The past few weeks I’ve talked a lot about what it takes to woo a buyer, and how to avoid turning buyers off. But buyers beware! You also need to pay attention to seller turn-offs if you actually want to successfully close on a home! So what should you avoid doing?
First and most obvious. don’t speak badly about a sellers home, either when they are present or in a letter to the seller (and beware baby monitors – some sellers have been known to use them to “spy” on buyers!) All this does is put a seller on the defensive and make them not want to sell you the home.
Along these lines, due thorough due diligence and make sure your offer is grounded in reality and not your dreams of owning a home you can’t really afford. Be sure that you have fully “seen” the market and know how your home choice fits in the market. Work with an agent whose analytic skills you trust and get a thorough understanding of the likely sales price of the home. And then do not lowball unless it is extremely clear that the seller’s asking price bears no relation to reality. There is no faster way to sour a deal than to start throwing unjustified lowball offers at a seller, unless you really didn’t want to buy the home to begin with.
Be sure to take the time to get pre-approved, and thoroughly disclose all of your financial circumstances to a lender. Nothing is more annoying than having a deal fall-through because a buyer can’t get the loan. Be brutally honest with the lender upfront – there is no gaming the system these days, and if you aren’t be able to get the loan, save yourself the heartache as well and find out early in the process.
Finally, don’t mislead the seller. Don’t offer a high price with a plan to beat the seller up on the inspection. Don’t stick in an appraisal contingency with a plan to get the price reduced to a lower price later, once you think you have a captive seller. And don’t try to renegotiate the deal later – if the seller discloses pre-existing conditions to you, your offer should be the price you are willing to pay given those conditions and you should not come back with your hand out looking for more later.
If both buyers and sellers give each other these common courtesies, you’d be surprised how smoothly transactions can progress to smooth closings!