Buying or selling a house can be a stressful obstacle to overcome, particularly when you’re dealing with a real estate agent. It’s important to build a healthy relationship with your agent but you should consider how much you tell them, and how much you keep to yourself.
We’ve listed some things not to say to an agent, depending on whether you’re buying or selling.
What not to say for: Buyers
There are certain things that you should try to avoid telling the real estate agent when you’re looking for a property. Don’t say these 4 things to your agent.
“My budget is $X”
When looking to buy a property, you should know your budget and should try to stick to it. Who you share this with may impact the buying process and create unrealistic expectations. When you’re discussing your potential options with a real estate agent, give them an approximate amount to work with, without revealing your specific budget.
Agents will dig deep and try to find as much information about the investor, or buyer, as possible. Keeping your budget to yourself will relieve a little pressure on your end, as the agent will not be able to use your budget against you in negotiations.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hide everything from them. If they ask about your budget, it may be best to give a vague answer. An ideal response could be something along the lines of “I’m looking at properties roughly this price” and give them an approximate amount. That way your agent can give you options on properties that are around your price range, without fully knowing how much you’re willing to pay.
“I’m not interested”
How could you be informed about potential properties to purchase without communicating with an agent? Playing hard to get with your agent will not work in your favour. They’re not going to chase you, so it’s best if you give a little back.
Your agent is the middleman and will communicate with all the parties involved in the process. So while it may be best to keep your secrets to yourself, you can keep your agent updated with your expectations so they’re aware you’re still interested. Don’t tell your agent you’re not interested when really you are, as this will only make their job harder and your purchase time even longer.
“I don’t know anything about real estate”
Even if you don’t know much about property and real estate, it’s best not to tell your agent this. If an agent knows that you haven’t done your research, you may be easily convinced that a particular area or building is in high demand.
Instead, try to read up on the property market once you’ve decided to buy. Research the median sale prices in your potential areas and get property reports for houses you are interested in. There are a lot of resources available for free online.
“I plan to…”
While looking for your dream home, you might start to come up with ideas for renovations to improve the properties that you’re looking at. Getting this design inspiration while house hunting is a good sign, but try to keep these fantastic ideas to yourself.
Why? Well, a real estate agent might be tempted to suggest similar upgrades to other prospective buyers, meaning that the property becomes more popular and you may have less chance of winning the bid.
What not to say for: Sellers
If you’re selling your property, there are also a few things you shouldn’t say to an agent.
“I’m not agreeing to less than $X”
Although you have an ideal price in mind, negotiation is a major factor when selling. The property market is constantly fluctuating, so your sale price may do the same.
If you start to become stubborn, disagreements between you and your agent will arise, making the process more difficult for both of you and delaying the sale. Your house could be listed for a longer period of time and will create an unrealistic standard.
Buyers will be discouraged from bidding on your property if your price is unaffordable. Ensure your negotiations are reasonable in order to increase your chances of sticking to your initial budget. Real estate agents are knowledgeable and you are paying them to provide you with their knowledge and guidance.
If you feel there is still room for further debate, then discuss this with your agent and allow them to guide you through it. They are obligated to help and can provide you with their advice depending on your situation.
“The reason I want to sell is…”
Revealing your financial information and personal information can be risky when selling. An agent aims to find out about your history and economic stability, so knowing just how much background information to give them is important. Especially when it comes to the reason you may be selling. There are many reasons behind why a person may be upping sticks and these include divorce, expansion of family or financial problems.
Although you may trust your agent, they may also be in a hurry and could later mention this information to prospective buyers. If buyers know that you are desperate to sell they may bid lower than what you expected.
Follow these simple tips on how to deal with your estate agent to ensure the buying or selling process is easy and fast.