If your home is on the market, you’re obviously primed to get it sold. We Canadians are a friendly bunch and most of us like to chat, but If you don’t have the time nor the means to leave the house when it’s being shown and the prospective purchaser starts up a conversation, you should remember there are some topics that are off limits.
The list price. Buyers might want to talk to you about your asking price. They may be trying to get a feeling as to whether there’s wiggle room there. It might seem purely innocent, but you can bet they’re trying to see your reaction. So, do yourself a favour and tell them to discuss the price with your agent.
Why you’re packing your bags. Purchasers don’t need to know why you’ve decided to move and they don’t need to know the personal aspects of your situation. In fact, them knowing could really be a detriment to getting an offer. They shouldn’t know about any negative emotions you have about the home or how the place is too small for your needs.
Pointing out what you think is new. “New” is a relative term for many sellers. The furnace that was installed five years ago could be deemed new in relation to the age of the house. Stay away from talking about how “new” anything is, such as the roof, siding, etc., unless highlighted by your agent as a bonus.
Letting them know about minor shortcomings. If you mention what your house falls short on—like kitchen space, closets or lack of a main floor laundry room, for example— you’re not doing yourself any favours. If you’re going to say anything at all, at least tell a buyer what’s great about the house. As the old adage goes, you can get more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
You have an accepted offer on another home. Do you want a lowball offer on your place? Chances are that’s what you’ll get if you tell a possible purchaser that you have an offer on a property that’s conditional upon the sale of your current home. That pretty much translates to, “they don’t want to lose that other home, so they’re probably desperate to sell this one.” Don’t let them confuse motivation with desperation.