The five signs to look out for in a potential buyer to avoid being gazundered

How to tell if you're dealing with an untrustworthy buyer

The current climate has made securing a home buyer quickly incredibly important. However, it is also crucial to know how to tell if a buyer is genuine, so you aren't left in the lurch when a sale falls through or 'Gazundered' at the last minute.

Related: Phil Spencer says this is how to AVOID being gazumped

'Gazundering' is a term that refers to when a buyer lowers their offer below the agreed-upon price at the last minute. Nearly half of buyers in the UK named 'Gazundering' as their biggest concern when buying a home.

To help you spot an untrustworthy buyer, property buyers Good Move have teamed up with body language expert Adrianne Carter. She shares her five tells that you're dealing with a disingenuous potential buyer.

house with garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

How to tell if a buyer is genuine

1.Determine if their body language is open or closed

'If a person is genuine and open, their language will reflect this. Such as having a relaxed posture, open hand gestures and natural eye contact,' explains Adrianne. 'Alternatively, if a person is tense, unsure, and nervous, their body language will show it too.'

An untrustworthy buyer with show signs of a tense posture. Make limited eye contact, keep there hands in their pockets or cross their arms.

2.Spot a fake smile

'Being able to spot the difference between a genuine smile and a fake smile will also identify whether a buyer is untrustworthy or genuine,' points out Adrianne.

To tell if a smile is fake or not Adrianne advises keeping an eye on the corner of the lips and eyes. In a genuine smile, the lip corners are turned up and pushes the cheeks up so they are full and the eyes wrinkle. In a posed smile, the lip corners will go towards the ears and there will be no movement around the eyes.

staircase with black sidewall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

3.Watch body language when you ask questions

'Asking questions to potential buyers and watching for their responses will reveal much about how they really feel about your home,' says Adrianne. 'People will often say polite things about your home, but sometimes it's not how they fell - watching their face and body language will reveal the truth.'

If the words coming out of their mouth don't match their body language your potential buyer is not to be trusted.

4.Watch their feet

'This may seem a bit random, but make sure you watch the potential buyer's feet,' comments Adrianne. 'It's said that the feet are the most truthful part of the body, and where the feet point the body wants to go.'

'Try asking some questions about their plans and then watch their feet,' advises Adrianne. 'If the feet point towards the door or away from you, they probably are not going to follow through. If the feet point towards you, they are genuine.'

living room with wooden flooring and sofa

(Image credit: Future plc)

5.Trust your instincts

This might not be a potential buyer tell, but it is important to trust your gut instinct.

'If your gut is telling you that a buyer seems disingenuous, listen to it!' says Adrianne. 'Many people dismiss their gut feeling because they can't rationally explain it, but what could be happening in your subconscious picking up on clues that your conscious mind hasn't. Always trust your gut.'

Related: House prices receive record-breaking boost as seller confidence grows

Keep an eye out for these five things to avoid wasting your time on an untrustworthy buyer.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.