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Am I obligated to answer?

Posted by roseabbey (My Page) on
Wed, May 23, 12 at 14:57

I am selling my flip FSBO. I had a realtor call me and ask some questions about the house, he said he had a client coming in to town next week and may look at the house. One question was how much money did we put into it and did I have receipts to back it up. Am I obligated to answer that question?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

No. What you paid and how much you put into it has no bearing on the current market value. The buyer should base their offer on comps, and not what you paid for it.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

Thanks terriks. I hesitated in my answer to him, but I told him to bring me an offer and then we would talk about it, but after I hung up I started thinking, this doesnt sound right to
me. No one asks a builder how much money he has tied up in his new build!


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

It sounds like he is just fishing for information to determine what your bottom line might be.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

I think so too. He said something about due diligence, after I told him to bring me an offer and then we'd talk. Not sure what due diligence has to do with it.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

We just had a showing and the potential buyer was pumping my husband for info about how much we put into the house (we're asking a couple hundred grand more than we paid for it, and we completely remodeled it). Same deal: it's irrelevant. What matters is the market value now. Makes no difference whether we're losing money or making boatload on the deal, the market value is what it is.

They can do whatever due diligence or research they want to, but this isn't a court of law. They can't subpoena your receipts or anything.

If the realtor asks again, I'd just smile coyly and say "nice try."


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

Thanks weedy, good response.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

"One question was how much money did we put into it and did I have receipts to back it up. Am I obligated to answer that question?"

None of their business.

f they want the purchase price it is a public record in many places (it is often stamped o the deed by the clerk recording for tax purposes).

Anything else is non of their business.

I renovate and repair old houses.
The material costs are often a small fraction of the expenses incurred since I do not normally pay myself till the sale is completed and I personally perform the vast majority of the work.

Just look at anyone asking a say

"Why would you ever care about my personal business?

How much money did you earn last year?"


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

Thanks brickeyee. The agent did know what we bought it for, he had looked it up, he mentioned the amount.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

The realtor and the buyer should know even if they has access to all of the receipts that has nothing to do with the selling price a seller would accept. They just want to use the information for bargaining.


Market price is set by prices accepted by sellers, it is not Value; it is why there are 'a steal' or 'over priced (than value)'.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

azmom, I think market price is set two ways. If a buyer's market, the price set by what buyers are willing to pay for a property, in a seller's market, what the seller is willing to accept.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

Can't blame them for asking. I would never answer this directly but would take the opportunity to mention many of the upgrades that you did or the prior seller if recently:

It has new flooring, new AC, new roof, new plumbing, new cabinets...... Then you stay silent.

If they ask again for cost of these upgrades you can tactfully avoid an answer at same time "selling" the house. Maybe you say " It is a 19 SEER Trane HVAC installed last year and was $8000. It has a 10 year warranty and the elect bill went from $250/mo to $80/mo.

If they ask again for costs, you can brag about the expensive brand name cabinets or something else that is high dollar in value.

The new roof is a 30 year architectural shingles and was $9000. Things like that. But not line item of everything.

I would never say "none of your business" straight out. Want to be tactful. Don't have a file of all the records in one place....and then mention the high dollar sellable features....


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

"I would never say "none of your business" straight out. Want to be tactful. "

When someone else shows no tact putting them back in place is hardlyy out of line.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

maybe not out of line, but it would dampen a person's enthusiasm for buying your house!


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

I think this is one of those situations, where you roll your eyes, look pained and say "oh , much more than I'd ever admit!" Then smile coyly.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

I would just say, 'we spent a bundle of money on improvements...I lost count of how much.'

Jane


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

"maybe not out of line, but it would dampen a person's enthusiasm for buying your house!"

Does not sound like a person I would even want to try dealing with.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

He's fishing, its rude and irrelevant. If you paid retail for everything and had it professionally installed, you paid big bucks. If you shopped deals and DIY'd you paid less. End result is the same. Its NONE of their business. If he is savvy, he can get a good idea of the value.

Just my .02. I would try and be polite, but I would not answer. I really like Sweet Tea's suggestion to turn it into a marketing opportunity.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

When asked, "What did you spend for improvements?" I'd throw a question back.."What does it *look* like I spent?" Isn't that a big part of what really matters? The other part is a need for buyers to understand the "unseen" bells and whistles.

Sweet tea's details about the heating and cooling system exemplify details that should be shared...*Trane, energy efficient, 2-zone, 10-yr. warranty on all parts and labor..*

That's not too personal to share or too much information. That's a buyers right to know and part of YOUR selling strength! When you have gone to the trouble and expense to make quality improvements, you NEED to brag about them!

That doesn't mean dropping price tags all over the place, but DO share details about quality, performance and functionality of materials and equipment you've installed.


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RE: Am I obligated to answer?

What it is worth and what you put into are two different matters. You could spend 20K on a hideous kitchen or frugally spend 6K to update and end up with a wow kitchen worth more than your investment. Wool carpet in hot pink might be $70/yard but it will not increase the value of the home as much as $18/yard beige frieze from HD.

I would let them know you have receipts for mechanical items to prove age, manufacturer and that they were professionally installed.


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