Desperate to sell your home?
Of course you are. No one enjoys
the hassle of having a house to sell on their hands once they’ve found
somewhere else to live.
When it comes to selling their home, however, most
people are their own worst enemy. Sellers often find it difficult, if
not impossible, to keep from offering personal opinions or information
that they think makes them appear credible to the buyer. Without even
realizing it, homeowners try too hard to impress buyers and end up
putting their foot in their mouth by the end of the viewing.
Here are 10 things you should avoid telling potential
- Exactly why you're selling. Many people have phobias about moving
into homes where someone has recently died. Others may be having
marital problems of their own and may be scared away by the fact that
you’ve recently undergone a messy divorce. Keep things general.
- How quiet the neighborhood is. The potential buyers may want a
more social atmosphere than you desire, and look forward to making new
friends. Younger couples, especially, tend to fall into this category.
- Alternatively, how noisy the neighborhood is. The screaming baby
next door or the neighbor’s barking beagle are not
- How many kids are in the area. Even if the buyer has children of
their own, you have no way of knowing whether or not they want gangs
of them hanging around their front door. Not all parents appreciate
kids whirling around the neighborhood on skates, riding bikes across
their front lawns or decorating the sidewalks with colored chalk.
- How great your local church is. Not everyone is the same faith, or
even religion. Respect others’ beliefs.
- How ‘new’ the home appliances are. New is most definitely a
relative term. What you consider 'new' may be old to others. After
living in your house for 20 years, your two year-old washing machine
will most likely still be 'new' to you. A buyer, however, may have
different thoughts. He or she may not consider anything new that has
been in place for over six months.
- Information on existing warranties. They may expire before the new
owners close on the house, or they may not even be transferable.
- Your prized possessions: the lovely birdbath on the front lawn
that attracts hundreds of birds each year or the moose head affixed to
your family room wall that your great grandfather hunted down 50 years
ago. There’s no accounting for taste. What you may love may be one of
the first things the potential buyers are planning to get rid of.
- How many viewings you've had. Although you may think the
competition may increase interest, some buyers may think, "I wonder
what's wrong with this house?" or "Why hasn’t anyone bought the
- That you’ve bought another home. Where there is urgency, there is
pressure. If a buyer senses there is pressure to sell, they will often
push more when it comes to negotiating their offer.
If after following these suggestions you still
feel everything you say might get you in hot water down the road perhaps
it is best you make your appearance short and sweet when the real estate
agent appears at your front door with potential buyers.
Be polite - say hello, welcome the viewers to your
home and then let the real estate agent work their magic. Perhaps a
good course of action would be to say: "Please take your time viewing
my home. And if I don't see you before you leave, thank you for coming/
You'll have to excuse me, but: I have to make an important phone
call/I’m in the middle of helping the kids with a school project/I’ve
got dinner on the stove, etc."
Doing this not only prevents you from potentially
sticking your foot in your mouth but also leaves the avoidable questions
up to the professionals. Remember that it is most important for the
potential buyer feel comfortable while viewing your property - after
all, you want them to feel ‘at home’.