4 Things Home Buyers Do That Annoy Sellers

By this point, most of us have been unwitting sucked into House Hunters marathon and screamed at the nitpicky buyers about their inability to look past the paint color, but that is a minor annoyance compared to some of the other ways in which home buyers get under the skin of sellers.

The folks at BankRate recently posted a full round-up of these aggravating behaviors, including the previously mentioned picking on the paint, as well as other obvious ones like blowing off appointments or treating a house like it’s your own before you’ve purchased it. But the following four are annoyances that you may not have considered.

1. Presenting a laundry list of defects

This is different than demanding that the seller repaint a room or pull up some ugly carpet. This is when buyers give sellers a detailed accounting of all a home’s defects and why each is being subtracted from the asking price.

“Sellers don’t care why you’re discounting the house,” explains one realtor, who says that presenting a list of defects really just brings up the question of “Why do you want this place?”

Of course, the devil’s advocate inside us would counter that the list of defects presents the seller with a better negotiating position than a vaguely discounted offer. The seller can say “Well, this item is really only worth $X, so you should revise your offer upward.”

2. Requesting multiple ‘visits’ before closing

“A buyer wants a lot of access after they’ve committed to purchase,” explains one broker about this apparent no-no. “They want to bring in decorators, architects, family or even visit it themselves.”

He says that all these visits interrupt the seller’s attempts to make repairs while also packing up and moving out.

We can definitely see how this would be a pain in the butt and agree with the broker’s suggestion to do your repeat visit while the inspector is on-site, since this is time that is already carved out for the house to be invaded.

3. Trying to renegotiate after striking a deal

You’ve agreed on a price, and signed a contract, but now the buyer wants to change her offer. And not because the inspection turned up a meth lab in an underground bunker in the backyard, but because “the market has changed.”

One realtor tells BankRate this happens when buyers suddenly think “they overpaid because they just got caught up in the moment,” or suffer buyer’s remorse.

“It’s extremely awkward,” says the realtor. “It’s violating the terms of the contract, and it’s insulting.”

On a personal note, this happened to me once, but coming from the opposite direction. I had agreed to purchase a tiny apartment in Brooklyn for a king’s ransom, only to have the seller try to raise the price because he was still secretly taking offers through a second realtor. I backed out, and so apparently did the other buyer, as that apartment was still on sale — for a lower price — six months later. And I now live in Philadelphia, where I got several times the space for a fraction of the cost.

4. Rushing the closing date

Unless you’re buying an already-vacated property, the seller will likely need some time to get everything together and clear out. That’s why closing dates are often 30-60 days out from the accepted offer. But some buyers are in a hurry to get into their new digs and push for a speedier closing.

“It’s annoying to the seller for the buyer to want to close before the seller is ready to move out,” explains one realtor. “Each side has to coordinate a schedule and still be respectful to the other side.”

Not to share too many details of my personal life, but this also happened to me when I eventually landed here in Philly. But once again, it was pressure from the seller to up the closing date by two weeks because it interfered with his planned vacation to Aruba. This meant I had to work very closely with the mortgage underwriter to make sure that every required document was perfect and there would be no last-minute snafus that could suddenly delay closing. It also gave me the bargaining chip to get the seller to pay an even larger chunk of the closing costs than he’d agreed to. He got his vacation and I saved some money. Everybody wins.

Anyway, you can check out the whole list of annoyances at BankRate.com.