Of course you are. No one enjoys the hassle of having a house to sell on their hands once they’ve found somewhere else to live.
When it comes to selling their home, however, most people are their own worst enemy. Sellers often find it difficult, if not impossible, to keep from offering personal opinions or information that they think makes them appear credible to the buyer. Without even realizing it, homeowners try too hard to impress buyers and end up putting their foot in their mouth by the end of the viewing.
Here are 10 things you should avoid telling potential buyers:
1. Exactly why you're selling. Many people have phobias about moving into homes where someone has recently died. Others may be having marital problems of their own and may be scared away by the fact that you’ve recently undergone a messy divorce. Keep things general.
2. How quiet the neighborhood is. The potential buyers may want a more social atmosphere than you desire, and look forward to making new friends. Younger couples, especially, tend to fall into this category.
3. Alternatively, how noisy the neighborhood is. The screaming baby next door or the neighbor’s barking beagle are not selling points!
4. How many kids are in the area. Even if the buyer has children of their own, you have no way of knowing whether or not they want gangs of them hanging around their front door. Not all parents appreciate kids whirling around the neighborhood on skates, riding bikes across their front lawns or decorating the sidewalks with colored chalk.
5. How great your local church is. Not everyone is the same faith, or even religion. Respect others’ beliefs.
6. How ‘new’ the home appliances are. New is most definitely a relative term. What you consider 'new' may be old to others. After living in your house for 20 years, your two year-old washing machine will most likely still be 'new' to you. A buyer, however, may have different thoughts. He or she may not consider anything new that has been in place for over six months.
7. Information on existing warranties. They may expire before the new owners close on the house, or they may not even be transferable.
8. Your prized possessions: the lovely birdbath on the front lawn that attracts hundreds of birds each year or the moose head affixed to your family room wall that your great grandfather hunted down 50 years ago. There’s no accounting for taste. What you may love may be one of the first things the potential buyers are planning to get rid of.
9. How many viewings you've had. Although you may think the competition may increase interest, some buyers may think, "I wonder what's wrong with this house?" or "Why hasn’t anyone bought the house yet?"
10. That you’ve bought another home. Where there is urgency, there is pressure. If a buyer senses there is pressure to sell, they will often push more when it comes to negotiating their offer.
If after following these suggestions you still feel everything you say might get you in hot water down the road perhaps it is best you make your appearance short and sweet when the real estate agent appears at your front door with potential buyers.
Be polite - say hello, welcome the viewers to your home and then let the real estate agent work their magic. Perhaps a good course of action would be to say: "Please take your time viewing my home. And if I don't see you before you leave, thank you for coming/ You'll have to excuse me, but: I have to make an important phone call/I’m in the middle of helping the kids with a school project/I’ve got dinner on the stove, etc."
Doing this not only prevents you from potentially sticking your foot in your mouth but also leaves the avoidable questions up to the professionals. Remember that it is most important for the potential buyer feel comfortable while viewing your property - after all, you want them to feel ‘at home’.
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