I read an article on MSN about how we share too much personal information online on via social media sites. One tweet, one post could kill the deal or the negotiations.
One homebuyer learned the hard way when she posted on her facebook page. She posted, “Found our dream house!” and she named the highly sought after neighborhood where she had been looking for several months.
She didn’t think anyone but those in her small circle of friends were reading the post, said her realtor. “Unfortunately, a friend saw the post and shared it with a pal who was looking in the same neighborhood.” The friend of the friend moved in quickly. She tracked down the listing agent and offered more money, snatching the home from under the Facebook poster, who later learned through the grapevine how she’d shot herself in the foot with her post.
Another example is when you’re in negotiations. Too many people are so entwined with Twitter and social media that they find it hard to not disclose every detail of their lives. A buyer will tweet. “I just put in an offer. Cross your fingers for me. But I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll go another $20,000 higher.” While another may post, “I’ll do whatever it takes to get this home sold, long escrow…sell it way below the listed price…”
Agents can also misuse social media and hurt themselves! They may complain about the listing, the open house, the buyers, the sellers or another agent. A post like this, “Sitting at an open house, again! This listing is totally overpriced.” can also violate an agent’s duty, to keep client information confidential.
Unless you adjust the privacy of your facebook wall and ensure that your profile doesn’t come up in facebook search results, strangers could read your posts just by searching for you. On Twitter, you have a number of choices when it comes to privacy. If you don’t want your followers sharing or re-tweeting your messages to others, or if you don’t want the general public to see your tweets, check ‘protect my tweets’.
Take care that what you say cannot be used against you, says Gahlord Dewald, an expert in online technology who specializes in real-estate marketing and analytics. Be very neutral in what you say. Agents, many of whom are natural communicators, were among the early adopters of social media, using the platforms to market their services and connect with clients. It pays to be discreet. I’ll tweet to that!
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900