Let’s Face It
When your house goes on the market, you’re not only opening the door to
prospective buyers, but also sometimes to unknown vendors and naive or
unqualified buyers. As with any business transaction, there is an expected
protocol to how sellers, buyers and their respective agents interact. Should you
find yourself in a sticky situation, alert your agent so he or she can address
and remedy the problem.
The Aggressive Agent
When your agent puts your house on the market, typically all promotional
materials state clearly that your agent is the primary contact for buyers and
buyers’ agents. However, sometimes a buyer’s agent will contact a seller
directly to try to either win over their business or cut the seller’s agent out
of the deal. This is not reputable behavior and you should report it to your
agent immediately if it happens to you.
The Unscrupulous Vendor
Have you ever started a business or moved into a new house and suddenly found
your mailbox full of junk mail? Unfortunately, this also can happen when you put
your house on the market. When you sell your home, it necessitates all kinds of
new purchasing decisions and less-than-ethical vendors are keenly aware of
Though MLS organizations enforce rules on how posted information is used,
some companies have found ways to cull information from various sources to
produce mass mailing lists. If you find yourself regularly emptying your mailbox
of junk, let your agent know. He or she can tap the appropriate sources to
prompt an investigation into the matter.
The Naive Buyer
Yard signs, Internet listings and other advertisements can generate a lot of
buzz for your home. Some prospective buyers particularly first-timers will be so
buzzed to see your home that they’ll simply drop by.
If this happens, no matter how nice these unexpected visitors are, it’s best
not to humor their enthusiasm by discussing your home or giving an impromptu
tour. Instead, politely let them know that your real estate agent is in charge
of scheduling tours and provide them with the agent’s contact information. If
you attempt to handle these surprise visits on your own, you might inadvertently
disclose information that could hurt you during negotiations down the road.