If you are selling your home, then you need to know about some of the questions you must be ready to answer…
Maybe you have been talking to someone and said something that came out the wrong way. Or maybe you said too much or could have phrased things just a little bit differently.
We all have been there but…
If you are selling your home, it is possible that you may talk to prospective home buyers. Saying the wrong thing is why your Realtor should ALWAYS do most of the talking.
Some buyers will ask you questions despite knowing you want your agent to deal with inquiries. Be cautious with these buyers as they are looking to exploit any answer you give for their benefit.
Let’s look at the questions that home buyers might ask and how to answer them without shooting yourself in the foot!
How Much Will You Take? What is Your Best Price?
Money or the price will always be the main question on a home buyer’s mind. This is very understandable but you need to understand how to respond.
If a buyer asks what you will take, say that you can only respond to written offers that are submitted through your agent. There are many factors besides the price that can and will affect your bottom line!
You need to question the seriousness and motives of anyone that isn’t willing to put an offer in writing. Tell interested parties that you are very serious about selling your home. Say that they should submit a written offer to your agent that includes a Pre-Approval or Proof of Funds Letter.
If they keep insisting on an answer, tell them you have given them the answer:
Only written offers with a Pre-Approval or Proof of Funds submitted to your agent will be considered.
Is Your House Haunted?
Even if you do not believe in ghosts or haunted houses, other people do. Home buyers asking questions about paranormal activity happens more often than you think.
Some home buyers believe in ghosts and other superstitions. For some this is a negative, for others, it is not!
State only the facts and not what you think. Explain that you are not an expert in the paranormal.
You may also be asked if someone has died in the home or if someone has been murdered in the home. Disclosure laws vary from state to state so be sure to seek the appropriate legal counsel in your area.
South Carolina Code §40-57-180 says that the owner and real estate agents are NOT required to disclose the death of an occupant of a property has occurred or the manner of the death. Because I am NOT an attorney, I strongly suggest that you consult with a licensed SC attorney for what YOU should do.
That being said, ALWAYS disclose everything you know and not what you think or feel! Just the facts!
How Long Has The Home Been for Sale
Saying how long your home has been for sale is a tough question to answer. No matter how long the home has been listed, buyers may not understand the local real estate market.
If your home has just hit the market, some buyers think they need to wait to see if you will drop the price. In a hot market, homes go under contract before any price changes occur.
If your home has been on the market for a long time, some buyers take this to mean something is wrong with it. Or that you are not willing to negotiate. This can frighten some home buyers.
The time it takes to sell some homes is longer than others. This does not mean the homes are overpriced or there is something wrong with the home.
For example, home on large tracts of land can take longer than a starter home in town. High-end homes can take longer as well.
Your Realtor will be able to advise you on the best pricing and marketing strategy. They will help you get the best price in the shortest amount of time while protecting your interests.
The best way to answer this ( and any other question ) is with the truth. Adding that “this is normal for a home like ours but we are ready to negotiate with a serious buyer ‘ puts the ball in the buyer’s court.
Is Anything Buried In The Backyard?
Maybe you have had a furry friend that has passed away while you were living in your home.
I can still remember how tears were streaming down my face the day I buried my precious little demon cat. She fought it but eventually old age caught up with her.
She had a good life and did lots of hell-raising in her day. For her final resting place, I selected her favorite spot in my backyard.
Many people bury their deceased pets in their yard. We are wanting to get through the difficult task of saying our final goodbye.
We are dealing with grief and not thinking about selling a home…
However, when you decide to sell your home, then you have a home with a pet buried in the backyard. This can surprise the next person that lives there, especially if they have a dog that likes digging up the lawn.
Something else to consider is making sure you disclose any buried tanks, such as a heating oil tank. A few years ago, there was a lawsuit involving a home in Anderson with an undisclosed oil tank.
The tank was disclosed when the sellers bought the home. However, the sellers failed to disclose this when they sold the home a few years later.
The buyers found the tank, sued the sellers and won. Big time big money type of win…
We Meant To, Wanted To, Need To
If you need to repair, update or even renovate something, do it before the home hits the market. Or adjust the price accordingly!
If a buyer points out anything needing work, state you have priced it accordingly.
Your goal isn’t to beat your house up or admit it has issues. You want to talk the property up and show it in the best possible light by highlighting the features and benefits.
Never ever mention things you wanted to change, improve, repair or replace. Pointing out stuff like this either scares a buyer away or makes the home appear overpriced.
You Need to Move By
Even if you are getting desperate, never let a buyer see you sweat! You may have wanted to sell the home long ago but never admit this.
Home buyers and their buyers agent are looking for some weakness that will justify a lower offer. If you say you have to sell or move by a certain date, you will only motivate buyers and their agents to offer you less!
Have You Had Any Offers?
Home buyers and buyers agents love to ask if there have been any offers. No offers could indicate a buyer is getting desperate.
If you have had an offer(s), say you have had offers but the buyers were not serious. If they ask for details, say “serious buyers make serious offers and are willing to negotiate”.
Encourage them to submit an offer to your agent if they want to buy your home.
Are There Any Pest Problems?
Inquiring about pest problems is another question you must be prepared to answer. Buyers must determine if a property has had problems with pests or termites.
Do not be insulted by these questions because you should ask the exact same question when buying a home. This question should be answered in the Property Disclosure. However, buyers want to ask this question to see how your answer compares to the disclosure.
The buyers should find out about termites by the termite inspection BUT you need to disclose any previous issues!
The Take Away
Selling your home can be a stressful time. One way to reduce this stress is by being prepared the weird situations that can occur. These are just a few of the strange questions you might hear from prospective buyers.
When you do experience a buyer with some strange questions, tell them you have retained the services of a real estate professional to deal with buyer inquiries. Give them your real estate agent’s contact information and politely say you are busy at the moment but your Realtor can assist them.
If you are wanting to list your Anderson SC home for sale and have any questions, please contact me.