Buyers and sellers are not friends


Dear David,

I sold my house a few months ago and am moving out in three weeks. I just received some mail for the new buyers. Should I reach out to them through social media and let them know? – JUST TRYING TO HELP

DEAR JUST: Absolutely not.

As soon as a buyer makes a purchase, the “moving machine” goes into motion. Almost immediately, they’re packing, organizing, and switching over every aspect of their lives, from school registration to utility services. It’s common for some types of mail, like insurance paperwork, to be dispatched to a buyer’s new (your old) address when their account is updated, even if they haven’t moved yet.

As much as you would like to help, please resist the urge to reach out to your buyer personally through social media or otherwise. While they are probably very nice people, this is a business relationship and it needs to remain that way. You are not friends or buddies, and that level of familiarity can take you into dangerous territory, even if you go there with the best of intentions.

It’s not uncommon for friends to ask friends to do favours. Establish that type of dynamic, and you could get roped into things you are not prepared for. I’ve seen sellers invite buyers for a drink around the pool, and suddenly they’re agreeing to an unplanned project, or something else they later regret. People forget that while buyers and sellers want the same result, they are on opposite sides of an emotionally charged transaction. I tell all my clients that I get paid to say “no” for them so they’re not put in an uncomfortable situation.

You have a Realtor who is representing you. Part of their role is to keep the buyers at arm’s length, at least until the sale closes. It’s important to have happy buyers and happy sellers in case you need each other in the future. Your buyer might need advice about the septic system, and you could have a delivery go astray. When the smartwatch you had on backorder finally lands on your former doorstep, it would be great if it could make its way to your new home without incident.

In the days before closing, buyers will typically want to visit your home, or at least do a final walk-through. I suggest leaving them a note on the table, so they know to pick up their mail. Alternately, you could call your Realtor, who can connect with their agent and pass on the message.

PRO TIP: The best way to keep people happy is to keep them in their own lanes. Until the transaction closes, I insist that my clients use me as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. Once you’ve moved out and the sale is complete, you can make your own decisions about your social circle. Until then, this is a business transaction, and I’m guessing that someone with your generous nature has plenty of friends already. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.