Savvy REALTORS know how to answer loose questions from Potential Buyers and their agents.
We all know that saying: “Loose lips sink ships”, Right?
So . . . The best negotiating tactic on the planet is to ask all the right loose questions, because some agents will tell all because they LOVE to talk and they REALLY want to sell that house.
My favorite question goes something like this:
“Hi Susie! I’m showing your listing at 123 Main Street right now, and my client seems to have some interest . . . can you tell me your Sellers’ scenario?”
More often than not, this pops the cork on a VERY rich monologue that spews forth from the listing agent’s mouth with such vim and vigor I’m sometimes baffled as to why Susie doesn’t pass out due to lack of oxygen to the brain (because she never seems to pause long enough to grab an occasional bite of air).
Oh I learn lots of things – Like whether or not any offers are in-hand or if there have been offers that didn’t work out . . . or were there deals that failed? Then there’s the information that might surface . . . The Sellers are in a horrible Divorce – Death in the family – Financial destitution – Raucous Neighbors – the highway on-ramp scheduled to be built in the back yard in 3 years – You name it, I’ve heard ALL of it and more. Some of the information is clearly confidential, yet that insignificant truth seldom slows the flow of information.
This is when Miranda Rights should apply:
“The person (agent) in custody (being questioned) must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her.”
Most House showings last about 11.42 minutes . . . What do we learn when the Buyer spends 45 minutes or longer in the house and then (when kicked out of the house by the next showing) stands on the curb with her REALTOR and talks for another 30 minutes?
How do we (The Seller and the Listing agent) KNOW how long the buyers stay? Well, the seller might have a security system with a phone APP that tells exactly when any door opens and/or closes . . . might also have video capture inside or outside the house . . . The seller might be that guy sitting on the porch across the street during the showing . . . or the neighbor across the street is a good friend and works from home and is watching.
While we showing REALTORS don’t allow our clients to root through the drawers of the desk in the house, there’s often some AMAZING information in plain view on the Kitchen counter or desk top . . . Invoices, Legal Summons. Purchase agreements for the house they are buying, job transfer letters, Divorce decrees. Bank Foreclosure notices . . . Just. WOW!
Prior to writing the offer, odds are decent that the Buyer AND the Buyer’s agent will do some internet research to find out whatever they can out about the Seller and the Seller’s REALTOR. It’s always interesting to find some real “News Worthy” content (good or bad) and to get a sense of the experience level of the REALTOR.
Information is extremely valuable in any negotiation. The more you know about the other party to the negotiation, the better you can craft your side of the conversation.
We don’t necessarily use the information we discover against the Seller as much as we may tailor the terms of our offer to the needs of the Seller (as we have discovered) and/or win their hearts with a suitable helping of empathy.
This is the stuff that happens . . . we’re in a world in which all the research we want/need is just a few taps on the glass away from us.
So . . . If you’re Buying and/or Selling, Please be informed that you have the right to remain silent, and that anything you say or publish on the internet will be used against you in any negotiation; you have the right to consult with a REALTOR and to have that REALTOR negotiate on your behalf.
and don’t forget . . . you do NOT have to answer EVERY question asked.