Heard the phrase “Loose lips might sink ships?” Well, it also holds true when selling a home. There are some items a seller must disclose to a buyer such as lead based paint, the flood zone, or if a death has occurred on the property. However, there are other subjects that are best left unsaid.  Best to zip the lips and beware of unguarded talk with buyers. Here are a few examples:

     “Our house is in perfect condition.” The fact is with a home there is simply no such thing as ‘perfect condition.’ Even a new constructed home can have issues. For existing homes, having a pre-marketing home inspection performed will reveal any flaws that may exist and any repairs that need to be made. Ordering one with a home inspector before a home is marketed is walking with the wise when selling a home. Whether a home is brand new or a resale, there is always something that needs to be fixed, adjusted, replaced, or improved upon.

     “We’ve never had a problem with …” Here is phrase with an extra added liability. Never utter this one to a buyer or an agent. Sellers may not be aware of a past problem, but it can be a huge surprise if an appliance stops working or a leak occurs right at the closing of escrow. This phrase could add extra shame and possible further denial when an inspector reveals otherwise. 

     “It’s been on the market for …” Sellers should never mention how long the home has been active on the market with a buyer. This could set oneself up for an instant “low-ball” offer. That info is available from the buyer’s realtor. Some buyers think a home has flaws because it has stayed on the market for what they perceive as a “long time.” Best to keep this one to oneself. 

     “We spent a ton of money on the….” Sellers are very proud and outspoken when using this phrase. Those who spend a bucket load of money on upgrades believe those funds equal instant equity per dollar spent. Buyers, and more importantly appraisers, do not see it that way. Appraisers do not request to see seller receipts when evaluating a home. The bottom line is, they will value the home based upon comparable sales in the neighborhood. End of argument.

     “I’m not taking less than $$ amount for my home.” Here a seller is focused more on receiving a set amount rather than on selling the home. An inflexible message when negotiating can be a deal killer, unless of course the home IS priced well below the market value. Focusing on net proceeds, rather than a market price and reasonable terms, can end up in defeat from the git. Using this phrase in denial of the truth results in no shows, no offers, and no sale!  Source: Realtor.com


More questions about the local housing market?  Call me, Clint Freeman, at (760) 382-1082 and let's talk!