Buyers Love to Snoop

Are your secrets safe? Before a home goes on the market and home buyers start to traipse through, savvy sellers will relocate confidential information. Even so, you might be astonished to learn what home buyers can figure out about you.

Private Documents

  • Is it snooping to open a drawer?
    Not if the drawer is part of a built-in such as a kitchen cabinet or a dining room china cabinet. Buyers can innocently tug on a drawer to inspect its construction or depth and find important documents that you might not intend for anyone to see.

    I once opened a drawer and discovered the seller's net sheet sitting on top of her comparative market analysis, in plain view. It clearly indicated a lower price was expected, so you can guess what my buyer offered.

  • Don't leave mail where anybody can find it.
    Lots of sellers leave piles of opened mail neatly stacked on the kitchen counter. Buyers could find out how much you owe department stores or other credit cards. They can tell if you're late on your mortgage payments or if the I.R.S. is after you. Heaven forbid should you file bankruptcy or be sued and leave those documents on the table, but sellers do it. They must believe that buyers will not read someone else's personal mail, even when that mail is taped to the refrigerator door, begging to be read.

    I've also shown vacant homes where the mail was tossed all over the floor in the entryway. Neither the seller nor his listing agent bothered to stop by and pick up the mail. It wasn't hard to figure out that much of the mail contained collection notices. If a buyer was armed with that information, guess what price the buyer would be thinking about. It wouldn't be list price.

  • Remove Diplomas and Wedding Photos from Walls
    Notwithstanding that all personal items should be removed, sometimes sellers overlook the obvious and leave diplomas on the wall. People form biases and can carry a bias too far. For example, the seller might be a lawyer, and there are buyers who might not feel comfortable buying a home from a lawyer. For whatever reason. Diplomas also give away a seller's age or a close estimate. If a buyer sees a recent medical diploma, for example, the buyer might assume the seller is saddled with student loans and needs to sell to pay them off.

Wedding photos might give away the seller's religion, as do certain religious artifacts left in the home. Buyers can be prejudiced. Don't give buyers a way to form any opinion about you at all. Don't let buyers form ideas about you from the type of music you like or the literature you read.

  • Contents of Closets
    Often sellers who are separating or getting divorced feel a lot of pressure to sell quickly, especially if the partner who remains in the home cannot afford to continue to maintain it. But that is not information most sellers want to share with buyers. Yet they do. They may as well toss their wallet out the car window doing 80 on the freeway.

They do this by hanging either all men's or all women's clothing in the closet. Was it a heterosexual or bisexual involvement? Who cares? It's nobody's business, really, if a seller is dissolving a relationship. But once a buyer finds out a seller desperately needs to sell, the buyer won't make an offer anywhere near list price. So don't leave any telltale clues around that could give away your motivation to sell.

Before you put your home in the market, please, prep it; empty out drawers, stage closets and pack up anything remotely personal. If your house speaks to a buyer about you, it's probably saying the wrong thing. 

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.

Laurie Williams
Remax Properties of the Summit
220 S Main St.
PO Box 4600
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Phone: 970-485-3994
Email: laurie@SummitCountySkiProperty.com
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Testimonials Page

Thank you very much for working with us while buying this property. It was a huge help having someone we trusted to look at things for us when we weren’t there and you went above and beyond in helping us. It could have really been a challenge buying something so far away but you made it easy. You were prompt and professional in making sure everything was handled as needed and we appreciate it very much. We hope to see you sometime when we are there enjoying our new place. Steve Driver
We recently contracted with Laurie Williams to market our condo in Frisco, Colorado. My wife and I have been totally pleased and satisfied with both our friendly relationship and her professional talent. Our condo sold in record time for a full price offer. All the complexity of marketing and selling were handled expertly and relieved us of the usual headaches. We strongly endorse Laurie Williams, Re/Max Properties of the Summit, as the best realtor in Summit County. Larry of NC
Just wanted to pass on how pleased we are when looking back at how things worked out for us with the Ensign property. I don’t think we could have found a better place for us and we fully recognize how lucky we were to be working with you, and at the perfect time. Thank you John and Karen Woods
Patient, Persistent and Professional....That would be the top three words I would use for our experience working with Laurie Williams at Remax (Breckenridge). Lots happened between our first house hunting tour and now. All the while Laurie stayed in touch, kept us apprised of opportunities, and even showed us some more houses during holiday visits. She kept looking for a deal that would meet our growing family needs. We purchased a home that we expect to make lifelong memories in. Laurie was a great advocate for us as we finalized the transaction long distance, and finally closed just a week ago.....on our 31st wedding anniversary. Through the patience to stay with us, the persistence to keep us informed and the professionalism to negotiate, finalize and close the deal, we are now proud owners in Breckenridge. Thanks to the team for the support. Looking forward to the future. Rich and Jani Crawford
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Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.