Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / by Vanessa Saunders
When taking buyers through homes in the house hunt process, GPS agents often caution their clients on how to react if sellers or seller agents are within earshot. There are some things home buyers should never say, either directly or off the cuff. Even if there are no other “ears” around, in this age of smart home security, nanny cams and remote doorbell answering machines, you never know who may be monitoring a showing. And those off-the-cuff comments made while moving from room to room could come back to haunt you if you decide to make an offer.
Here are six things buyers should never say when viewing a property:
1. “I love it,” or “It’s perfect!”
The selling agent will send that comment directly to the seller. Then, when the buyers make a less-than-full-price offer with all sorts of concessions, how do you think the sellers will respond? Not too kindly, that’s for sure. Likewise avoid bursting into tears of joy upon stepping inside. This sends an immediate message that you have just made an emotional decision and are ready to lay down and take a drubbing in the negotiation process.
2. “That (sofa, decor, paint color, kitchen. Pick one.) is hideous! What were they thinking?”
So they don’t share your taste in accommodations, but then again, why should they? The house is yours to make your own, as they did, so bite the bullet and choke back those giggles. It’s just not worth insulting the tastes of someone you may later ask to grant you concessions or lower the price.
3. “This home is way overpriced”
Be careful of this comment because it means you’ve started the negotiations. And what happens if this house turns out to be the best option? Your seller and their agent will know you’re in a difficult position and be able to negotiate more aggressively.
4. ‘Why is the seller moving?’
Aside from the fact that the sellers personal life is none of your business, it is something that your agent is better off asking the listing agent in a diplomatic way.
5. ‘What are the neighbors like?’
This one really puts your agent and the listing agent on the spot. Although they can tell you all about the schools, demographics, amenities and commuting info, it’s unlikely they’ll know about the lovely young couple with the new baby or the crazy cat lady down the street. And frankly, it would be inappropriate for them to speak to that question. Instead, take the lead and go knock on some doors. Meet some of the locals yourself and make your own evaluations. It will be far more revealing than asking the listing agent or the sellers. They’re trying to sell the property for cryin’ out loud. They certainly won’t mention the teenager across the street who rehearses his garage band every Thursday night.
6. “Will the seller take ‘X’ price?”
Again, this starts the negotiation cycle, and you just announced your lowest price. Instead, leave the negotiating to your agent, using written offers to avoid misunderstandings. It’s good, essential even, to be candid with your “team.” Just don’t let the other guys hear what you are thinking, especially at those chats outside by the car.
Be engaged but conservative in the information you share and how you react to homes you see, even if you have really found “the one.” There’s plenty of time for champagne when you have your accepted offer in hand.