Jim Valentine: Buyers meet sellers
Many people are of the opinion that buyers and sellers shouldn’t meet. While there are moments during the transaction when their direct communication should be minimized, there certainly are times where their visiting with one another can be very beneficial to both sides. It is important to know when those times are and how to make the best of them.
When Buyers have genuine interest in a property many questions are generated. They can include the obvious such as asking about utility bills, or the latent aspects of the property that can have a direct impact on one’s quiet enjoyment of the property, i.e.- bothersome neighbors, animal issues, etc. No one knows a home better than its current owner/occupant. If the seller is home when the buyer is looking at the home a few quick answers can make the difference between being the property selected by the buyer and being an also-ran.
During the escrow direct communication can help with questions or comments from the inspectors or appraisers. When was the roof replaced or repaired? Was the addition built with a permit and who built it? If the property has an exotic amenity, i.e.- active solar energy, fire suppression system, etc. having a knowledgeable person explaining helps with understanding and, perhaps, enhancing value.
Landscaping matters like sprinkler systems are not inspected by the physical inspector. It is important for maintaining the vibrancy of the landscaping thus has a direct correlation to value. Sellers have good knowledge and experience with their system and can detail its nuances to help the buyer have a smooth transition in that regard. It is much easier, and dryer/warmer than trying to adjust things by trial and error.
Buyers have a lot of knowledge to pass on that may not be immediately needed, but will be useful over time. This can include knowing when the well pump was replaced, the septic pumped, the siding painted/sealed, where the leach field is located, road maintenance agreement procedures, flash flood or other drainage matters, vendors, i.e.- landscaper, water master, contractors, etc., code to the hidden safe, etc. While some can be related in notes that are passed along, candid face to face conversation is much more informative and impactful. If the old home has a round light switch that needs to be turned and banged with a fist to turn the light on it is best explained to be appreciated as part of the character of the home.
The intangibles can contribute greatly to home value and enjoyment. What is the neighborhood like, the neighbors? How are the schools that serve your neighborhood? Are there children for your kids to play with? Does the neighbor’s dog come over for a pet, or is he threatening? Does the HOA protect values in a friendly way, or are there power starved people on the Board with too much time on their hands that intrude on the lives of the inhabitants? Candid Sellers can provide good input on this and more.
Our advice: Buyers and sellers should be careful not to engage in too much chit chat or negotiations without their agents involvement so they don’t compromise their position. A nice social exchange and disclosure about facts of the property can lead to an emotional bond that sometimes means more than money to a seller, but be careful not to talk price or terms. Your comments may be misconstrued or otherwise lead to a diminishment of your negotiation position. We’ve seen more buyer/seller interactions be fruitful to the parties than harmful. Remember, buyers want to buy and sellers want to sell. If they communicate well with one another and share openly about the property chances are very good they will create and effect a positive win/win transaction.
Working together toward a common goal makes for a smooth transaction. When bumps appear a good buyer/seller relationship can help smooth them out. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless!