So you have finally made the decision to sell your property. Be prepared with a lot of time, energy and marketing data as back-up, especially for the face-to-face with a serious buyer.

Knowing some of the key questions to ask potential property buyer can help you know how serious he/she is about purchasing a house, his ability to purchase and what obstacles stand in the way of a successful closing. Here is a list of such useful questions to ask your potential property buyer:

The contract: Once the potential buyer has asked to see your house, and shows interest in purchasing, ask if he is submitting an offer and if it’s on a generic purchase contract obtained at an office supply store. Ask if he is represented by an attorney or a real estate agent. In case it’s a real estate agent, determine who is paying the commission-this is a negotiable point.

Have you been preapproved? : One of the challenges faced by the home sellers is the length of time it can take to sell a house. When a buyer expresses interest in a house, asking whether he has been preapproved can help determine how serious he is about purchasing, and whether he will be able to obtain the necessary financing.

Where’s your proof? : One of the worst nightmare of a home seller is to get their hopes up and their moving plans in motion and then have to cancel it all because the deal falls through. Deals often fall apart because the mortgage lender fails to approve the short sale, or the home appraises way below the seller’s bottom line. However, another common deal-killer is when the property buyer’s financing falls apart. The wise thing here to do is to ask the potential property buyer for robust proof that the buyer can actually do the deal. In case the home’s buyer plans to use mortgage financing, you should get a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage pro who has actually run the buyer’s credit, seen their down payment money and checked their income and assets. If the buyer is using cash, insist on receiving a recent proof of funds, such as a bank account statement, documenting that the buyer has the cash they’ll need to close on hand.

What did you like/not like about this house? : Hearing from the potential property buyers about what needs to be improved can help you know to make necessary repairs and updates that will allow you to compete with less expensive houses in your area, such as foreclosures.