Things You Shouldn’t Reveal During an Open House

Information you shouldn't reveal during an open house

Things you shouldn’t tell homebuyers during an open house

When it comes to home selling, most Canadians opt to hold an open house to offer home buyers the opportunity to see their home and get information that may not be available on the listing. When showing your home to potential home buyers, however, there are things you shouldn’t reveal during an open house.

No matter if the home buyers show up alone or with a Buyer’s agent, you want to make sure that you don’t reveal information that would put you in a compromising situation when it comes time to make an offer.

According to Barbara Bamber, a REALTOR® with Century21 in Calgary, Alberta, “The Buyer’s REALTOR [sic] represents only their Buyer and their Buyer’s best interests alone and can and will use information gleaned at a showing to their advantage.” That said, here’s the information you want to keep to yourself to ensure a good sale that works to your advantage.

1- Motivation for selling

No matter if you’re moving because you bought a place in Florida or you need to move as soon as possible because a family member is sick, divulging information about why you’re choosing to sell may give buyers the impression that you are desperate to unload your property. Even if that’s true, you don’t want that information to end up in the hands of those making an offer.

When asked why you are selling your home, provide a vague response like “I (or we) think it’s time for a change.” That way, there is no sense of urgency on your part and they won’t feel like they can lowball you because you’re desperate to sell immediately.

2- Things you planned to do but never did

Perhaps you wanted to renovate the kitchen five years ago or you always wanted to gut the fireplace and rebuild it, but this isn’t the kind of information you should be sharing with homebuyers.

When you reveal all the things you wanted to do but never got around to, buyers might think it’s because there are so many things wrong with the home, or worse, you might plant the idea that your home isn’t great just the way it is and it will be so expensive to renovate.

3- The number of showings you’ve had

Whether you’ve had one or 100 people coming to your home, this is a question that gets asked as a way to figure out how many potentially interested buyers have come through your doors. Although it might be tempting to give a high number, I suggest that you venture into vague territory instead and maintain that you’ve had a few.

The reasoning behind remaining vague about the traffic your home has garnered is that the number doesn’t matter and shouldn’t affect a homebuyer’s decision.

4- Number of interested buyers

Unless you have a formal offer, you are not obligated to talk about how many buyers showed interest in your home. And while it may be incredibly tempting to talk about a host of interest, your best bet, once again, would be to remain vague.

Saying that there are many buyers may make a potential buyer feel like he or she shouldn’t bother because the competition is too high. Saying that there have been none may make a potential buyer wonder what is wrong with the home and, again, may not make an offer.

5- Verbally negotiating price

My mother always told me to get everything in writing, and the same goes for negotiating the sale of your home. Verbal promises won’t get you very far when it comes to selling your home; you need to get everything in writing or it’s useless.

They may ask if you’re willing to negotiate, to which you can reply honestly, but when it comes to facts and figures, get it all down in writing.

6- Fear or trepidation about selling

Perhaps this is the first time you’re selling a home and two weeks have gone by without an offer and you are getting nervous. If Dry Idea deodorant commercials taught us anything, it’s that you should never let them see you sweat.

To start, the fact that you have visitors at your home is a good thing. It’s true that not everyone will fall in love with your home, but keep your head up and maintain your confidence, and the right buyer will come along soon enough.

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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.


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