When it comes to real estate negotiation, be careful what you say and to whom you say it. Ever watch the TV show COPS? Then you’ve certainly heard the police reading someone their Miranda Rights: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…”. Why are police required to read these rights as they’re arresting someone, and not wait until later? Because once something has been said, it’s too late to take it back. Anything the suspect says could be used to incriminate them. The proverbial toothpaste cannot be put back in the tube!
Six Degrees of Separation (Kevin Bacon)
Be careful what you say to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. If you’re familiar with the concept of Six Degrees of Separation, you know we’re all connected somehow. Your neighbor or co-worker somehow knows your college buddy, etc. Therefore, seemingly insignificant things you say about your situation, wants, needs, or motivations will travel. People talk and information spreads. In a non-gossipy way, people connect with others by discussing things and people they have in common. Keep this in mind when buying or selling real estate.
Be careful what you say on social media. We all know by now the things we put online can come back to haunt us later. Maybe it’s a nasty comment on Facebook made by you or someone you know. And there’s no shortage of news stories about criminals getting caught simply by oversharing their bad deeds online. Those things are obvious, but have you thought about how your online behavior can hurt your real estate negotiations? Anything you share about your personal situation, real estate needs, wants, or specific aspects of a deal you’re a part of can be used to negotiate against your best interests.
In the Fakebook post above, John & Suzy mention the offer they’ve made on a house, then mention their motivation to move. This seems like a minor thing, but it can help the seller. And you might not realize who sees the things you post online. What if Larry Friend works with the sellers, and mentions to them how desperate John & Suzy are to get moved before school? Knowing this information, the seller could be less flexible when re-negotiating things found during inspections.
The Other Party and/or Their Agent
Be careful what you say to the other party in a transaction or their agent. Or better yet, don’t speak with them directly. Instead, always communicate via your agent. Your agent has a fiduciary duty to protect your financial interests, including keeping your comments and things about you confidential.
For example, imagine you attend an open house held by the listing agent. Anything you say to him or her will be relayed directly back to the seller. Why? Because that agent has a fiduciary duty to represent the seller’s best interests, including sharing with them things that could help them gain an advantage in negotiations. It’s absolutely ethical, and you’d want the same done for you. Think of if more like “not showing your hand” in poker. Negotiations are a just like any game involving strategy, so don’t let things slip…even the small things.
Real estate negotiations are just one thing your real estate agent can assist with during the home buying or selling process.
Questions? Give me a ring today!
Justin Rollheiser – REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty | Diamond Partners, Inc.
13671 S Mur-Len Rd | Olathe, KS 66062