Going to Google
We go to Google for most everything these days. Need to get your dishwasher fixed? Go to Google. Getting a new job and want to ace the interview? Go to Google. Buying a new home? Go to Google. Going on out to the movies? Moving to a new city? You go to Google.
I recently helped a young couple sell a home. When we received an offer there were a couple of unusual things in it, not scary unusual, just interesting unusual:
- Buyer’s Agent is related to the Purchaser.
- The Seller acknowledges and agrees to allow the purchaser to amend purchaser’s title once (1) prior to closing (if necessary).
So, independently and without discussing it we (me and the home sellers) both went to Google and sleuthed out the buyers.
It is not unusual for home buyers and sellers to google their prospective counterparts. There is a lot of information about a lot of people online. But what we do with that information, what we assume, presume, deduce, surmise and suppose from it can sometimes be way off base. And does any of it really matter?
Yes it does!
Why should home sellers google home buyers?
Many home sellers have a strong attachment to their homes. They’ve taken good good care of their home, raised their family there and they want to know that they are turning over their beloved to someone who is going to take good care of it. I know it’s a little irrational, but that’s the way some of us, many of us are wired.
Further to that, good home sellers are likely friends with some, most or all of their neighbours. Home sellers feel a responsibility to their old neighbours to select new homeowners that are going to fit in and get along. This makes sense. Many home sellers do not move that far away. The kids might stay at the same school…I often say that Kitchener Waterloo is the smallest big town I know. I cannot go to Costco, Home Depot or the Conestoga Mall without bumping into someone I know!
Home sellers google home buyers also because they are curious and interested and looking for motivation. Essentially, home sellers are trying to solve mysteries without any clues. Is the home buyer getting married? Divorced? Are they moving from another city? Do they have a dog? Kids? A motorcycle? Can they afford to buy this house?
Although on social media we all tend to show the best version of ourselves, home buyers might be advised to have a good hard look at the information about them online and clean up anything that might not be ideal.
Why should home buyers google home sellers?
Many home buyers will google home sellers looking for motivation. “Why are they selling?”, is a question that comes up all the time in my world. What the buyer is looking for is:
- Are they moving up, moving down, moving away?
- Are they getting married, divorced, having more kids?
- Home buyers are looking for negotiation power
Home sellers should be cautioned about posting photos of their pre-construction home build project, their LinkedIn jobless status or anything that might reveal something unfavourable to their selling situation.
Scrubbing your social media — Less is more
As stated above, most people on social media tend to show the best versions of themselves. But I think in a home buying or home selling situation, “less os more”. I’m very careful when speaking with potential home buyers about home sellers and with home sellers when speaking with potential home buyers. You never know how the other side will interpret the information they see and hear. Less is best. Anything you say (and show) can be used against you.