Sharing Personal Information When Selling Your Home
Sellers Divorcing! Must sell!!
That was what I read recently in an agent’s remarks in our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Now, I’m all for agents communicating with each other that a seller is motivated (although you would think that the mere act of putting their home on the market would mean they want to sell), but this one made me scratch my head and say “really?” Sharing your personal information when selling your home doesn’t fall on the list of things that agents should ever, ever, ever do.
When an agent lists a home they (should) have a few goals in mind:
- Net the best price for the sellers
- Sell it in the shortest amount of time
- Make the process easy for the seller
How does informing every agent in the market that there is a pending divorce accomplish any of this?
It doesn’t. In my opinion, it serves as a big, blinking, neon sign that buyer’s agents should come in with low offers because the sellers are desperate enough to take just about anything. Now, that may not truly be the case, but it is the impression that the listing agent is giving. My first thoughts turned to squabbling spouses who just want to be rid of any reminders of a failed marriage at any cost, including a house that is no longer a home.
That’s pretty good information to have if you are representing a buyer…but not such good information to share if you have been hired to get the sellers the best price, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of stress.
Agents want their clients to be honest with them about their motivation for selling. It makes it easy for us to determine how aggressively to approach pricing their home, since some sellers truly just want to be rid of a property. If that is the case, it should be reflected in the PRICE – not in the marital status of the sellers. Not to mention, there are some rules involving client confidentiality that part of our Code of Ethics.
I wonder if this couple, who is already dealing with a major life changing event, knows that their pending divorce has just been announced to thousands of local agents who are bargain shopping for their clients?
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