By John Stemlar
Sharing with friends and neighbors the details of your personal real estate situation and motivations could come back to bite you.
Not long ago, I saw a Facebook post with a photo of a home, along with “we put an offer in today” and “we love this house!” In addition to the dozens of likes, the back-and-forth comments made it clear that there was nothing that would keep this couple from closing on this house.
In going social with their real estate transaction, these buyers may have severely crippled their negotiating power. If the seller became aware of this couple’s determination to buy the house, the cards would have been tipped heavily in the seller’s favor in terms of negotiating the contract price and terms, as well as any inspection-related repairs. Worse yet, these buyers would have no idea that the seller had the advantage of knowing how motivated they were to buy the house.
Sellers are also known to freely discuss with friends and neighbors issues with their home, as well as their motives for selling. It’s surprising what your neighbors will innocently share in a driveway conversation with a friendly buyer’s agent.
We are always looking for ways to gain a negotiating advantage for our clients; we try to learn all we can about the opposing buyer or seller’s situation and motivation; this includes going on-line, as well as chatting with a seller’s neighbors. We assume that at least some other agents do this as well.
As a homebuyer or seller, the less information that you share concerning anything relating to your home purchase or sale, the better. It’s just too easy for innocently-shared information to get to the wrong person and compromise your negotiating power, or even jeopardize a deal.
John Stemlar is a Principal and the Managing Broker of Sage Real Estate Advisors, a boutique Atlanta residential brokerage. He also promotes Brookhaven’s Lynwood Park and homes for sale in Lynwood Park at www.LynwoodParkHomes.com.