10 things sellers should never say to home buyers

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Some things are better left unsaid, especially in the case of selling your home. Consider these tips of what to avoid saying during your show house.

Honesty is always the best policy - but for home owners trying to successfully conclude their home sale, the less shared is more.

According to Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, sellers often assume that providing excessive commentary and accompanying home buyers on a tour of their home, can help to make themselves appear more friendly and/or credible.

However, Everitt points out that every estate agent has at least one tale of a potential sale which was ruined by a keen seller who said just happened to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

“So actually, the best thing that sellers can do is fill in the disclosure form before their home is listed, then briefly welcome any buyers their agent brings around… and make themselves scarce during every viewing” says Everitt.

Everitt points out that encouraging minimum conversation between buyers and sellers is not for the purpose of trying to hide anything - “it’s just that unless you know the circumstances of prospective buyers or their reasons for wanting to move to your area, it is all too easy to ‘put your foot in it’ and put them right off” says Everitt.

Everitt suggests a top 10 list of things sellers should avoid mentioning to potential home buyers:

1. The number of people who have viewed the home for sale

Revealing the number of people who have toured your home could leave prospective buyers wondering why they should want the house if no-one else did.

2. How quiet or active the neighbourhood is

While you may love the neighbourhood of your home for a variety of reasons, no two individuals or families are exactly the same. There’s a chance that the buyer may have a different perception and might not enjoy the same atmosphere or activities as you do.

3. How many children there are in the area or how close the schools are

The subject of kids and schooling is better left unspoken (unless it’s information requested from the buyer himself). This is especially true if you don’t know what the buyer’s family situation is or what their particular schooling arrangements are.

. 4. How great your church is

Any conversation related to faith or religion should be avoided at all costs, especially if it’s with an individual you don’t know. Should the buyer be interested in knowing more about the area - rather offer information on the local amenities available close by, like the nearest shops or public transport.

5. How “new” your paintwork around the house is

Avoid speaking about your “newly” painted kitchen, bathroom, flooring or paving. Newness is a relative thing and the kitchen you remodelled just two years ago might seem dated to someone with different tastes.

6. The fact that your family has outgrown the house

Telling potential home buyers that you’ve outgrown the space can throw them off. In the event that the buyer happens to have the same size family, they might start to think that the home would not be a right fit for his/her family too.

7. The fact that the house is too big and too expensive to maintain

Again, telling potential home buyers that the house is too expensive to maintain or too big to live in, can make them question if it’s a home worth purchasing or ideally suited for them.

8. Your recent divorce

If you’re selling up because of a divorce, avoid sharing this with a potential buyer. If the buyer happens to be a newlywed this could easily put them off wanting to purchase the property.

9. That the death of a family member has prompted you to sell

Everitt advises that certain people may be sensitive to this type of information and might throw buyers off from wanting to buy your home.

10. That you are looking to sell quickly

Avoid mentioning information of you being transferred, emigrating or having bought another property. According to Everitt, revealing that you are needing to sell quickly could work against you when negotiating a sale price.

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Show Days Chas Everitt

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