Potential homebuyers: Mum’s the word around a seller or a seller’s agent

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There is an etiquette to certain transactions in life, and buying a home calls for friendly but zipped lips when it comes to what you, as a potential buyer might say to the seller of a home that interests you.

Realtor’s Liz Alterman agrees — whether it’s your first home or your fifth, it’s an emotional roller-coaster ride. But seeing something you love (or hate) can often cause you to blurt all kinds of things, some of which you might regret.

“While you can confide in your agent, you might not want to be so candid around the sellers (or the listing agent working for them),” says Alterman. “The reason? Just like in ‘Law & Order,’ what you say can—and will—be used against you.” She goes on to list a few things never to say to sellers or their agents when you’re shopping for new digs.

The first is to declare that it’s your dream house. Sounds lovely to everyone, but don’t forget — you haven’t begun to talk about price yet. It’s like tipping your hand in a poker game. Showing unbridled passion offers a signal to the buyer that anything goes because they believe you won’t walk away. In other words, keep discussions about the house and any negotiating strategies to yourself. Compliments are fine, but don’t gush.

You may want to say something nice about the seller’s design and decor skill (if it’s true), but never, ever tell the sellers—or any agent present—that they have poor taste in decor or furniture. Just because that’s their little slice of heaven, it’s not a reason to insult them. If they get wind of your distaste they might just choose another buyer even if you were willing to pay more. And when you see something you out-and-out-hate about a house, don’t start talking about how you’d be getting rid of it right away. Bad form. That telephone niche from 1945 or rusting swing set in the backyard may hold family memories for the owner.

How much you can afford and how much you should pay are two completely different things entirely. “While it’s certainly a good idea for prospective buyers to find out just how much they can afford, they should keep that intel strictly between them and their Realtor,” says Alterman. Never address with a seller or seller’s agent anything concerning their financing or ability to pay a full-price offer. It hampers the ability to negotiate the fairest price for the property. Steer clear of what your preapproval states. If asked, say it’s about finding a fairly priced home— not what you can afford.

Curious as to why the sellers have put their home on the market? It’s considered poor taste to ask, and it may open a can of worms. It can be anything from a divorce, a job relocation or a death in the family. But none of it will help you down the road should a bidding war emerge.

As for canvassing the neighborhood for intel on the place, it’s okay to walk around a bit, but don’t ask the neighbors intrusive questions. Talk to them and give them a chance to open up, but don’t push if they’re not talkative.

Keep your thoughts to yourself regarding the price in front of the sellers or their agent. “You’ll never get that price!” Is simply not a great thing to say, even if you’re thinking it. Even if you think a home is priced on the high side, it could very well be within range of comparables in the neighborhood.

And lastly, don’t be a huckster, asking the seller if you slung them an extremely lowball offer — whaddaya say? Take your agent’s advice into serious consideration. It’s never wise to insult the person whose home you’re trying to buy and you don’t want to appear as a not-so-serious buyer. Better to keep your mouth closed about potential negotiations than to open it the wrong way and remove all doubt that you’re not their ideal buyer.

Realtor, TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Alpha Loan Group- Alterra Home Loans

14800 Quorum Drive, Suite 110, Dallas TX 75254

Company NMLS: 258527 /133739

Office: 469-628-4544

Cell: 469-628-4544

Email: jc@themortgagegoat.net

Web: http://www.themortgageGOAT.net

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J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

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Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Cell: 469-628-4544


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