What You Say on Facebook Can and Will Be Used Against You
A few years ago I was representing sellers who were moving up to a new construction home within the area. We got an offer almost immediately when their home hit the market. All was well with the world....that was until the appraisal was done.
The value came in $3,000 below the sales price. Yes, the appraiser seemed unwilling, or unable, to find another $3,000 in improvements to the home. We dug through his report. The appraiser noted that the home needed "significant improvement." What? They had just put in new appliance, new wood floors and carpets, renovated the bathrooms AND painted the entire home. The yard was fenced and there was two tiered deck. Needless to say, we suspected the appraiser would make the correction when the statement of condition was brought to his attention.
We were wrong. The appraiser stuck to his valuation and it became time for the buyers and sellers to figure out how to proceed. My sellers wanted to sleep on it, but seemed inclined to letting the $3,000 go and negotiate the price down to appraised value. That was, before they looked in on the buyers on Facebook.
Spending the better part of the evening checking up on Mr. Buyer they learned all kinds of things. First of all, they were living in the basement of his parents. Second, they learned the wife was due with their second baby soon. Third, they saw exotic locales posted every week for the husband's golf getaways. He was in well known, high dollar restaurants and playing well known courses.
When my sellers talked to me the next day the conclusion h
ad been made. "We aren't lowering our price." Mrs. Seller what she had seen. With their living situation she felt it was unlikely they were paying rent, or if they were, it was more of a gesture. Mrs. Buyer was probably not in the mood to mess around being eight and a half months pregenant in the middle of summer and living in her in-law's basement. She would likely force the husband to agree to whatever happened. And finally, all the costly getaways posted on Facebook by Mr. Buyer really ticked off Mrs. Seller since the buyers were crying poor mouth and that the sellers HAD to reduce the sales price.
What happened as a result of the sellers' refusal to lower the sales price didn't play out well for the buyers. They got lost in the principal of the thing and stuck to their guns. In the end, the contract became void.
The outcome for my sellers? They got a second buyer the day the first contract went void at the same price with no appraisal problems. They avoided an additional month of temporary housing while waiting for the new construction. And they enjoyed watching the summer of ruin from their former buyers play out on Facebook.
Predictably, Mr. & Mrs. Buyer's home shopping troubles were broadcast to the entire world via Facebook. They had their second child and the wife was pissed she was still in the basement of her in-laws home. Mr. Buyer continued to wine and dine himself, posting all of it online. Eventually, they found another home that was even more expensive than the one they lost out on. Turns out, they weren't so broke, but we knew that.
What you post on Facebook can and will be used against you in contract negotiations. Careful what you put out there for everyone to see.