How many times when you were a child did you hear that one? This one was my grandmother's mantra. If you really think about it; how often were you in a situation uncomfortably sitting with your foot neatly jammed in your mouth...truly wishing you could take back what you just said? If only you'd have exercised that favorite saying...
If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say Don't Say Anything At All!
Well, Nan--I'm here to tell you that in Real Estate I have to disagree with you on this one. At least from a listing presentation's perspective. Let's try these scenarios on for size and see which one you choose as the seller:
Situation 1- You are selling a home that you and your family have lived in and loved for over 20 years now. But, it is time to move on and you believe that your house is perfect and ready for the market. Your agent comes in and does his/her initial walk through and you sit down at the table to discuss your home and it's listing. During your discussion, you talk over the pricing and any questions you may have. In this situation, you agree on the price and he/she quietly takes the pictures of your home and smiles sweetly, you shake hands and off he/she goes to list your home.
Situation 2- Same seller and scenario, but this agent comes in and walks through your home with you and points out situations that may need to be addressed; possibly painting the window sills or (GASP) removing the large abstract painting in the living room that your daughter did for you in the sixth grade. He/she presents to you the idea of replacing the carpet in the bedroom, because, as sometimes happens- a homeowner may have become so accustomed to something they tend to miss it. But, the bedroom carpet has a lingering odor of cat pee-pee! This agent smiles sweetly, you shake hands and off he/she goes to prepare your listing.
Now, obviously, the first situation's agent has instituted the If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say Don't Say Anything At All philosophy. While he/she is busy being polite, he/she also detected the smell of the pee-pee and also realized that the painting, while valuable to you, was quite distracting to buyers. But, for fear of insulting you decided to keep it to herself and hope for the best. Did I mention that the first scenario's listing was sitting on the market for 3 months with regular showings but NO offers?
The second scenario, decided that "nice to say or not" - You, the seller NEED to know that other people can smell the "cat's little indiscretions" in the bedroom and that perhaps a more neutral painting would work better in the living room. That agent knew that she needed to risk offending or insulting you because the pure fact is that your house WON'T sell if you don't address the facts. Now, we'll assume that these sellers got over the tough talk and took care of the things that the agent suggested. Guess what? Their house was on the market for 3 weeks and received 3 competitive offers.
Now, Mr. Seller-which agent do you want to work with? I have to say, thanks to my grandmother, I believe that you should always be polite and kind in everything you do. But, when it comes to getting my listings sold... I choose to use another little ditty that she used to say.... Everything goes down alittle easier with a little bit of honey. You never heard that one? Whenever I was small and needed to take medicine-she'd follow it up with a teaspoon of honey. I'm thinking she may have just made this one up. But, she also used it when she had to deliver tough news...So, when I am at a listing that needs a little tough news- I put on my best (honey sweet) smile and deliver it in my best (honey sweet) voice. After all, I'm there to get your home sold-period. Right? Pass the honey.
Coldwell Banker Diamond Realtors
350 W. Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426
cell: 610 996-3195
office: 610 489-7700 ext: 3607