‘Why are the sellers selling’? What (not) to say

  • Sellers should not disclose information about specific neighbors that might be viewed as slander. How should buyers find answers about a neighborhood? Personal research.

Faster. Better. Together.
Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018

Having shown thousands of homes as a Realtor, I’ve fielded multitudes of questions from buyers as they’ve walked through various homes. Asking questions is wise -- it’s better to get answers up front than discover nasty surprises after escrow closes. Ranging from sensible to silly, intelligent to inane, buyer queries help agents focus on potential concerns or objections their clients may have about any property. Effectively fielding the questions is a tremendous responsibility because an agent’s response to any question might sink or seal a deal. The No. 1 question? 'Why is the seller selling?' Although this question seems benign at first blush, it contains serious undertones. Buyers are concerned there might be some dark, sinister reason the current owners are enduring the hassle of relocating. Translated: “Does Jason live next door?” “Are there sex offenders in the neighborhood?” “Do the neighbors have wild parties, mean dogs, loud motorcycles, etc.?” B...