This is an important post for both negotiation and legal reasons.
Folks, when you are at an open house or viewing homes with your real estate agent, or even on your own, do not talk about the house (good or bad) while inside, or outside for that matter; actually not even on the primaces. Wait until you are in the car, office or coffee shop; the point is, be somewhere else. I can’t stress this point enough. Why you may ask? Because most homes today have video and audio surveillance (inside and outside), and we are finding that sellers are using this information when negotiating prices. There has even been a lawsuit filed by a seller in Southern CA for defamation of character because of negative comments being made, inside a sellers home, which were caught on video.
I know that it is easier to talk about some things while in the house, but a good idea would be to carry around a clipboard, take some notes, and discuss with your agent somewhere other than in or on the property. I know this post sounds a bit dramatic, and I guess it kind of is, but that is how I intended it to be because it is an important topic.
I always like to follow-up my posts with case scenarios to provide an example of the wrong way and the right way. Let’s go…
Example of the wrong way.
You are out viewing homes with your realtor. You and your spouse find a home that you really like; it checks all the boxes. You stand at the kitchen counter talking to your realtor about how much you really want the home and would be willing to put in a full price offer. Your realtor tells you that you should put in a lower offer to see if you can get sellers to possibly drop the price. This in itself is not a bad tactic as there are times when trying to get the sellers to lower the price is a good option. Well, what you don’t know is that you are on video. The sellers are watching and hearing everything you and your realtor are saying. Do you think the sellers are going to drop the price? No way. They already know that you are willing to put in a full offer and will use the video against you. Don’t talk about the home while in the house or even on the property. Don’t do it! This is just one small example of why not to do it. There are so many more reasons beyond price. Remember the lawsuit I mentioned above.
Example of the right way.
Again, you’re out viewing homes with your realtor. You and your spouse find a home that you really like; it checks all the boxes. Literally, it checks all the boxes because you are carrying around a clipboard, jotting down notes and checking off items that are a must-have in your purchase. Instead of standing at the kitchen counter discussing how much you like the house, you, your spouse (if you have one), and your real estate agent head over to their office and discuss putting in an offer.
Bottom line, if you always act like you’re on video (because you probably are), you will be okay.