The housing market in Windsor Ontario is doing well this summer. With still excellent interest rates and affordable prices, buyers are out and looking. The vast majority of sellers have taken several weeks, if not months, preparing their homes to sell by cleaning from top to bottom, improving landscaping, making repairs and overall spending their cash and time to compete with other properties in order to get a good price on their investment. While these sellers want buyers to feel comfortable in their home, unfortunately, some buyers often feel too comfortable and treat the home like it’s their own. In fact, there are quite a few ways buyers can really irritate sellers which can be a problem if an offer is made.
What can a buyer do to make a good impression?
1. Keep appointments.
Unless there is an emergency, or you decide to make an offer on another home, keep appointments whenever possible. Even if you drive up to the home and don’t like what you see, go inside as the interiors might surprise you. A good seller takes time to prepare for a showing, so imagine how they feel if you don’t show up. It’s like preparing for a party and the guests never arrive.
2. Be respectful.
As I mentioned, some buyers have no problem walking into a home and immediately treating it like it is their own. Their children may run around the house, personal property is examined, bathrooms are used and a host of other activities. It’s just common courtesy to take off shoes when asked, leave food and drinks in the car and keep comments on a professional level.
3. Participate in constructive criticism.
You may not like the wallpaper, or a seller’s decorating style, or perhaps you don’t like their hunting hobbies because of the dead deer above the fireplace, but remember this is their home and these are easy changes. Some buyers think if they criticize everything they will get a lower price for the home, but this is a strategy that can backfire big time.
4. Don’t present a laundry list of problems.
Sellers don’t want to see a long list of every problem their home may have as what they want to see if the price you are offering. They don’t need to know the small issues, such as the toilet paper holder is broken or that you want to replace the carpeting. Of course, larger issues, such as roof, plumbing and/or electrical need to be expressed, however, the best strategy is to present with your offer a list of comparable properties which explains the amount you want to pay. Sellers will look at this in a more positive light rather than a long list where every problem is mentioned.
5. Request several visits before closing.
If a home is occupied, sellers are often busy packing, having repairs done, accommodating appraisers and inspectors along with other activities. Buyers who continually request visits over and over to see the home so they can show family, bring in their architect or whomever, can create unnecessary stress for the sellers. The best way to view the home is to attend with the inspector and arrange for a final walk through prior to closing.
6. Still negotiating after deal is made.
Not too long ago I was representing sellers of a home and even though a deal was struck, the buyers continued to come back asking for more discounts and concessions. In one case, they decided they didn’t like the carpeting throughout the home and wanted hard wood flooring and asked for the sellers to install it! They also decided they wanted to change the paint colour of the home and asked for several thousand dollars reduction in the price because the inspector found a very small amount of exposed wood. Needless to say, the sellers were livid and did not grant these requests. But when buyers believe they have overpaid, or start worrying they won’t have enough money to redecorate, they take it out on the sellers.