Getting along in the sandbox

Recently, there was an article in Bankrate, admonishing home buyers of the annoying things they do that upset home sellers. The article is fairly accurate in its list of things, but it misses the other side of the real estate equation - the sellers!

Because most people generally use REALTORS® to help them negotiate impartially and navigate the market, we sometimes forget there are real people on the other side of a transaction.



Buyers skipping appointments - once you make a viewing appointment, you have asked the seller to accommodate their schedule. So, show up within the window of time you requested. Even if you decide the house's curb appeal has turned you off, have the courtesy to go in and take a look.

Sellers not making the home available to view – schedules can be understandably busy, but once you make the decision to sell, you have "opened your home for business". Don't make the availability so restricted that no one can see the home. And, leave the home for the designated time. Staying there makes everyone more uncomfortable.



Buyers ignoring the house rules - people, this is NOT your home. You are a guest, so abide by the house rules and be courteous. The toys in the kid’s rooms are NOT for your kids to play with. The pets are not to be tormented or let out. Any rules the owner asks you to follow - please do.

Sellers prepare your home for guests - clean up and put valuables away. Do not leave supper on the counter half prepared. Do the dishes and wipe the table. Make the rooms open enough for buyers to properly view the home without having to rearrange the clutter on the floor to view the home. And if you have specific instructions regarding the home, ensure those are in plain view so people can follow them.



Buyers are nitpicky - no home is perfect. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. So the colour scheme may not be yours, the pictures on the wall may not turn your fancy - that can all be changed. The small repairs that need to be done, probably need to be done in your existing home. Get over it.

Sellers don't turn a deaf ear. You want feedback to help facilitate any "fixes" to the home that may improve the ROI and the speed of the sale. Expect others to not like everything about the house. Review with your agent what a real issue is and what just others’ opinions are.



Buyers will build a laundry list of defects - over time, every house will need some repairs. Unless you are buying a show home, expect there to be things that have broken down. Some are normal wear and tear on a house, others are not. However, if you can see the issues and you put in an offer that is accepted, you have generally accepted the defects.

Sellers the market will dictate value - If there are defects in the house and the offers are low, the buyer is indicating it is low due to the defect. Isn't that fair? Would you want to pay full price for a broken down car? Why should someone pay full price for a broken house?



Buyers want to see the home again and again - everyone understands you want to ensure the home is the right fit for your needs. Please be aware that this is still the sellers' home. Every time you want a "walk through" the owners have to prepare the home and then adjust their lives to meet your request.

Sellers remember a home purchase is big. It may take a couple of visits to ensure the house meets the needs of the buyer. Do you expect to make the biggest purchase of your life and base your decision on one short visit? That makes no sense. You’ll have the due time it takes when the tables are turned.



Buyers want to renegotiate after the offer is accepted, based on defects and other repairs. If you can see the defect before your offer, then your offer should take that into consideration. Please don't use it as a tactic to bid high to win in competition, then hold the seller over a barrel to get to the price you intended in the first place. Unless the defect discovered during inspection is major, accept it or walk away. That is why the inspection clause is there.

Sellers are obligated to disclose hidden defects-PLEASE DO. Put them out on the table and accept the offers that come in with those defects in mind. Don't get upset when there is a price that reflects those defects. A house that isn't perfect should be priced accordingly. The “system” does not run on the old adage of “Buyer Beware”; you could be held liable if something is discovered after the sale that you neglected to disclose.



Buyers rush closing dates. The house listing tells your agent when the seller anticipates transferring ownership. Asking for a dramatically changed time frame should also come with a concession - usually a higher price. Expect it.

Sellers don't put in negotiable if the possession really isn't. The word itself invites people to ask for a date that is right for them. If that doesn't work, then don't advertise that it will.

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CENTURY 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.
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