Talk Them Out Of Buying A House

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291


There have been occasions when I have worked with someone for a while, showing them houses that we think are right or want to see. One day they say, "This is the one - I want this house."

Instead of whipping out a contract offer and saying "Sign here," try asking a few questions first.

Many years ago, I helped a friend avoid what could have been a mistake. 

And we did it with questions.

"What do you like so much about this house?" She answered with the obvious things - the land around it, the building that would house her office, and a decent-sized garage for her husband.

Those are the tangibles, the things that are easy to identify.  It's the intangibles that make you feel safe, happy, and relaxed when you walk into the right home.

This house was older, had small rooms and low ceilings. My friends loved their present home, one that was bright and had high ceilings.

When I asked how she would feel walking into the primary bedroom, her first response was the ceiling height and the lack of light.

Before long, the rosy picture she had painted for herself began to change in the light of reality. We didn't make an offer on that house.

But within that same year, we did find their perfect home. It had it all, the land, the garage, an ideal office space, a big updated kitchen, and yes, it also had plenty of windows and high ceilings throughout.

Try talking them out of buying that house. If you can, it wasn't right for them in the first place.

I passed up a sale that day and solidified a relationship that carried years beyond that one transaction. It helps to know your buyers!

Can you talk them out of a house? If so, it was not the right one.


margaret rome

Posted by

Margaret Rome
HomeRome Realty

Baltimore, Maryland

Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

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Author: Real Estate The Rome Way

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Comments (19)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Your advice is so wise in this regard, Margaret!  Often when buyers rush to sign a contract without considering all the important things, they get buyers remorse.  I'd rather they confront the negatives up front, rather in the middle of a transaction.

Dec 27, 2021 11:25 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Myrl, I so agree that negatives be delt with up front

Jan 02, 2022 07:48 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Margaret, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 27, 2021 11:26 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Thank you, Myrl!

Jan 02, 2022 07:48 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such a big purchase, I never like when buyers rush into something or talk them into something that just doesn't seem perfect, there is always regret down the road.

Dec 28, 2021 04:07 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Brian, some people can make a fast decision, but it is rare. Buyer's remorse is not something anyone wants to see.

Jan 02, 2022 07:50 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Margaret - sometimes asking questions can provide the pause so that a correct answer can form.  

Dec 28, 2021 04:40 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Michael Much to  learn with the right questions at the right time.

Jan 02, 2022 07:51 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I've had similar situations where we talked about a specific home and they realized they didn't really want it after all. Then we found them the right one. Great post!

Dec 28, 2021 05:07 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Thanks, Kat. Sometimes, taking a day to think about it is wise. Even in a busy seller's market. As they say Haste makes waste!

Jan 02, 2022 07:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Margaret. Asking questions can lure on in or cause one to pass. Our job is to ask questions. The rest is beyond our control. Enjoy your day.

Dec 28, 2021 05:16 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Wayne, Ask the right questions and then take time to listen!

Jan 02, 2022 07:54 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Margaret that is not easy for sales people to do.  But doing the right thing sometimes requires not doing the norm.

Dec 28, 2021 03:24 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

I have seen that with anxious agents, ready to make the fast sale.

Jan 02, 2022 07:56 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

I had a client years ago here in Boise, Idaho; that was under contract for a nice home.  A week later, they called wanting to terminate because he got a substantial raise and was willing to lose their earnest money to buy a bigger home.  I told them I would if that is what they really wanted, but since it was already a home that met or exceeded their original objectives, why not stay under contract and then buy a rental home for investment.  They did and later I resold the first home for them and they built on acreage.  #ClientsForLife

Dec 28, 2021 07:39 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Jim, Good story and advice. I would love to see you write this up as a stand-alone blog.

Jan 02, 2022 07:57 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I have had to do the same a few times in seventeen years.  Buyers fall in love with aesthetics and ignore very serious and costly problems lurking in the shadows.

Dec 29, 2021 09:07 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Chris, We have all seen the pretty shade of lipstick and miss the swine completely. My goal is NOT to sell a home that I would not want to represent in the future.

Jan 02, 2022 08:00 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Doing the right thing for our clients is first and foremost ahead of a sale.  Very smart advice, but then I would expect nothing less from you! Kudos!

Dec 30, 2021 12:08 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Thank you, Jan. We think alike on this point.

Jan 02, 2022 08:01 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Margaret- you are the kind of agent I would want even if it meant "questioning me" out of a home that would not be a good fit for me. You didn't talk them out of it but helped them focus the house they really wanted. 

Dec 31, 2021 01:22 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Kathy, I would warn you at the beginning how I work. If you love a house, I will try to talk you out of it. If you don't like a house, I will point out the positives. It is almost always appreciated.

Jan 02, 2022 08:03 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Jan 01, 2022 07:20 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Margaret -  doing what you do only helps you create a relationship with your clients.  After the excitement wears off and remorse sets it they might have said why didn't she warn us.  Now they say Margaret really knew what we would love.

Jan 02, 2022 06:13 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I had a client I once had to talk out of buying a house and she was so disappointed. The harsh part for here was she ended up buying a house within sight of her dream home and was there to see all the trucks go into the driveway doing the repairs that we told her the house was going to need.

I don't. know if she thought that was good or bad

Jan 02, 2022 07:56 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Ed, She apparantly loved the neighborhood.

Jan 03, 2022 07:21 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Grant, It is so rewarding to have clients come back after 5,10,20 years and also send their friends and relatives as referrals.

Jan 02, 2022 08:10 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I don't talk clients into or out of buying a property; like you Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400  I ask questions that either commit them emotionally even more so I know they'll hang in there through escrow, or...the answers make them realize they are panicking and compromising what they want just to buy something. We are like shrinks, we help them arrive to an informed decision they ultimately make.

Design A Successful & Joyful 2022 and...

Happy New Year! 🍾🥂💥 

Jan 02, 2022 08:47 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Thomas,  yes to this : "ask questions that either commit them emotionally even more so I know they'll hang in there through escrow..''

Jan 03, 2022 07:23 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 ,

It's always about asking the right questions that help people make the right decisions. I've done the same's their choice of course but sometimes emotion or frustration in not finding a place can lead to a bad decision. It's all in looking at in the right perspective. 

Jan 03, 2022 06:39 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Honesty like that creates ultimate loyalty but you really can't buy with a sale price of any kind. :

Jan 03, 2022 07:01 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Laura Cerrano  Good to see you and...So true, you cannot buy loyalty!

Jan 03, 2022 07:26 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Dorie Dillard Austin TX  And it is about having an experienced Realtor® like you to help them make the right choice.

Jan 03, 2022 07:25 PM