What is the right amount of feedback to provide when viewing a home?

Once you start looking for a home to buy, you'll encounter a whole new set of etiquette rules you probably never thought of — guidelines you never even knew existed.

These rules are unwritten, but most buyers would be smart to take time and consider how they should act at an open house, how to negotiate without being too aggressive, and so forth.

One issue that regularly comes up in the home-buying manners department is how much feedback is appropriate to give an agent after you've viewed the house they're selling.

As midwesterners, we are naturally inclined to be polite and say things look nice, whether they do or not. Maybe if the house is really horrible we'll call it "different," but believe it or not, agents do appreciate a little feedback. A buyer's insights can help a realtor sharpen their tactics and sell more quickly.

With that in mind, how much feedback should you give?

Some guidelines 

The first thing to keep in mind is the realtor probably knows about some of the shortcomings of the property or points that need to be improved before the home is sold. They didn't get into this business by turning a blind eye or by being unable to properly evaluate a home.

It's also safe to assume they probably mentioned the outdated windows and faded shag carpet to the current owners. In the end, it's unlikely that you know something negative about the property that they don't.

That being said, you don't need to be silent and you can certainly express your concerns. The best way to do this is to be casual about it and remain inquisitive, interested and friendly.

Sometimes, the more particular concern you have the better. For all the experience the realtor has built up through years, they still miss things from time to time, and oftentimes the small things they miss can make a big difference. In these situations, your particular observation — say the yellow door in the kitchen — might lead them toward a solution that sells the property.

Be aware

There are times when feedback isn't appropriate. For example, if you're searching for all the amenities of a house in a higher price range, say $500,000, but you are instead at a showing for a house on the market for only $150,000, you may find an unreasonable number of shortcomings simply because you're in the market for a completely different kind of house!

Finally, if you tend to offer a lot of feedback and you have been going from house to house for the past two years, you might need to reevaluate your expectations.

For more advice on buying a home, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the business and can guide you through the entire process.

Blog Archives

Tags