Beware of the grapevine when selling your home

When you’re selling your home, be cautious of what you say and who you say it to. The world is often a smaller place than you imagine. The person you are speaking to may be connected to a potential buyer and this could affect the homes saleability.

There will likely be a for sale sign on your lawn so it’s likely you’ll be asked questions by your friends and neighbours. It’s unlikely that they are asking for any harmful reason but they may mistakenly say pass something along that could influence a potential buyer.

There are a few factors that can make a significant impact when selling your home and negotiating offers such as motivation, financial positioning, urgency, etc. Friendly conversations can give away this information and put a buyer in a better position to negotiate against you.

For example, a neighbour might ask, “I see your for sale sign, why are you moving?” If your reason is that your job has relocated you to a new city in a month, they are inadvertently asking your urgency. An offer may come in with a possession date three months out because they know you need it sold asap. You may be willing to give up a bit of cash to get the closing date you want.

Perhaps you’re downsizing. You’ve been in the home for 20 years and your kids have all moved out and now you’re downsizing to something more suitable. This is telling them that you may no longer have a mortgage and since you’re moving to something smaller you may have more than enough equity to pay for your new home outright. This might change the price they offer since you may not need the money as much as others.

“I’ve noticed your for sale sign has been up for many months, how’s it going?” If you say it has been very slow and you’ve only had two showings in 6 months, that’s likely a red flag too. Someone may assume there is something wrong with the house or assume you’re desperate to sell and might take a low ball offer.

These situations may not be accurate to your situation but they are simple assumptions that could be made. Instead, avoid the watercooler talk, especially anything negative. Always talk positive because you never know who might pass along the message or overhear. Talk positive and the assumptions made may benefit you rather than harm you.

For more information on selling your home pick up a copy of POSITIVELY SOLD, read more on The Selling Series, or view our selling strategy.

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