Reasons to keep a home sale or purchase quiet for a while abound. This is but one good example. As one of the responders comments..."Loose lips sink ships" now becomes "keyboard fingers sink ships!"
When I share this story about how a house seller made money on Facebook, please understand that it also means a house buyer lost money on Facebook.
Social media is an expanding aspect in most of our lives, so we must consider the potential consequences of our "public" utterances.
Facebook, Real Estate And Sharing
Many people like to share exciting events and activities with their friends on Facebook, and what can be more exciting than buying a home?
The process of buying a house is fun (I mean, how often do you get to go shopping for something with a budget of several hundred thousand dollars, right?)
As people often do, they sometimes "share" their real estate favorites on Facebook and other social media.
The internet has created an immediacy for sharing that is unprecedented and many people enjoy the positive benefits that this creates. But they also fail to consider the potential harm they might endure by publicizing their thoughts and feelings during the homebuying process.
A Facebook Real Estate Story
Recently, we listed a house for sale for sale in Tallahassee and promoted it vigorously with our online marketing system.
There was a lot of activity on the home before it even entered the MLS. Within a few days of it hitting the market, we had numerous buyers making offers and it finally went under contract at a price higher than the seller was asking.
The buyer's agent scheduled a house inspection right away, and it was conducted less than ten days after the contract was executed.
And then it happened.
The buyer posted an image of "her new home" so that all of her friends could see it. She was clearly excited about buying it, and she shared all of the changes that she and her husband were going to make.
While she only shared this information with her friends, one of them must have "liked" it which then made it visible to all of the friend's friends. And that is how it became visible to our online marketing department at Joe Manausa Real Estate.
No big deal right? The buyer loves the home. Well ...
When the house inspection concluded, the buyer requested the seller pay for $2,218 worth of minor repairs that were not evident prior to contract. The contract did not require the seller to make the changes, but the seller did not want to lose this buyer. They had a better-than-asking-price contract, so losing this buyer would likely mean losing many thousands of dollars.
The seller asked us what they should do, as it was clear that this was the best buyer for the house (meaning the buyer most willing to pay top dollar was already under contract).
Normally, we would not know what the buyer was thinking, and we would have done a risk-benefit analysis and would have likely just done the repairs.
But in this case, we knew what the buyer was thinking. She had not considered her Facebook activity as public, but she was mistaken.
We politely declined to do the repairs, and nothing happened. The buyer proceeded to close on the house and the seller pocketed $2,218 more than they would have had we not known what the buyer was thinking.
Facebook Is Public
The moral of the story is never reveal your position in a negotiation if you are 100% set on what you are going to do. You loose the ability to negotiate when you loose the ability to bluff.
Facebook is very public and you should consider that everything you post will be available to the entire world, forever.
When buying a home, share your thoughts and feelings with your real estate buyer's agent, but with nobody else.
You can always go Facebook crazy after you close on the home.Joe Manausa, MBA
Joe Manausa Real Estate