As much as home buyers hope and pray they’ll land their dream home, they don’t always act like it. Want proof? Just ask their real estate agents, who are often witness to a variety of home buyers’ odd, off-putting behaviors that can jeopardize the deal they apparently hope will come to pass.
Recently we shared some of the cringe-inducing moments that agents have experienced with sellers—and boy, were some of them doozies. But buyers, guess what? You can be trouble, too.
Here we shine the spotlight on buyer behaviors gone horribly wrong. As tempting as they may seem to some of you, don’t try these at home. Anyone’s home.
1. You broke something in a seller’s home, Part 1
“Years of air guitar practice doesn’t mean you’re entitled to pick up a client’s Les Paul … and showcase your version of ‘Vaya Con Dios.’ Drop the guitar, and this will cost you much more than just a house contract.” – Ashley Smith, Realty Associates, Irving, TX
2. You broke something in a seller’s home, Part 2
“I had a client try to test the shower pressure during a showing—and ended up breaking off the faucet handle, with the water on and no way to turn it off! My buyer ended up flooding the bathroom. Just wait for the inspector to test this type of thing.” – Charlie Panoff, Triplemint Real Estate, New York, NY
3. You were late … for the umpteenth time
“Clients who are chronically late for appointments make me look bad, since the seller often goes to great lengths to be available at the agreed-upon time. Canceling is even worse, since they have likely cleaned up the house and gotten it show-ready.” – Renay Brown, Real Estate One, Royal Oak, MI
4. You ripped up the carpets to see what was underneath
“Many buyers are convinced that there are gorgeous hardwood floors lurking under the carpet, and instead of just asking the seller, they decide to rip up a corner of the carpet to see what’s underneath. Hey, you’re not on HGTV; you actually just destroyed some property, which is a liability to both you and your agent.” – Ashley Smith, Realty Associates, Irving, TX
5. You brought your dog, and it went bananas
“One couple brought their dog to a showing. Unfortunately the sellers also had a dog, and even though it wasn’t there at the time, the scent made the buyers’ dog crazy. He started running off and marking his territory all over the house. Even in less extreme cases, pets can also unwittingly damage a home, or the seller may be allergic to them.” – Shawn Breyer, Breyer Home Buyers, Atlanta, GA
6. You lowballed, badly
“I often have home buyers compare a current property to one in a similar area that was bought at a lower price point—several years ago. Buyers need to remember that home prices depend on many factors such as location, features, the rarity of the property, and most importantly, the current market.” – Brett Ari Fischer, Lee & Associates Residential, New York, NY
7. You cheaped out on the earnest money deposit
“The point of earnest money is to demonstrate that you are a serious buyer. When you stand firm on a very low amount, like 1% or so, it makes the seller wonder if you are going to try to back out since you don’t have much to lose.” – Earl White, House Heroes, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
8. You pulled a 180 during negotiations
“I have had buyers assure me they are not concerned by what the inspection uncovered because they are handy, and that they are prepared to fix it themselves. Then when it comes time to make the offer, they insist that the seller fix it all—at their cost of course.” – Renay Brown, Real Estate One, Royal Oak, MI
9. You asked way too many questions
“Of course, home buyers should ask questions, but some clients start querying me on everything from the watts of energy each lightbulb expends to the insulation factor within the thickness of the drywall. Multiply those questions by the entire property, and it’s way too much to handle.” – John Powell, Help-U-Sell, Tucson, AZ
10. You procrastinated on making a decision
“Often, we’ll come across a beautiful home right when we start our search, or an ideal property comes on the market, but the customer wants to wait on the chance that something better may come along. That’s a surefire way to lose your dream home. Instead, home buyers need to ask themselves, ‘Will I be upset if somebody else nabs this property because I wasn’t fast enough?’ If the answer is no, then it may not be their dream home. However, more times than not, buyers change their mind and decide they want that home after all as soon as it is no longer available.” – Brett Ari Fischer, Lee & Associates Residential, New York, NY
11. And finally, you used the potty
“Home buyers need to realize the bathroom is not for them. Take care of your business at home or in a public facility. Using a seller’s restroom should be a last resort for emergencies only.” – Ashley Smith, Realty Associates, Irving, TX
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