Reader question: Is it OK to reach out to the prospective buyer and see if they have any questions about my house? They came and looked and appeared interested. My real estate agent will not communicate with us, so we do not know the status.
Monty’s answer: It is all right if you reach out should you so choose. There are pros and cons to taking that step that you need to be aware of before going ahead. When most people buy and sell homes, it is an event that rarely occurs in their lifetime. Some look forward to the new adventure; others dread it. It is not easy to gauge their comfort zone. I have heard the experience described as people not being in their right minds when they buy or sell real estate.
The pros and cons of direct buyer contact
The pros are you may learn how they feel about your home. You may also gain a feeling about their personalities and their family. You are reaching out because you want to know if they are interested.
The cons are that they may take your action as a sign you are anxious to sell. This feeling may lead them to make a lower offer. You may say something in a conversation with them that later comes back to haunt you. For example, they could construe any seemingly innocuous statement as a promise, a warranty, or a statement of fact when it is your opinion. Those words may come back with an offer, at the closing, or even months after the transaction closes.
A bigger problem
It is unclear why your agent is not responding to you, but it is not normal. You should not feel the need to call the prospect because that is your agent’s job. It is unclear if the candidate came with your agent or a different agent, or how much time has passed, but the protocol is the agent that showed your home reports to your listing agent who in turn reports to you. Your agent should recognize your right to be kept informed and make the time to place a call, text, or an email, even if the message is that they have not yet heard back from the agent. A call to your agent’s broker may be considered a more productive option.
Richard Montgomery is the author of “House Money - An Insider’s Secrets to Saving Thousands When You Buy or Sell a Home.” He advocates industry reform and offers readers unbiased real estate advice. Follow him on Twitter at @dearmonty.