Home buyers have questions that run the gamut. A professional, experienced real estate agent anticipates most questions and reviews the answers with you prior to putting your home on the market. He should also review certain topics regarding what you do or don’t want to reveal. As your agent, he is required to follow your instructions on these matters. Certain facts about your home obviously are required to be revealed, such as material defects in the home. But there many other questions that don’t have to do with layout or function that buyers will ask. Work with your Realtor on the following four issues so that you can navigate them smoothly.
1. How many offers have you had on the home?
This is a leading question so the buyer can determine their offer price. Buyers are gauging whether you are determined to stay near your asking price or willing to come down. The thought process might be that if you’ve turned down offers, you’re not willing to negotiate. Alternatively, they might want to know home much competition they’re facing if they’re interested in the house. If you haven’t had offers yet, a buyer might use this information to start with a lower offer. Whatever the case, your agent is not required to answer this question if you don’t want to tip your hand. He’ll say something such as, “My clients has requested that information remain confidential.”
2. Why is the seller moving?
Buyers ask this to gauge the level of seller motivation. A motivated seller is one who is willing to negotiate and will entertain most offers. Your agent is not required to answer this question either, should you instruct her not to. If you’re moving because of job relocation or a financial need, buyers might infer that you’re highly motivated to sell and start with a low offer. On the flip side, if you’ve not had any offers, it could benefit you to reveal your motivation to move. The answer is a personal decision that you should discuss with your agent before showings begin.
3. Are there additional homeowners’ annual or monthly fees?
It’s fair to expect that a buyer needs to have all information about HOA or planned community fees. Revealing costs and providing associated paperwork is usually a requirement of most purchase contracts. The more prepared you are to provide such information, the more likely your buyer will engage in considering your home instead of moving on to the next one because yours had cost uncertainties. Additionally, providing documented costs allows the buyer to move on quicker if they know they can’t afford the regular fees. No need to waste time negotiating with someone who ultimately won’t be able to purchase.
4. Are there any restrictions or regulations with the home?
It’s fair to expect that a buyer needs to know about restrictions or regulations that come with the location of the home. For example, there may be restrictions on type or size of pet one can own, what can or can’t be remodeled, where to park, and whether fences are permitted. These aren’t just HOA restrictions. Sometimes they are zoning regulations.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Coming Soon: A Coming Soon status allows real estate agents, buyers, and other sellers to preview a home online only with limited details. The Greater Cincinnati MLS requires Coming Soon homes to be listed on MLS. Full home details and photos will be available once the listing is officially for sale and ready for showings. If you’re a buyer interested in a Coming Soon home, you should alert your real estate agent about it right away.