressful process.

Being able to spot if a buyer is being genuine or not will help save you time, effort, and money, and leave time for you to concentrate on people who are only genuinely interested in buying from you.

“Thanks to Adrianne we’ve been able to collate five top tips to help anyone looking to sell their home on what to look out for in a potential buyer.

“From monitoring their body language to trusting your gut, we hope these tips will help spot an untrustworthy buyer, so you can sell your home fast.”

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