AgentRegulations

Is it a good idea for sellers to Google buyers (or vice versa)?

What you can find on the internet could shape which offers are accepted and more
  • Although some believe it's a potential Fair Housing Act violation, learning more about the party on the other end of the transaction has never been easier.

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A seller received an offer on her listed home and, curious, she Googled the prospective buyers, a couple. What she found gave her more leverage than the buyers probably would have preferred. The seller pulled up the wife's Facebook page, where she'd posted photos of the house and told her network that it was her new home. "The seller knew then that the buyer was committed" said Chandler, Arizona, agent Mary McIntosh, who represented the seller in this situation. "So she countered the buyer's offer full-price and removed things she'd hinted she might leave the buyers. "She totally used what she found to her benefit; there was no way I could have stopped her," McIntosh added. "What she found online was amazing." Although some believe it's a potential Fair Housing Act violation, the internet age is here, we all have Facebook pages -- and learning more about the party on the other side of the transaction has never been easier. So how should real estate agents handle this br...