Buyers shouldn’t try telling lies to estate agents. We’re experts. Yet every day, at every open for inspection, out come the same buyer’s porkies.
The lying game
Here in the real estate industry, we have a saying. Actually, we have a lot of sayings but if I tried quoting most of them on a respectable website like this my publishers would have some explaining to do to the media authorities.
Luckily, however, the saying I want to share with you this week is certainly printable, if not necessarily savoury to many of you who might currently be hunting for property.
“Buyers are liars”.
Yes folks, it’s a sad fact to have to reveal to you but, hard as it is to believe, people buying property are such shameless fibbers that you’d be hard put to find a real estate agent who’s never used this saying. (I don’t know about the other states, but in Queensland would-be real estate agents are taught this crucial maxim within the first 10 minutes of their obligatory registration course).
Of course, it isn’t hard to fathom why buyers tell so many porkies to agents: they want to appear experienced, savvy, unemotional, blasé and cool in an effort to intimidate the agent so utterly that he or she will sell the property at any price the buyer condescends to offer.
If that sounds like you (go on, admit it!) then here’s some sobering news. To an experienced real estate agent, as a buyer you’re as transparent as cellophane and as phoney as a $7 note.
So here are some of the more common questions agents ask buyers at Open Homes, the various answers buyers give, and the true meaning behind them:
Agent: Have you been looking for a new home for long?
Buyer Lie #1: No, only a fortnight, and we’ve got plenty of time so we’re not worried we haven’t seen the right place yet. (Translation: Yes, we’ve been traipsing around bloody Open Homes for more than six months but we have different tastes so we’ve got Buckley’s of ever finding somewhere we both like and now we’re thinking of divorce.)
Buyer Lie #2: Oh, you know, a couple of months, but we honestly haven’t seen anything up to the standard we want. (Yes, for more than a year and we’ve seen dozens of houses we absolutely adore but we’d need to win Powerball to afford any of them.)
Buyer Lie #3: No, we just started looking today. (Yes, we’ve been pestering agents for the past eight weekends in a row with no intention of buying anything. We’re redecorating and we’re just snooping around other people’s homes to steal ideas.)
Agent: Is this property within your price range?
Buyer Lie #1: Oh yes, but we’ll probably end up buying somewhere with another bedroom, a granny flat and maybe a pool so obviously we’re expecting to pay a lot more. (If we told our bank manager how much we’d need to borrow for this place he’d laugh us out of the branch.)
Buyer Lie #2: To be honest it’s a bit pricey for us. (We could afford to buy it three times over but it’s so hideous we wouldn’t even let our cat live here.)
Agent: What do you think of the location?
Buyer Lie #1: It’s perfect and we love it. But we think the house is just a little too small for the price. (It’s shocking and we hate it. The sellers must be crazy to expect this price.)
Buyer Lie #2: It’s shocking and we hate it. The sellers must be crazy to expect this price. (It’s perfect and we love it. So we’ll say anything negative to get the price down.)
Agent: Would you have to sell your present home to buy this one?
Buyer Lie #1: No, that’s not an issue for us. (It’s not an issue because we don’t actually own a home, let alone have approval to borrow money for this one.)
Buyer Lie #2: Actually it’s already on the market and we’ve had lots of interest. ( …from neighbours wanting a stickybeak at our sleeping arrangements, but we haven’t had a genuine buyer inspect in more than six months.)
Agent: Would you like to make an offer?
Buyer Lie #1: Yes, but we’ll need to discuss it, so we’ll give you a ring tonight. (Are you nuts? We’re outta here and you’ll never hear from us again.)
Buyer Lie #2: Probably not. We’ve seen a number of other properties we’re very interested in. (We’ll be on the blower to our mortgage broker the minute we leave here and you’ll get an offer at the asking price tonight while you’re trying to watch the footy on the telly.)
Simon Lloyd left his life as a business and finance reporter on AFR and BRW magazine to become a real estate agent in Cairns with PRDnationwide and share with us hot property gossip.
To read more Simon Lloyd blogs, click here.
Geoff writes: “Buyers are liars” – from a real estate agent!!! What colour is the kettle, Mr Pot?