Things NOT To Say When Selling Your Home
what NOT To Say When Putting your home up for sale
Everyone who is trying to sell a home is typically wants to do it as quickly as possible. As a seller, you and/or your qualified real estate agent should be aware of all of the items required by law that must be disclosed to buyers. These things, depending on the state you’re in, can include your flood zone, whether the house has lead paint, previous improvements or renovations, termite problems, and more. But what you should also know, is what not to disclose.
“We love this house, but…”
Stop right there! No matter what you insert into the end of that sentence, your potential buyers don’t need to hear it. This statement puts doubt into their minds, makes them see problems that they might not have noticed before. Bottom line, it can be detrimental to that sale. What might you say here that is not good?
Go ahead, just fill it in: -We love this house, but there’s just not enough storage space.
We love this house, but our family has outgrown it/we’re getting a divorce/my spouse died.
We love this house, but it isn’t close enough to good schools/the city/work/shopping/etc.
We love this house, but we always wanted to change the layout/the size/the closet space/the kitchen/etc.
We love this house, but… See?
Whatever you say here is not going to help to sell your house, and is likely going to hurt it. You are going to point out things to the buyers that they might not like, and they know that changing things means more money—or in the case of the location, something that they can’t change at all.
How long has your house been on the market?
No matter the answer, it could hurt. Potential buyers might think if your house has only been on the market for a few days, that they have plenty of time to look around at other things. On the flip side, if your house has been on the market for months, that can be a red flag that there might be things wrong with the house. At the end of the day, this question does not need to be answered as the time on the market is usually in the home listings.
“You’re our ninth showing…today!”
You should probably avoid this, too. Telling the buyer how many people have (or haven’t) viewed your home can also be detrimental. It’s more information than they need, because you never know what message it might send. Too many viewers can mean there is something wrong with the house; too few can mean that you’re asking too much money or it’s not in a good area.
“We spent $10,000 renovating the…”
Woah there. Hold that thought. Just because you spent half a fortune and several months renovating the new bathroom, doesn’t mean that your potential buyer: 1) cares; 2) is willing to spend more because you think it’s worth more; 3) needs to know.
The buyer is (likely under the direction of their reputable real estate agent) going to offer you what they think the house is worth, based on the comparable area and their overall feeling of the house.
Another issue with spouting out costs to a potential buyer is letting them know what you didn’t fix. You may go on and on about the money you spent and improvements you made to the state-of-the art kitchen, but you could be informing the buyers that you have ignored and put no money into the bathrooms. You may feel that the brand new kitchen means you can ask a bit more on the price, when all they’re seeing is the bathroom that needs more renovations, which means you should lower the price.
“Oh, you’ll really love the…”
Do you know the potential buyers well? Likely, the answer is no and you should stop right there before saying more. There are probably lots of reasons that made you purchase your home and that you love about it. But before you say anything about it, make sure you know that the buyer is going to love it, too.
Again, just fill in the blank: -Oh, you’ll really love the neighborhood, it’s so family-friendly.
Oh, you’ll really love the area, there’s a huge mall just around the corner.
Oh, you’ll really love the area, there are tons of churches to go to!
Oh, you’ll really love the neighbors, they’re so lively and fun, and always invite you to their parties.
Here it is again: things that you love about your home may not be things that potential buyers want or like. They may not be religious, they might not want to live where lots of kids may be running around, they may not want loud parties next door every weekend. Unless you really know your buyers well, it’s easiest to just keep quiet on the subject. Aside from the things that you must legally disclose as a seller, and past what you have posted in your home’s listings, it is best to not give much more adage. And honestly, it is really best that you are not present during showings at all—many potential buyers feel awkward about looking into closets or cabinets, or behind closed doors when the owner is standing right there. And if that person doesn’t grasp the full potential of your home, they might not make an offer.