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Stop Right There! 12 Things You Should Quit Telling Potential Homebuyers

The door bell rings.  You scurry about the house making sure everything is clean and in order and then you open the front door.

You're greeted by Rachel the REALTOR and her clients coming to see your home for their 2 p.m. appointment.  The urge to engage them in conversation is great.  You want to know about the buyers.  You want to tell them how great your house really is.  You want to be friendly, helpful, and informative.  Instead of letting them explore, you want to show them around the house and point out your favorite upgraded features.


REALTOR Brian Block holding a stop sign

Fight the urge to speak, say hello, and let them look around your house on their own.


Moving to Chicago1.  "My husband's new job in Chicago starts in a month."  Sure, you're excited about it.  That's the whole reason for your move.  However, do you really want the potential buyers knowing your urgency and your timetable.  Closer to your move date, they'll have more bargaining power.


2.  "Our neighbors Sally & Fred are great!  You'll love them!"  You've lived next to them for 12 years and have a great relationship.  You go to the movies together, your children are in the same playgroups, you even collect each other's mail when you go on vacation.  However, how do you know the new buyers will like them?  How do you know Sally & Fred won't pick up and move after you sell your house.  Best leave this one unsaid.

Baby on the way3.  "Our new baby is due in June!"  This is an obvious sign that you need out of your current house.  You're running out of space.  Again, don't give buyers unnecessary information about your motivations and timeframe.

4.  "Let me show you around the house"  Chances are these buyers have seen a house before.  They don't need you to show them the kitchen and the backyard.  They probably know where the powder room is too!  Not to mention, they've got their REALTOR there with them.  Let their agent show them around.  You'll just appear clingy & desperate.


5.  "Our price is negotiable!"  Isn't everything in life negotiable?  Guess what, bozo!  You just lost money.

6.  "Don't you just love the new recessed lighting we've installed?"  To you, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.  To them, it's just something else that doesn't match their tastes and they need to replace.  Let them find the things they like on their own.  Same goes for granite counters and other features.  You may love the new granite in the kitchen but it may be the wrong color for the buyers.

Dream Home7.  "We just found our dream home last weekend."  What this means to them is "we can get a deal because they need to move."  It also gives away your deadline, your pricing, etc.

8.  "We hope that some nice folks like you buy our home."  This can be perceived as a thinly-veiled discriminatory statement.  Think about it.  Be very careful.

9.  "We've loved living here."  That's great.  So, why are you moving?

10.  "I've lived here for 22 years."  Okay... see #9.

11.  "We don't really need to sell."  That's code to homebuyers for "we're really stubborn on our price and we're not going to sell it unless some idiot with no idea of market prices in the neighborhood offers us full asking price even though the house is not worth it!"

12.  "Make us an offer."  Who do you think you are?  The Godfather?

So, Say "Hello" and then make yourself scarce.  If they want to buy the house, their REALTOR will call your REALTOR, and then you can talk all you want at the settlement table.  Otherwise, you might never get there!


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Comment balloon 28 commentsBrian Block • February 27 2011 03:19PM
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