Home seller made more, thanks to Facebook
Luckily for the sellers, the buyers announced on their wall how much they loved the place -- before they closed the deal.
Want to better the odds that you won't get the best possible deal on the house you're trying to buy?
Before you’ve closed, tell your friends -- and the world -- via your Facebook account how much you love the house and that you’ll spend anything to get it. Chances are the seller might be reading.
Steve's cousin Stan and Stan's wife, Elaine, put their house up for sale after they moved into their smaller empty-nester place. Several months later, they got an offer with an earnest check attached. Within five minutes, Elaine used the information on the check to find the prospective buyers' Facebook page. Steve wrote:
What did she find? Posts on their Facebook wall about how they had found their dream home. How they would pay anything to get it. Links to pictures -- gushing comments from their friends and family. In short, drool splattered (electronically) all over Facebook. The buyers were even inviting all of their friends over for a big party the weekend after closing. Elaine found all of this -- before the final price had even been agreed on!
Now, didn’t that just put Stan and Elaine in the catbird seat? Knowing how much the buyers wanted the house, they could be tougher negotiators -- rejecting changes to the contract and requested repairs that would have cost them money.
There’s a lesson to be learned from this, Steve said: “Keep your mouth shut online while the deal is ongoing.” Better yet, show restraint in all your social media meanderings.
- Video: Pending home sales plunge
Steve said he’s learned you should always assume that “every single person on the planet may be reading your posts/tweets/wall messages, no matter how unlikely you might think that could be, and even the most harmless comments can have effects you couldn’t predict.”
Do you have a similar story to tell? Go ahead and share with our readers.
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Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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