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3 questions potential buyers ask during home viewings that can make or break the deal

3 questions potential buyers ask during home viewings that can make or break the deal
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So you've put up your house for sale. Your agent has informed you that the listing has received several enquiries, with a few families looking to view your house soon.

You've done some touch-ups to your house and tidied up the place. Is there anything else you need to do to prepare for the house viewing?

During house viewings, potential buyers (and their agents) are bound to ask you some questions regarding the house, some tougher and more unexpected than others.

Depending on your answer, it can make or break the deal. If the potential buyers find the answer satisfactory, they may match your asking price. But they can also leverage it as a bargaining tool.

As a homeowner selling your house, here are some questions to prepare for a house viewing.

1. "Why are you selling the house?"

Potential buyers want to know your reason for selling the house. Based on your answer, they want to see if there's something they can use to negotiate the deal. This question also helps them to understand how much they can negotiate the price.

So your answer should depend on your motivation to sell, as well as the current market.

For instance, if you tell them that you're in a hurry to sell, eg. you need to find a buyer within a month because you're moving overseas for a job, the potential buyer may use that to negotiate for a lower price in exchange for giving you an offer fast.

So, in this case, it may not be in your best interest to reveal how soon you want to sell your house, unless you're not looking to sell at a higher price.

On the other hand, if you're selling your flat to move to another HDB flat, feel free to reveal that to the buyer. Because this doesn't signal an urgency to sell the house (for HDB flats, you can sell the flat within six months of collecting the keys to the second HDB flat).

This also allows more time for you to negotiate and find the right buyer with a good offer price.

2. "Has anyone died in this house before?"

Most of the time, buyers don't mind death in the house, especially if it's a natural death due to sickness or old age.

But if your house looks like it hasn't been lived in for years (like most haunted houses in horror movies), chances are, potential buyers will ask this.


On the contrary, if you've tidied up your house and given it a fresh coat of paint, and a potential buyer asks this question, it's likely that they are more superstitious and mindful of unnatural deaths (eg. a murder or suicide) occurring in a house.

Such a property is also known as a stigmatised property. Unlike countries such as Japan (and some states in the US), homeowners in Singapore aren't legally required to divulge such information.

Of course, if a potential buyer asks you this question, it's only ethical that you tell the truth. At the same time, as a seller, handling this kind of question can be tough, especially if you don't want to drive away any potential buyers.

It's also why we recommend engaging a property agent when you sell a house, as they're better able to handle the question and ease the selling process.

While they're still obligated to disclose when asked if there's been a death in the house, the agent can help to focus on the more positive features of the house, such as its location and nearby amenities.

3. "When was the last renovation?"

Potential buyers ask this because they want to know if the unit is in good condition. It helps them figure out how much they should renovate the house, especially if it's an old unit.

Let's say you've renovated the kitchen in the last five years. You can bring this up to the seller, as this signals that the house is pretty well-maintained.

It can also be one of the selling points of the house, since this also means that the buyers may not need to spend much to renovate the kitchen.


Even if there's no major renovation done, be sure to highlight anything that's been replaced in the last few years, for instance, the air-conditioning units and water heaters.

On the other hand, if nothing has been renovated and replaced for 20 years, chances are, some of the fixtures have worn down. The buyer will want to have them replaced.

Since this will cost them more time and money to renovate, they're more likely to negotiate for a lower price.

There are many more questions that potential buyers may ask sellers, but we can't cover everything here. And some of these questions can stump you.

That's why we recommend that homeowners engage a property agent when selling their house, as they can help you answer the tough questions and make the property-selling process smooth-sailing!

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