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Why you should Never Exchange Numbers with your Buyer

Monday, 23rd April 2012

Categories: Sales Selling Tips

Author: Peter Barry

When it comes to house viewings, buyers and sellers tend to be on their best behaviour. The homeowner is trying to sell themselves, as well as their house: they want to come across as amicable, charming, easy going and open; whilst the buyer wants to prove their genuine interest in the house and come across as a reliable prospect who’s not going to be difficult and is likely to press ahead quickly with the purchase.

Be on guard

However, as with many occasions in life, looks can be deceiving and people aren’t always quite as nice and easygoing as they first appear. You obviously want to sell your house as quickly as possible and for the best possible price but that shouldn’t mean taking the first deal that’s laid on the table, just because your buyer seems like a ‘nice sort’. People will exaggerate their circumstances and tell you what they want you to hear if they have set their heart on your house, but that doesn’t mean it will all be plain sailing once you’ve accepted their offer. It’s never a good idea to get too friendly with your buyer. Human nature means we want to get along with people but you need to bear in mind the fact that you’re entering into a major business deal with people – you’re not assessing them as potential best friends.

Keep your distance

If your buyer asks for your phone number, it could well be for entirely innocent reasons. In fact, it could be argued that it’s easier to cut out the solicitor and deal directly with the buyer when it comes to simple questions and queries about the property or the local area. However, once a buyer has your phone number in their hands, they have direct access to your downtime. Do you really want to be interrupted on a Saturday afternoon to be asked about council tax bands or water rates? Most property transactions have their sticky moments, times when things are moving more slowly than one party would like, or when issues are raised in the survey, for example. This is the time when your estate agent irons out any issues, keeps both sides reassured and acts as the go-between. With a phone number at their disposal, your buyer can air their anxieties or grievances directly at you, rather than going through the official channels.

Clean slate

Once the sale is completed, it’s time to move on. If you’ve filled out the information forms well and left any additional instructions etc for your buyer, they should be able to move into the house and enjoy it. However, if they have your phone number, you could get unexpected calls for months to come, as they work out fixtures and fittings, get to grips with appliances or try to match paint colours. If you don’t want to stay in contact, don’t give out your phone number.

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