Question: Are there any things I shouldn’t say when selling my home? Answered by Libby Guthrie
I’m Libby Guthrie with Keller Williams Realty in Northern California, and today I’m going to talk about “what not to say when selling your home“.
At the end of this video you can request a free report, “We Just Listed Our Home – Now What Happens?“, and that gives you some tips on what goes on after you list your home from the listing time all the way through to the final walkthrough and your move out.
So you’re selling your home, and obviously you want the most money for your home, but you want to make sure that you don’t say things that could jeopardize you getting the most money for your home.
So here are a few things I’ve seen over the years that can happen.
If you’re there while the buyer and the buyer’s agent is showing your home, don’t blurt out something like, “Oh, well my bottom line is” a certain amount of money because right then and there, that tells the buyer obviously what your bottom line is, and that buyer might’ve been thinking about well, coming in with an offer at the full price, but now they know what your bottom line is. So if they are going to write an offer, you can bet that they’ll probably write it at the bottom line or maybe even lower. So watch what you say about that.
Secondly, is don’t talk about the fact that you are not going to do any repairs to the home whatsoever. Because the buyer, if the buyer hears that, the buyer’s thinking, well, I’ve got a certain kind of loan that may make it so that I have to have the repairs done.
For example, in Northern California where I’m located, the Veteran buyer buying on a VA type loan would have to have the Section One items completed on the termite report prior to the VA lender lending on that.
There may be some other repairs that might be required too, but those are definitely going to be required. So if the buyer that’s thinking about putting an offer in on your home is a Veteran type buyer with a VA type loan. They’re going to think, well, I don’t want even want to bother putting an offer in on this house because this seller’s not going to do any repairs. And what if there are going to be some repairs that are going to be needed? So just watch what you say about that.
Thirdly, don’t make broad statements that you’ve never had a problem with your home whatsoever. Well, we all know that homes, kind of like cars, you’re going to have some issues with them over the years.
If you’ve lived in your home, for example, for 10 or more years, you’ve probably had to replace the water heater once or twice. So these are things that you’ve had now, they’re not really problems, but, you just can’t say, “Oh, I’ve never had any maintenance issues with my home”, or it’s just been maintenance free.
You really need to watch what you say about things like that, but you do want to disclose any problems or maintenance issues you’ve had with the home, so make sure you’re doing that.
The next thing is not to talk about how much money you’ve put into items when improving the home.
So for example, if, say, five years ago you put a pool in the backyard, you put a nice patio cover, you did some hardscape, you did landscaping in the backyard, you put a built-in barbecue in there, and you’ve spent about $50,000 on that.
You don’t want to spout off to the buyer. “Oh yeah, I spent $50,000 on this backyard and I also spent X amount of dollars when I put in dual pane windows and 20 years ago I put in a brand new roof and I paid X amount of dollars for that“. And the buyers are kind of thinking, well, is the seller wanting to need to add up all this stuff so that I know what he spent it on her, she spent it on and then expect me to pay more for the home because they’ve put all this money into it. So just watch what you say about how much improvements you’ve done.
You can go over the improvements with your agent certainly, and point those things out, but you really don’t want to talk about how much you spent and keep bragging about that or you know, spouting off about that because it’s not gonna really help you as far as in the buyer’s eyes.
Another thing is not to comment on things that you wish you had done to the home. For example, if you have existing countertops that are tile countertops with the brown grout. But you spout off in front of the buyer and say, “Oh, you know, I wish I had put in granite countertops a long time ago. I hate this tile countertop“.
Well, the buyer may have been okay with the tile countertop and hadn’t even thought about putting in granite countertops till you bring it up. So then the buyer’s thinking, well, if I have to put in granite countertops, then that may lead to me putting in brand new appliances, which may lead to me putting in brand new cupboards and lead to me putting in brand new flooring.
And so all of these things are adding up, adding up, adding up in the buyer’s mind that, “Oh my, I’m, I might have to do all this now“. So it’s best just not to say anything about that. And you can accentuate what you have in your home and, uh, yeah, you have the tile countertops, but you know, a lot of buyers might be fine with that.
So just don’t spout off that you wish you’d done this, wish you’d done that kinda thing. It just won’t help you in the long run.
I’ve seen sometimes sellers, when buyers are walking through the home too, they’ll say, “Oh yeah, I’m going to leave that washer and dryer. Or I’m going to leave that refrigerator and, I don’t care about this and that. I’m going to leave it and all that.“
So in the buyer’s mind, the buyer’s thinking, well, I’m, if they get into contract with you, obviously, they’re thinking well, I’m going to have that washer and dryer now. I don’t need to go out and buy one. I’m going to get a refrigerator with it. And then all of a sudden you get the offer in and you tell your agent, well, wait a minute, I’m not going to leave that washer and dryer now.
I’m not going to leave that refrigerator. Well, you’ve already spouted off to the buyer that you’re gonna leave it. And now it’s put everybody in an awkward situation because it’s going to need to go in the contract that that washer and dryer are going to stay. Or if the washer and dryer are not going to stay.
So, just don’t spout off in front of the buyer what you’re going to leave and what you’re not going to leave, type thing. Go over that with your agent first and make sure we’re all on the same page with that.
When showing your home, usually the buyer’s agent will call you or contact you and let you know that they’re going to be coming by the house at a certain time with the buyer.
And so sometimes the buyer’s agent, especially in a competitive market, will ask you questions and you want to make sure that you refer them back to your professional real estate agent. So I’ve seen some buyer’s agents ask, well, you know, “why are you selling”? Or “how many offers do you have on your home”? Or “have you had any offers yet”?
And the best thing to say when they ask you those questions is say, “you know, you really need to talk to my agent”. And so just refer them back to your agent, because your agent is the one that needs to be talking to them about things like that. And I always make sure that my sellers understand that if they are asked those questions that they do refer them back to me. I give them some of my cards that they can give the buyer’s agent with my phone number on it.
And most of the time, our sign is in the front yard. And that sign has my cell phone number on it, and you can just point to the sign and say, Hey, you need to call my agent and she’ll be happy to answer those questions for you.
It’s probably best that you’re not around when the buyer and the buyer’s agent is there looking at the home. But there are some circumstances, and I totally understand that you may need to be there because of the dog or dogs or some other kind of animals or little kids or something like that.
For example, Ken and I, when we were selling our home, we had an older dog and we had a younger dog. And, so one of us would be there when somebody was showing the home, but what we would do, was we would excuse ourselves and go out, say on the back patio, if It’s a nice day, while the buyer’s agent is looking at the home with the buyers inside the house. And then when the buyers were ready to go to the backyard, we would go back in the house.
So these are things that you just want to be aware of. You don’t want to be hovering over the buyer and the buyer’s agent when they are looking at the home and you can avoid saying things like we just talked about, and in those particular circumstances.
So I hope this has been helpful to you.
And if you’re thinking about selling your home and you do live in the Northern California area, I would love to help you. My number is (925) 628-2436.
If you’re not in the Northern California area and you want to sell your home, I do have a lot of good professional agents across the country that I would be happy to refer them to you so you can give me a call about that too.
Don’t forget to request your free report (“We Just Listed Our Home – Now What Happens?“) at the end of this video and make it a great day. Thanks.