4 Kiss of Death Questions to Avoid When Selling Your Home
Who ever thought that there are questions that can be asked of you when selling your home that can mean the kiss of death. More specifically, when you answer a question or a series of questions they result in a price reduction. The last thing you want when you list your home for sale is to immediately put money on the table with a price reduction. Who would want to do that? You’d be surprised in just how easy it is to get to that point and it’s normally done when you’ve been tripped up. Here I’m going to discuss how to avoid a series of these kiss of death questions and when they’re likely to come up.
First of all what are these 4 Kiss of Death Questions?
Why are you moving?– Perhaps one of the most revealing answers that can result in price reductions from your home’s list price.
What are the neighbors like?
What about those recent repairs to your home you had completed?
I see your neighbors home sale is pending – what price did they sell it for?
When do these Kiss of Death Questions come up?
During showings of your home
During home showings is breeding season for kiss of death questions! Sometimes you’ll find home Sellers that like to be present during home showings for a number of reasons. First of all, they want to tell the prospective Buyers all about how wonderful their home is so nothing gets overlooked; they want the Buyer to know everything! Often they want to keep an eye on the strangers coming through their home or perhaps they just don’t feel like leaving.
Believe me when I say it’s imperative that Sellers not be present for home showings. During home showings is when Sellers are ripe for the picking. Yes, Buyers and their Real Estate Agents see Sellers as low lying fruit ready to snatch from you all the pertinent details about your home, hoping those details provide some clue for the Buyers to be able to pay less for your home.
They’ll want to ask you why you’re moving. You could be desperate to sell your home because you just bought another home and you don’t want to have to pay two mortgages or you could be moving due to a sick family member who isn’t getting any better and you can’t get by their side quick enough or how about that new job that you just accepted and they want you to start at the end of month. These are just a few of the reasons that could let a Buyer know you’re in a hurry and they could conclude that because you’re in a hurry, you’ll be more flexible with your home’s selling price and will readily take a price reduction. You very well may be in a hurry, but why does the Buyer need to know? They don’t. Keep it between you and your Realtor. Get out of the house when a showing is scheduled. Simple to do, just go. Ciao. Goodbye. Adios. Au revoir.
During additional Buyer viewings of your home
I sometimes think that Buyers secretly want to come back to your home to ask you those kiss of death questions. As a home Seller, you might also experience, right after the Real Estate purchase contract has been signed, that the new, excited Buyers want to bring their other family members by your home to show them and they may also want to get started in completing some measurements of areas within your home for them to be able to plan how their furniture is going to fit or for any changes that they plan on making to your home.
If you weren’t present when they initially viewed your home and they weren’t able to ask you about the neighbors, this will be the perfect time for them to ask you about the neighbors. Your idea of a good neighbor may be entirely different than their idea of a good neighbor. That one neighbor of yours that’s a Gladys Kravitz type never really bothered you too much, as you welcomed the company when she seemed to show up a lot on your doorstep. However, the new Buyers are very private people and they tend to keep to themselves and therefore, will likely not be too fond of someone always bouncing over to visit.
This is also a time they’d like to find out more about why you’re moving, as I discussed above, in case they didn’t run into you during the initial showing. They could use the knowledge they just gained from you to help in instituting a price reduction by blaming an inspection (discussed below) result as the reason. It really wasn’t the inspection that concerned them, but because they knew your particulars they assume you’ll do almost anything to get your home sold so why not ask for the Seller to chip in towards making a particular repair. We all know there are likely a hundred little things that come up on an inspection, so there’s got to be something that they can get you to pay for.
You can certainly allow the additional showings after your home has gone under contract, but as discussed above regarding home showings, the same holds true here – get out of your home! Let your Realtor and the Buyer’s Agent resolve any additional home showings.
During home inspections
By now, if you’ve haven’t had the misfortune of being drilled for answers from the kiss of death questions, be sure that this will be a Buyer’s last attempt to dig deep for answers!
Home inspections can take a few hours to complete so a great deal of conversations can be had. A lot of initial polite conversation can go on back and forth as the inspector goes on his/her merry way throughout your home. This is when you can be asked about the repairs you’ve made to you home. As you know, before you list your home for sale you must complete a Seller’s Property Disclosure that details anything that you have knowledge about your home such as, repairs made or repairs needed. You will never want to hide anything as you can be liable if you try to cover up any issues with your home that can affect its value.
When you sell your home the Buyer will complete a home inspection typically anywhere from 3 to 15 days from the day you have an executed Real Estate purchase contract. Your Real Estate Agent will advise you of the date and time of the home inspection. Mark your calendar, set your phone alert and/or whatever any other method you use to alert yourself of the appointment and plan to be gone from your home. I’ve had Sellers who wanted to stay around for the home inspection, yet I explained to them that it’s best that they not be at home.
