Disclaimer: This information is intended to be of a general nature. Please do not rely on any of the content as being a professional tax or legal opinion and seek your own independent advice.
When buying a big ticket item like a car, boat or a property, it is often tempting to eagerly point out to the salesperson the item’s apparent faults. When purchasing property, buyers often “talk down” its benefits and highlight its shortcomings in an apparent precursor to justify a lower-than-reasonable offer to purchase.
Buyers ought to know that most agents love it when buyers do this. Give an agent the chance to “overrule an objection” and they’re in their element, keen on defending the property with an answer (sometimes scripted unfortunately) for everything.
Pointing out a property’s faults or highlighting what changes need to be made to the agent achieves little other than to alert the agent of a genuine interest to buy because it is such a common buyer trait.
But, importantly, such a buying strategy can be disadvantageous because it risks ostracising the seller as the agent will directly convey any criticism of their property to them. And sellers like to sell to people they like.
Therefore, as a potential buyer, my advice is to do the reverse. Be particularly complimentary of the property as your comments will invariably be forwarded to the sellers by the agent, conveying a positive image of you to the sellers who are then likely to be more inclined to negotiate a sale in your favour.
After all, it is only at the point of negotiating the sale that a buyer really reveals their price limits. A positive approach to the agent gives the buyer a far greater chance at securing the property from a seller sympathetic to a buyer who “loves it and wants to buy but can’t really afford it” compared to a buyer who is perceived as “able to afford it but reserving funds for future improvements.”
Buying and selling real estate is rarely just about the sale price. Sellers have a genuine and emotional attachment to their properties and are often so dismayed at the level of criticism of their property from a potential buyer they will stubbornly refuse to deal reasonably on an offer where otherwise it may well have been acceptable.
By Hayden Groves
REIA Deputy President