Before your begin touring homes (ideally with us) or visiting an open house, I wanted to share some advice about what you might want to avoid saying or asking while we’re in the presence of the seller’s agent or the sellers. While you’re free to ask questions and comment on the house, you should know that certain comments or questions might have an impact on your position as a buyer or even pricing negotiations.
First, let’s talk about the obvious: “I am in love with this house, it’s exactly what I want.” Even if it’s true, you may want to keep your enthusiasm on the back burner. If the seller’s agent hears this, it puts us in a weaker negotiating position when it comes to price.
Second, maintaining an amiable relationship with the seller and the seller’s agent is vastly preferably than an antagonistic relationship. It’s a good idea to temper any negativity (or blunt honesty) while we’re looking at properties. This might include negative comments about the home’s interior design, the cleanliness, or even the pricing. If hurtful words reach the seller, it tends to make them less flexible when the time comes to talk about potential offers.
Third, questions about the pricing (i.e. “Do you think they’d sell for X price?”) and why the seller is selling should generally be handled between myself and the seller’s agent. Sometimes the reason for a sale are sensitive, and a discreet conversation is the way to go. As for price, if you’re interested in making an offer, my job is to present it to the seller’s agent (or at the very least have an off-the-record conversation with the seller’s agent before a formal offer).
Finally, when it comes to the neighbors, it’s best not to put the seller or the seller’s agent on the spot. The seller’s agent may not know the neighbors very well, for one, and as for the seller, they probably aren’t going to be terribly motivated to tell you their neighbor is a busy-body or unfriendly if they want to sell you their home. But don’t let that stop you from talking to the neighbors yourself! You can often glean great information this way, plus you’ll get a great read on them first-hand.
I don’t mean for this to sound intimidating, but I do want to make sure we’re in the best possible position as we pursue your dream home. If you have any questions, let’s talk!