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Seller quiz

Tough buyer questions

If you're selling by-owner, you could weaken your position when you provide more information than you need to. See how this could happen:

What’s your response?

You’re talking to a prospective buyer who just toured your home when the buyer casually asks you any of the following questions. (NOTE: these are questions, not objections.)

Without looking at the comments following each question, what would be your immediate response? Our recommended responses are on the next page.

“How long have you been on the market?”

The answer could make you more susceptible to a lower offer.

"Why are you moving?”

Why you’re moving shouldn't make a difference, but your answer can reveal motives that could imply or even confirm desperation. This question also shows the suspicious nature of buyers, feeling there could be something wrong with the house or neighborhood and wonder if you’re bailing out.

“When are you looking to move?”

The answer could reveal your motive, which you may want to keep confidential. Your desire to move quickly indicates probable desperation: a job transfer, you own another house, recent divorce, financial problems, etc. 

“How much did you pay for this house?”

This is a question that is most likely asked to a long time resident. The buyer is hoping that the home seller will realize that he has a lot of room to negotiate since there’s a lot of equity built into the situation.

“Have you had any offers?”

This is a great question–so subtle, so innocent. But is it any of their business?

"Didn't you recently reduce your price?"

This is like getting the “Do you still beat your wife?” question. A yes or no response can put you in a defensive position.

“Why hasn’t your home sold yet?”   

This is a question that can be intimidating–but it shouldn’t be.

“What's the lowest price you'd take?”

This is a tough, gutsy question that could be asked ever so casually–which could cause you to easily throw out too low of a number.

“How did you arrive at the asking price?”

If you’ve done your homework and based your price on comparable sales, this question won’t throw you.

"Is the price negotiable?" 

Talk about direct and to the point !   

These types of questions, innocent or intentional, happen all the time. What's the first response that jumped into your mind? Let’s take a look at the recommended responses.

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