Loose lips sink ships! This idiom can be true for home sellers who can sabotage their home sale because of their unguarded statements. However, this does not mean we are asking you to cheat potential home buyers with half-truths or false promises. This is just a friendly reminder that there are some things you should not say or disclose to buyers when selling your home.
Here’s a list of seven things (that have the potential to kill the sale) you should never say to a homebuyer.
What Not to Say When Selling Your Home
1. We don’t really want to sell, but…
(My husband/wife died, we’re getting divorced or this house is too small for us)
There is always a reason to sell a home. But you never know how the buyer will react to it. For example, there are several homebuyers who have this superstition that moving to a property where someone died will bring bad luck to their family. Similarly, divorce is linked to arguments and misery inside the house which can cause an emotional disconnection from the new home. Also, if being the existing homeowner, you find the size of this property an issue, the buyer might think the same and move towards a bigger house. It is better if you avoid making this statement.
2. You’re our ‘Nth’ showing
The moment you say how many people have already viewed your home your situation will be open to all interpretations. Too many showings will indicate that there is something wrong with the house and no one wants to buy. On the contrary, too few visitors is a sign that the price is too high which is turning off the buyers. The opinion of other potential buyers might influence this buyer to change his/her mind and avoid buying your home.
3. We have spent a lot of money on…
(Wood flooring, kitchen cabinets or smart home technology)
If you love expensive updates in your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean the potential buyer will be willing to shell out for it. Probably the buyer doesn’t care how much money you spent to get the custom-made cabinets or original quartz kitchen countertops. It won’t justify the price you’re quoting for the property. The buyer will be offering what he/she feels is the home’s worth compared to other similar properties in your area. So, there is no need to boast about the big amount you spent on renovating your home. Let your real estate agent take care of promoting the good aspects of your home to the buyer as a professional knows well how to market a property.
4. We were planning to fix/ renovate/ clean it for ages, but…
There are two things which can go wrong if you say the above-mentioned line. First, the dirt and odour of your house that you’re trying to cover up is itself a turn off for buyers and justifying your home’s condition will surely make the buyer change his/her mind. So, making excuses is not needed. Second, mentioning the areas of your house you intended to address will point out things that might need repair in the future, thus alerting the buyer about the upcoming costs for him/her.
5. This neighbourhood has some great…
(Churches, restaurants, schools or clubs)
Don’t assume the likes, preferences and priorities of the buyer. He/she may be of a different faith, may not like to eat in a restaurant, spend weekends in clubs or doesn’t have school going kids, etc. If the buyers want to know about the nearby attractions, then you can share some great places to hang out in the neighbourhood. But, if they don’t ask, don’t say anything and let them research on their own.
6. We’re really disappointed with…
(The kitchen space, storage or public transportation links)
We appreciate your honesty but it can surely give a low score to your property on the saleability chart. It is true there are things about a home that annoys the homeowners. However, speaking about it to the potential buyers of the property can negatively influence the sale. Maybe, the same kitchen space that you find limited is too much for the buyer who never had a proper kitchen in a studio apartment. It is advisable to avoid saying anything about the house you’re short on. In fact, showcase your home in the best possible light to close the deal.
7. We won’t accept anything less than ‘X’ dollars for our home
Being a seller, it makes sense that you want to get good returns on your investment. But at the same time, you should be realistic and open to reasonable offers. If you become rigid to negotiation, then it would discourage other buyers to even contact you for showings. The best bet is to consult your real estate agent and set a fair price for your home. Even if the buyer’s offer is nowhere near your expected price range, don’t send the message in the market that you’re inflexible.
By understanding what you should say and what you shouldn’t can make it easier for you to sell your house. The key to a successful home sale is to leave the showings to your realtor while you relax so there is no scope for awkward statements. Your real estate agent will act as a buffer between you and the potential buyer so that nothing goes wrong and the deal is closed at a fair price.