- What buyers may innocently say can be used against them during a house hunt.
- Think twice before making comments with a listing agent or seller present.
- Let your agent diplomatically assess the selling scenario at hand.
While it may be tempting for buyers to say what’s on their mind during the house hunt, agents should encourage them to pause for a moment. There are some things homebuyers should never say on the fly.
Others may be listening. Listing agents, sellers, neighbors all have motives to keep tabs on the situation — or there could be even be a recording device planted somewhere.
In the age of smart home security and remote doorbell answering devices, you can never be too sure.
Those off-the-cuff comments made while moving from room to room could be used against you.
Here are six things buyers should never say when shopping for a home:
‘I love it; it’s perfect!’
That feedback goes straight to the seller.
When the less-than-full-price offer comes in and the buyer requests all sorts of concessions, how will the seller be inclined to respond?
‘That (décor, furniture, paint color) is hideous!’
What were they thinking?
So maybe the sellers’ tastes are not what the buyer would pick, but that doesn’t make their choices wrong.
If these comments get back to the sellers, their desire to be cooperative when offer time comes around may severely dwindle.
‘This home is way overpriced‘
There are plenty of other choices. Be careful with that statement.
While this is a common buyer thought, what happens if this house ends up being the best option?
When the listing agent and seller sees the buyer’s name on an offer, well, who is holding the cards now?
‘Why is the seller moving?’
This is a personal question that’s best not asked by a buyer.
Let the buyer’s agent position that query with the listing agent in a diplomatic way to glean information about the situation at hand.
‘What are the neighbors like?’
Talk about putting someone on the spot. Listing agents likely have no idea — they don’t live in the neighborhood 24/7, and it would not be appropriate for them to comment on specifics.
When cornered, is the seller likely to divulge?
“There’s a Mrs. Kravitz across the street and a curmudgeon next door? And by the way, the teenager that lives on the other side of the house? His band starts warming up in the garage about 11 p.m. on Thursday nights.”
Hardly. These people are trying to sell their house. It’s all wonderful. Buyers have to assess the neighbors on their own.
‘Will the seller take X price?’
This is another “put the agent and seller on the spot” moment.
Negotiations are best left to agents with a written document from which to work.
Although it’s OK to be candid with your own agent and those you trust, only do so when you are not within earshot of anyone in the seller’s camp.
That includes those curbside chats as you are wrapping up the showing near your 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.”
You can jump for joy when you are with your agent writing the perfect offer.
Cara Ameer is a broker associate and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.