What?! You thought you wanted to be there when they completed the inspection as you don’t want them going through and picking at your things without you knowing. This is exactly why you don’t want to be there; your emotional attachment to your home and the things in your home. It’s normal to be a bit uneasy when people are rummaging through your things (they’re really not rummaging through your things, but it sure does feel like it, doesn’t it?); checking under your Kitchen and Bathroom sinks, going in your attic, running your appliances, checking your windows that they have to get to by reaching over your bed, looking in your closets and just getting way too close to everything. Viewing this activity going on can get you on edge and when you’re on edge you’re likely not in your normal happy go lucky mood and you can say things that you might regret. We’ve all done it; said things in haste when our feathers were ruffled.
It’s also a time when the skilled Buyer’s Agent and Buyer too, for that matter, can ask you specific questions about your home that may seem harmless when you respond to say how you can’t stand those spiders that you’ve seen when they ask you about your pest control service. Due to your fear of spiders, announcement of those spiders may make the Buyer think you have a pest control problem when in fact, it’s just one or two little spiders that you’ve seen that are very common in homes. Yet to you, one or two little spiders might as well be a very large and hairy Tarantula and you’re going to display your fear as such. Now the Buyer is envisioning having to pay money to rid your home of spiders; hence, price reduction request to follow.
Or they’ll ask you about the roof leak you noted on your Seller’s property disclosure. You reply to say that you had that repaired and go on to tell the story about what happened to you before the roof leak was repaired. You explained how it was Thanksgiving Day and you were cooking Turkey for your husband’s family of 12 and everybody was over while it was raining cats and dogs. The leak over your Kitchen sink started to leak and between trying to finish up your first Thanksgiving family meal and stop the leak, you were just so stressed out and wondered how you ever survived the day. The leak was minor but because of the day the leak occurred while you were trying to cook and entertain your husband’s family for the first time, every thing about that day was a big deal that included that minor leak that you made sound like a really big deal. You made it sound like it was gushing because you were overwhelmed that day, in fact, you seem to get overwhelmed a lot; just go back to that spider story earlier.
Stories like this make Buyer’s blood flow a bit faster and get concerned much more than they ever needed to due to the excited manner in which you told your stories. Buyer’s concerns result in requesting price reductions from the results of the inspection when had you not been there, all would have been fine with their standard, typical inspection results and would have proceeded to closing without asking for those extra dollars off the home sales price. If only you had just listened to your Realtor.
You know that your neighbors home a few doors down has a contract on their home and you know what they sold it for which is scheduled to close next month. The Buyers see the pending for sale sign hanging or found out it’s pending and they’re dying to know how much it sold for as it’s similar to your home which they had visited too. You don’t want to let them know that you know that it sold for less money than your home did. It wouldn’t matter to them that the reason it sold for less is because the homeowners are on the edge of financial troubles and had to sell quickly by reducing the price in order to avoid disaster. The reasons wouldn’t matter to the Buyers as they just see dollar signs. If they find this out, this again could be used as part of the negotiations within the inspection results if they thought they were paying top dollar for your home. So get out when it’s inspection time!
As a Coral Springs REALTOR®, I have these conversations with my Sellers when selling their home in Coral Springs or any other surrounding city where you find me selling homes, as it’s just too important to make sure that they sell their home for top dollar without giving up on their home’s selling price too easy when faced with answering any 4 of the Kiss of Death Real Estate Questions.
A Recap on avoiding the Kiss of Death Questions
Listen to your Realtor’s advice to leave your home when Buyers are present. You hired your Realtor because you trust them to get your home sold so it’s important to make sure you’re nowhere to be found when it’s showing time, during any repeat visits and during the home inspection. Keep in mind that when you do so, you’ll walk away with more money when it’s time to close on the sale of your home. I’m sure keeping more money is important to you, isn’t it?! Happy Selling!
Lynn hopes you enjoyed today’s article on “4 Kiss of Death Questions to Avoid when Selling Your Home”. You’ll find Lynn selling homes in Southeast Florida in the cities of Coral Springs, Parkland, Margate, Tamarac, Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Ft Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines and Miramar areas within Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Real Estate article written by Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate Agent for almost 10 years serving Coral Springs Florida and surrounding Southeast Florida. Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty. August 20, 2014. Real Estate Promises Delivered. You can speak with Lynn by calling her at 954-464-1100 or you can email her at: LynnP@ImagineYourHouse.com if you need to sell or buy your Southeast Florida home. Your local, trusted professional when it’s time to sell your home. Real Estate promises delivered.