Are Buyers Really Liars?
You may have heard that Buyers are liars. A friend, Richard Courtney, even wrote a book about it called, Buyers Are Liars, & Sellers Are Too (link to the book on Amazon). I have heard it, I have believed it, but now I wonder if it’s really true. Are Buyers really liars?
We meet with Buyers before going out to look at houses. We talk for about an hour. We ask a ton of questions. We get to know them if we don’t already. They tell us what they are looking for. They give us a list of “must haves” and “nice to haves”. Here is an example:
|Must Haves||Nice to Have|
|4 bedrooms||Nice outdoor space|
|3 bathrooms||Man cave|
|kitchen open to living room||She-Shed|
|No HOA – need to park RV in driveway|
|fenced yard for dog|
|20 minutes from downtown|
|$450,000 maximum budget|
So, I put a list together of houses that fit the criteria. They send a few of their own that they found (outside their budget). We pick a day to go see them all and I set the appointments. They fall in love with one. We write an offer. It gets accepted. Closing day comes and they have the keys to their new home. It is beautiful. It is more than they ever thought they could have. It is a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath ranch with a carport. It is in an older, established neighborhood about 30 minutes outside of town. It sits on one acre of land. The fenced backyard is an oasis with a perennial garden and a built-in pool. New roof and HVAC are going to save them a lot of money, which is good because this house set them back $515,000.
Another scenario is, a Buyer tells me their criteria but I ask questions to find out motivations and what their dream house would look like. We see some houses but nothing jumps out as special. Then I find a house that’s not on the market yet. It’s perfect. The only problem is that the owner wants $125,000 more than my clients budget will allow. I make the phone call. I tell them that I would never even consider calling because of the price except that from what I know about them, this is their dream home. 5 years later, they are still living in that home, have decorated and added places for animals and a garden to their private estate.
Neither one of these Buyers would have been in the home they’re in if we stuck to what they had told me in the beginning. The fact is, they didn’t lie, they just didn’t know what was out there. They didn’t feel like they could stretch their budget for just any old house, but for the perfect one – they found a way. Go in with your list but be open to other opportunities if they present themselves. If you are too rigid, you may pass up a great fixer upper investment that only needs $15,000 worth of work to make $60,000. Or you could miss the house that has a little less yard but is completely redone inside and allows you to travel and enjoy free time. So, my assessment is, Buyers are NOT liars…well, most are not…
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.