Buying and selling a home is typically a very stressful situation for both the home seller and the buyers in any market. There is no magic pill that can make it easier. Your professional REALTOR® should be able to make the process run smoother and help keep a cooler head to keep emotions, misunderstanding and hurt feelings from ruining a perfectly good transaction.
There are, of course, things that each party must do to show respect to the other and not upset the apple cart.
Perhaps this list of “Buyer’s Don’ts” has been the unwritten protocol for so long, our compliance is expected. Yet, there is always that one buyer who has to do it “their way.” With that being said, no longer consider the list to be unwritten, but read and heed.
Don’t skip appointments: It may be alright to text a friend five minutes before you are expected for a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but it is not alright to skip a showing of a home – under any circumstances. Please realize that the homeowner has been frantically rushing through the house removing the daily day-to-day clutter that accumulates and cleaning where cleaning is warranted before rushing out of the house with the kids, and possibly pets, for a few hours to allow you complete access to their home. It’s just rude.
Follow the house rules: If there are multiple pairs of shoes neatly aligned at the front door – go ahead and remove your shoes. Don’t smoke in a house. Don’t use the bathroom. If there is a pet in the home, don’t let them out. If a door is locked, leave it locked. Don’t let kids run wild or bounce off of furniture. Never touch anything personal. Don’t go through drawers or closets – it is one thing to looking at a closet for space, it is another to flip through the clothes or other items.
Please note, in this day and age of technology, many homes have both video and audio monitoring devices (both are legal). Not only may inappropriate behavior be observed it just might leave a bad taste in the owner’s mouth if you want to negotiate for this home. On that note, never discuss your negotiation strategy or price range while in the house.
Don’t nitpick: Remember, you may be being observed in real time as you are going through the home. Start throwing jabs at the homeowner about their color schemes or decorating skills and you just may be talking yourself right out of the home, no matter how badly you’d like to buy it.
Stay focused on the big picture: the location, natural lighting, floor plan, and amenities – the issues that really matter when buying a home.
Laundry list: Occasionally a buyer will want to include a list of every little defect in a home when presenting an offer thinking that it will give them leverage to negotiate a lowball offer. The sellers’ obvious thought process will be to question if the buyer really wants the home at all.
An alternative is to write a hand-written letter explaining to the seller how much you want this home for you and your family. Perhaps, in a non-threatening way, share two or three significant issues with the home. You might try asking why they think their home hasn’t sold in the 90 days it’s been on the market while three model matches have come on the market and sold in this time. Perhaps it’s that all three had updated kitchen remodels while this home still has a 1975 kitchen.
Multiple visits before closing: Once you are in escrow, respect the seller’s right to privacy. They have a lot to do to move out on time and are not obligated or looking forward to having you come through the house any more than what’s required for inspections.
If you want to show your family the home – have them show up during an inspection. If you want a contractor or interior designer to give you a bid – have them show up during an inspection. In essence, you’ll have two or three more visits to the property when the seller will be expecting you and be prepared for you. If you’re bringing anyone else to an inspection, that should be fine as long as you coordinate it with the seller beforehand.
Please don’t try to re-negotiate: Short of any misrepresentation by the seller or any catastrophic hidden defect, don’t come back to the seller with a story about how you got caught up in the heat of the moment or you didn’t realize this or that. It doesn’t matter – you are under contract and the contract needs to be honored.
Remember, if you pull this card, it is just as likely to backfire on you and you’ll find yourself back looking for another home to purchase.
Lender commitment: It’s certainly the norm that every homebuyer has hoops to jump through with the lender – just make certain that they are hoops that you can realistically jump through.
Your lender should be reputable and ideally have a history of working with your agent. For the lender, the repeat business is much more valuable a relationship than your one loan. If the lender and agent are working well together, then all of the issues should be transparent to all parties and collectively everyone knows what’s going on.
Don’t adjust the move-in date: Never be unreasonable and rush the seller. Just like you, they are working on a timeline and have things to get done. Remember, their life is happening to them, just like yours is happening to you.
Follow these rules and at the end of the transaction everyone should still be happy with one another and won’t look back for years to come thinking of what a horrible experience it was.
Call us today and get the information you need to make the right decision. The information is free, call now! (951) 296-8887
Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact me, Mike@GoTakeAction.com. Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR), Traveling State Director, California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.).