Should home buyers and home sellers ever meet?

Most real estate agents advise sellers to disappear when their home is being shown to a potential buyer. And buyers are usually cautioned by their real estate agent not to talk with sellers if they should run into them during a showing. Why is it that agents are so reluctant to let buyers and sellers get together?
Unlike most business deals, the sale of a home can get very personal and real estate agents are nervous about the parties dealing with each other. That's because most agents have seen what can go wrong when buyers and sellers meet directly. A careless remark made by one party might be misinterpreted by the other, leading to tension, and sometimes to the collapse of the negotiations. Sellers often have exaggerated pride in their home and any criticism of the property from the buyers may be taken as a personal insult. The buyers maybe scared off by an innocent comment made by the sellers about the neighbors.
Because moving is such a stressful event, it's almost impossible to keep emotions out of a real estate transaction. One of the main reasons sellers list their homes with a real estate agent is because they don't want to deal directly with the buyers. They want their real estate agent to act as the intermediary. Few "for sale by owners" are successful in selling their own home because they are so closely involved. If you do want to buy directly from the owner, it would be wise to hire a real estate agent, or a real estate attorney, to help with the negotiations and manage the transaction.
Despite the best intentions, occasionally a real estate agent gets in the way of a successful transaction. This usually happens because the agent is a poor communicator. Or, perhaps the agent is overly protective, takes a personal position or tries to act as the decision maker. To avoid this problem, pick your real estate agent carefully. Use Neal Hribar's 17 important questions to select a professional who is a skilled negotiator and will support you but not get personally involved in the outcome.
If you have carefully selected your agent but negotiations stall, the problem could be the other agent. This could be the right time for buyers and sellers to get together to iron out their differences and finalize the loose ends in the transaction.
If direct negotiations are going to be successful, both parties have to be comfortable about meeting. It also helps if both sides are cordial, reasonable people and if they like each other. Buyers and seller are people, just like the rest of us, and they will usually go out of their way to help resolve any stumbling blocks for people they like. Pick a neutral place for the meeting such as your real estate agent's office. A neutral location will help the sellers to distance themselves emotionally from their home, which can help the negotiation process.
Remember that verbal agreements on real estate are not binding. So, after all the details have been worked out, put them in writing and have both parties sign the agreement. That way there won't be any misunderstandings and nobody can change their mind.

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 Neal Hribar
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | California Properties

760-822-8690    E-mail: 

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