Today is Amazon Prime Day and while I have spent most of the afternoon fighting the website to order a few items, one of the things I realized pretty quickly was that smart home technology is growing at a rapid rate. This was made evident to me by the enormous amount of smart home tech deals that were being featured in the sale this year. Everything from Amazon Alexa devices to smart outlets, thermostats, lights, doorbells, keys, and so much more. That being said, are sellers listening to you during the showing?
As I began to think about this more, it made me realize how important it is to educate my buyers better before going out to show properties to them. With the increase in these devices, it also means there’s an increased chance that sellers are going to be listening in to our conversations as we walk through the home. Devices like the Ring Doorbell, Nest Cameras, and so many other smart cameras make it super easy for you to now keep an eye and ear on your home from your smartphone while you are away from it.
These devices will alert you when motion or sounds are detected at your home and allow you the opportunity to immediately grab your phone to watch & listen in. Heck, if you wanted to, you could even talk to the people who enter your home and have a conversation with them while they are still there. (I wouldn’t recommend it if you are selling though, bad bad idea.)
In the past while we would walk through the home I would try & ask my buyer clients qualifying questions to see if this might be the right home for them to purchase and wouldn’t think twice to make comments like “this home fits perfectly in your range if you wanted to do a cash purchase” or something like “your lender said we are pre-approved for $250,000 so if we needed to go to full list price, we have the ability to do so and still be within your budget.”
Nowadays though, these types of conversations are not being held in the home with my buyers because when we do that, we could be giving away valuable negotiation power to the sellers. The client level information that we used to be able to talk about freely while viewing homes can now be easily picked up on by sellers and backfire against us in the negotiation process.
What To Do?
So, what should you do these days when viewing homes? First off, I’d keep all my comments positive about the home while inside. If the wallpaper is hideous and you don’t like the color of the bathroom, keep that information to yourself. If you talk negatively about the home you want to place an offer on, you might offend the seller to where they don’t want to sell the home to you, or they become unwilling to negotiate rationally.
Next, if there are things you like about the home, don’t show your hand on this either. If the seller sees you on video jumping up and down and hugging your spouse because you just saw the master bathroom and it has the walk in shower of your dreams, they will know that you are obsessed with the home and less likely to walk away over a little more money and it could cost you more in the long run.
Instead, try to keep your emotions in check, both the good and bad when walking through a home. Obviously, if you have questions about something in the property, make sure to always ask those to your REALTOR® while walking through the home. If you wait until later to try & do so, you might forget them. Next, try & keep any remarks towards anything related to your financial position till after you leave the home. Once you are back in the car with the agent, you can then have that open and free conversation again.
So next time you are out looking at property, keep this in mind to help your agent negotiate for you in a better manner!