Home Buyers are Encouraged Not to Talk to Sellers Directly for Good Reason
Why don’t buyers and sellers talk to each other during the home sale process? It seems so silly to pass a home from one family to another and never get the chance to sit down together, but it really is for a good reason.
Your Agent is Representing You
When you choose an agent, as either a buyer or a seller, you are choosing someone to be your representative for the duration of the process. Your agent is working for you. If you have a question, your agent can ask the other agent, who will then ask the other party. It seems cumbersome, but the agents are the intermediaries who are monitoring the flow of information. They know when to put things in writing and what can and can’t be asked or talked about.
The Downside of Buyers and Sellers Speaking Directly
It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but things can go horribly wrong if buyers and sellers talk to each other. There is a lot at stake for both parties. When buyers and sellers are speaking, they are most likely not documenting their conversation. A real estate agent knows to leave a trail of communication so there are absolutely no misunderstandings or “he said she said” arguments later. Email is time stamped and dated and can be tracked after the conversation. Promises need to be documented and detailed. If you are allowing the seller to store things at the home after the closing, who is insuring them? Does the seller have access? If the seller offers to paint a room before moving, when will it be done? By whom? Vague agreements can lead to trouble.
In addition, buyers and sellers, without knowing what they are doing, can fall into legal trouble. Sellers may point out a property line, but without a survey, that information may or may not be correct and can cause a lawsuit later on. Sellers may ask buyers what feel like innocent questions, but asking about someone’s marital status, children, religion, or more can set a seller up for a fair housing suit if the purchase doesn’t go through.
Verbal Agreements are Not Contracts
If the buyer and seller agree to something without adding an addendum to the contract, it is not binding in any way. Verbal agreements are technically legal, but they aren’t enforceable. If you agree to something in conversation and one party doesn’t follow through, there is no legal recourse. If something goes wrong, you are out of luck. Any verbal agreements need to be incorporated into the contract.
Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent
It’s always best to keep your agent present as your representative through all your interactions with the other party in the home sale. If things begin to get off track, the agents can rein in the conversation and document everything that was discussed, especially if there will be something added to the contract. A real estate agent is working for you, guiding you through the process, and looking out for your best interests. Using an agent doesn’t just mean getting the best deal and a guide through the complicated process, it means that you have someone on your side.
When it comes to a major financial transaction like a home purchase, it’s better to protect yourself by using your agent rather than trying to work out any private agreements. While most home buyers and sellers just want to put a face to a property, when it comes to conversations, they are best left to those who understand every in and out of the process. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the area, contact Amberwood Real Estate to learn more about how our team of experts can help.