When homeowners decide to sell, they may find themselves justifying their choice to anyone who’ll listen. But, as the old saying goes, “Loose lips sink ships.”
In today’s world where sharing is the norm, sometimes keeping your rationale for making a move all to yourself is the right move. Though sellers would never intentionally want to harm their chances of securing the best deal possible, by being a little too honest, they can ultimately lose leverage when it comes to negotiating.
The following are 8 things home sellers should never reveal (except to their Realtor).
1. “These taxes are killing me!”
No one enjoys paying property taxes, but watching them spike over time can be a huge turnoff for some homeowners — particularly those who don’t take advantage of public school districts or other amenities funded by tax dollars. Still, sellers who share that they believe they’re grossly overpaying will cause buyers to think twice.
2. “I just want to live in a quiet neighborhood.”
Whether they’re surrounded by garage bands, screaming kids, or barking dogs, if sellers are moving to get a little peace and quiet, they’ll probably want to keep that info hush-hush. Even if would-be buyers seem like heavy metal head-bangers, sellers don’t want to let them know they haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months.
3. “The house needs a lot of work.”
Old roof? Rickety porch stairs? Outdated kitchen? If sellers believe their home needs more TLC than they can handle, they shouldn’t discourage potential investors with their constant complaining. To DIY enthusiasts, the chance to purchase a “fixer-upper” may be just what they’re looking for.
4. “My neighbors are crazy.”
Living alongside quirky neighbors can make life a little difficult. But just because sellers and the folks next door haven’t become BFFs, that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to new residents.
5. “I’ve had some pest problems.”
From spider infestations to termite troubles, these issues will likely turn up during a home inspection anyway. So, either deal with the pest problems ahead of time or prepare to hear about it when that report comes back. Either way, announcing it isn’t going to make the situation any better.
6. “I no longer feel safe here.”
Safe can be a relative term. What feels like a dicey neighborhood to some may actually be a step up from where others lived previously. Buyers can do their due diligence by checking with local police departments for crime statistics.
7. “I have to move for work.”
When sellers let everyone know that they absolutely must move, it could inspire potential buyers to make a low-ball offer. When there’s a sense of urgency or panic in a seller’s tone, it’s tempting for buyers to take advantage.
8. “We’ve outgrown this house!”
Just because owners may feel as if their house has been shrinking over time, that doesn’t mean it won’t seem like a palace to someone else. Let the square footage speak for itself. That said, decluttering and staging can go a long way toward making even the most diminutive dwelling seem bigger.
Deceiving potential buyers is never the goal (doing this can land you in legal trouble) — but there is such a thing as “saying too much.” Don’t be a victim of your own words. Instead, let your Realtor do the talking for you.
Much like attorneys, Realtors are skilled professionals who know what to say, and when to say it. There are moral and legal parameters that dictate what should be disclosed, and you should give full reign to your Realtor in this regard.