Real estate tip of the week

Tip of the Week: Buyers, Don’t Get Too Friendly with the Seller

The vast majority of the time when I take clients out to look at properties the sellers won’t be home.  On a rare occasion though, the seller will hang around.  This is totally fine of course, because, well, it is their house.  The problem comes when the seller wants to be overly helpful because they are really wanting to sell their home.

I’m on the fence about whether I like for this to happen or not.  On one hand, there is no one that knows that house better than the owner and that person can give us a lot more information at that moment than I ever could.  On the other hand, the seller may try to oversell their property.  Sometimes they like to hover around, making the buyer a little uncomfortable.  It can get even worse.  My client the buyer may really like the attention of the seller and want to continue the conversation.  They start getting more and more friendly as the minutes pass by.  Now I’m feeling uncomfortable!

Don’t Show Your Cards When Talking with the Seller

Showing your cards

You’re probably asking yourself, “What could possibly be wrong with this?”  Here’s the problem.  It is my job to protect and to look after the best interests of my client the buyer.  That can’t happen if the buyer and seller start getting to comfortable with each other and the buyer slips out with “we love your home so much and want to do whatever it takes to get it”.  Folks, I have seen it happen.  Negotiation just went out the window because the seller now knows that the buyer will pay anything at this point.

Don’t Give Out Information When Talking with the Listing Agent

A real estate agent can only fully represent the best interests of one party.  The listing agent is representing the seller which means if they hear anything that will help the seller, they are obligated to tell them.  So, if the buyer innocently says something about how paying closing costs isn’t going to be a problem, the listing agent will pass this along.  The buyer may have just lost a few thousand dollars for this honest mistake.  Let me add that the listing agent is not being a jerk by doing this.  Because of the fiduciary relationship they have with their client, they are just doing their job by informing the seller of any helpful information.  Just remember this the next time you go to an open house without your agent present.  

Most of us have been taught to “treat others as we would like to be treated”.  Well, of course, this is a great way to live your life unless you’re trying to buy a house.  In this situation, the buyer is trying to save the most money and the seller is trying to make the most money.  I’m not saying that you need to be cut-throat, just don’t become best buds with the person that you’re trying to get the best deal from.

I know your excited but just share it with “your” Realtor.  The listing agent and the seller aren’t your enemy by no means but this small real estate tip could literally save you thousands of dollars.

Are you buying a home in Baldwin County?  Please get in touch with me.

Jeff Nelson
IXL Real Estate – Eastern Shore

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.