The other day my post discussed the 5 biggest things that a home seller should never say to a potential buyer, or their agent. However, it’s not just home sellers who can jeopardize their chance of a sale with an ill timed comment or two, home buyers can put their foot in it too. Here are some of the most important things that no home buyer should never let slip to a seller – or their agent – of what may be their dream home:
“Honey, this is my dream house”
Even if you do believe that you have stumbled upon the perfect place don’t let on, even in a stage whisper to one’s partner. Home sellers, and especially seller’s agents are usually watching (and listening) to everything and, in case you have never played poker, this is the time that you need to learn how to bluff.
The problem is, you see, these are the kind of things that can help home sellers snag more money out of the buyers than they may have intended to offer, because they really know how much this house means to them right off the bat. Stay cool, calm and indifferent during the showing and save your excitement for later, when you are back home alone.
“Why are you selling?”
Of course you are curious about just why the sellers want to move on but it is a question you should never ask. Often a move is the result of a big life event and that event may not have been a great one, a job loss or divorce perhaps. Opening up a potentially very uncomfortable situation early on may make price negotiations difficult later on or even offend the seller so much that they won’t entertain an offer from you at all.
“I can afford to pay $X”
It is indeed very important that you have a solid figure in your head that represents just what you can really afford to pay for a house. But this is information that should stay between you and your Realtor, it is not something that should ever be revealed to a home seller or their agent. If they know that all you can afford is the current asking price you may lose out in a bidding war and if they know that you could pay more than the current list price they may try to bargain up if you seem very keen. It’s the poker face thing again, so practice it!
“I would definitely get rid of that”
Even if you’re thinking, “This place will be perfect once I get my hands on it,” don’t let on. If the new buyers are going to renovate a home in which someone raised a family and has truckloads of memories, a buyer should never say ‘I can’t wait to rip that swingset out’ or ‘That wall color is horrible—can’t wait to repaint this place,’ it may offend them to the point where they reject a sellers offer and opt for a different one upon hearing that someone wants to totally remake the place where they made lifelong memories. Sounds far fetched? It’s not, it happens.
‘I’ll give you [an extremely lowball offer] for this house, whaddaya say?’
Never ask your Realtor to make a deliberately lowball offer. Instead take their advice when it comes to pricing to avoid not only a rejection of your offer but also ending negotiations at that point because the sellers are offended.