You have probably, at some point, heard the old adage ‘loose lips sink ships’ and that certainly applies when you are trying to sell your home. There are, to be fair, many things you must declare to a potential buyer both for legal and moral reasons but there are other things that, well, you should basically keep your mouth shut about. Here are some of the most important things that no seller should never let slip to a potential new owner of their home:
“The home is in perfect condition”
Maybe you have been repairing, fixing, cleaning and home staging for weeks and to you it certainly does look like your home is in perfect shape. The fact is though that there really is no such thing as a home that is in ‘perfect condition’, even if it is pretty much brand new. Every property has something – even if its rather small – that could use fixing, improving or replacing. Making the claim upfront that everything is totally as it should be will make a seller seem foolish and boastful, especially if a home inspection then reveals otherwise.
“We’ve had the home on the market for X”
This may actually be something home buyers already know, thanks to the listing information, but even if they do it’s not something that should ever be brought up. Chances are that even if the listing sheet does state how many days (weeks, months) the property has been for sale that it’s not something the buyer has at the front of their mind right now.
A property may have been for sale for a while for any number of reasons, but to many that can indicate they might be dealing with a ‘white elephant’ that they should either cross off their list or maybe make a lowball offer on. Avoid all of this by steering the conversation – and their attention – elsewhere and allow your home to ‘speak for itself’.
“We’ve never had any problems here.”
Oh really? You’ve never had to deal with a weird/grumpy/noisy neighbour? Or a damp basement after a particularly harsh storm? Or an odd quirk with the roof/plumbing/electrics in the house? Most people have and while failing to mention such things may be OK pretending that everything has been a bed of roses while you have lived in your home may come back to haunt you later.
“We spent tons of money on A, B and C”
OK. You love your top of the line cherrywood hardwood floors and you’ll be sad to leave them. But to a buyer they are just wooden floors. Nice, but they aren’t going to pay extra for them. Or that deck you crafted so lovingly. every other home in the neighborhood has one so the fact that yours was rather pricey to build is not going to impress them into bidding up either. They are only going to offer what they feel the home is worth in relation to area comparable sales. So, save your breath, or else you’ll risk sounding like you’re trying too hard to justify your asking price.
“We won’t take any less than $X for the property”
When you are selling your home of course you want top dollar for it. No sane home seller would aspire to anything else. But, you do have to be willing to be reasonable and there may indeed come a time to be flexible and listen to an offer than is slightly less than you had envisioned. Starting out with what is a very inflexible – and often a bit hostile sounding – statement like this is never a good idea.