Real estate no place for
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
In the movie "Shakespeare In Love,"
William is so in love with Viola he has a problem keeping
it a secret. If youre in love with a home youve
been shown, its to your advantage to keep it confidential
especially from the seller and their agent.
Some of the things that come out of buyers mouths can
make the most savvy real estate agent run looking for a muzzle,
for example: I love it, we love this house, its
the perfect house for us, we want it, its our dream
home, I just found my next home, we want it, its perfect,
Ive always loved the sound of the surf and I cant
take my eyes off the water.
Dont get caught in the "love" trap, a little
self control and a few tips can help even the most enthusiastic
buyers from saying or revealing too much.
Dont stay too long, find a way to pull yourself away
from watching the dolphins and the sailboats on the Gulf.
The longer you stay the more feelings you disclose, stay about
a half hour tops, you can always go back for another look.
Try and arrange the showing when the homeowner and listing
agent is not there. If thats not possible, ask your
agent to convey to the homeowner and listing agent that you
prefer your agent to show the house, this way they cant
read your feelings.
Be approachable but not engaging with homeowners and listing
agents. Both will attempt to size you up as to your qualifications
and interest put on your "poker" face.
Picture taking is acceptable with the permission of the owner,
but try and limit it to the major rooms rather than the inside
of closets, cabinets and garages.
Homeowners and listing agents may try to solicit instant feedback
before you leave the house. Thank them for showing the home,
say you need time to think about this home and others you
may have seen that day, and say no more.
Asking factual questions are OK, if you keep it along the
lines of property taxes, special and monthly assessments,
school information and how long the current owners have lived
there. Dont ask about the obviously expensive tile in
the kitchen or the spa pool with the waterfall that you can
picture yourself in, or if the sunsets from the deck are always
Even if youre in your agents car screaming that
you must have this house, slow down and sleep on it. Unless
the market is wildly overheated and you cant wait to
make a decision, go back for a second look.
Do some computer research or ask your agent to compile comparable
sales in the area for the past several months. Since our local
market has been changing so rapidly, going back too far may
not give you a true picture of the activity.
Dont let being in love blind you into forgetting your
legal obligations to yourself. Waiving contingencies like
attorney review, home inspection and mortgage contingencies
are decisions that can cost you a lot of money and stress.
The sure sign that youre in love will be when your agent
presents a contract of sale to the owners and their agent,
no need for them to know sooner. Just like Shakespeares
royals who swear off love in "Loves Labours Lost"
- so must you. e within 10 percent of the actual value. Certainly
Zillow.com is not meant to be the final decision on determining
a value for your home, rather a second opinion to throw into
the pot of opinions from local real estate professionals.
Since an informed real estate consumer (better than 75 percent
consult the internet) is the best thing for the market, Zillow.com
will provide a great service, especially in southwest Floridas
dramatically changing market. The brave new world of real
estate is here. Hang on tight; who knows whats next.