Listing agents have long pleaded with sellers to vacate the premises during showings.
Agents have agreed to accompany all showings in an effort to placate their seller clients, agents have purchased expensive electronic key boxes and subscribed to monthly access services to open said key boxes, they pay fees to showing services so the seller does not talk to buyer agents directly...and still sellers do not understand WHY THEIR AGENTS DO THESE THINGS.
The answer is fairly simple, AS YOUR LISTING AGENT I DO NOT WANT YOU TO TALK TO POTENTIAL BUYERS AND THEIR AGENTS.
And here's why, you could, potentially and unknowingly compromise your negotiating position by revealing important details to the buyer or their agent.
"Details? Like what?", you may ask!
For instance, if you have already purchased or are under contract to purchase a new home that is contingent on the sale of your current residence, revealing that you are under this, or any other kind of deadline, could tell the buyer's agent that you are ripe for a low ball offer. (You can insert pending job transfer, upcoming layoffs, serious illness, mounting debt or any other number of financial disasters.)
Or, perhaps you are faced with the question, "What's your bottom line?" Oh yes, if given the chance many potential buyers and/or their agents will fire this little gem off just to see how you react. Attempts to begin negotiations directly with the seller are common.
Maybe you feel like you are being helpful and showing the home yourself to point out important features, like the large deck. Are you ready for the criticism of that jiggly handrail or the loose foot boards? Will you, just off the cuff, agree to fix it?
Congratulations, you may have just set yourself up to be asked to replace the entire deck, simply by acknowledging that there is a potential issue with the deck.
Even something seemingly positive can hurt you when it comes to negotiating. In chatting with the potential buyer you discover a shared acquaintance or common interest, or maybe they reveal some crisis in their own lives that plays upon your sympathies.
Will you be inclined to sell them your home for less than you would have if you had not known these personal details about them? The ever popular "buyer's letter to the seller" gained momentum in real estate simply for this reason.
Real estate has one thing in common with Law & Order,
"Anything you say, can and will be used against you!"
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