I am primarily a listings agent, selling is my thing. I love marketing and coming up with selling strategies. In this ten years selling Real Estate and got asked tons of questions. Below is my list of things that I think you should not bother with, either because is not important or will not change anything.
What NOT to ask
1) How much did the seller pay for the property? Whatever he paid is not important What is important is market value and how much you are willing to pay. Buyers worry about this a lot. I have a few investor clients that flip LOFTS and they make a good profit. This is a business for them, some people are lawyers and some prople sell shoes. They sell Real Estate and to make a profit. Most likely they bought at a discount and thats why they are making money.
2) Who is the seller? The seller is a person like you. The only important thing is that he is the owner of record. If he is old, young, tall, short or fat does not change anything.
3) What is the best price you can do? The best prices is above listing price. I do see agents that will quickly reply: “He can go lower” or “We have some room”. Make an offer and you will see. Talk is cheap, you have to put it on paper. As a listing agent our goal is to get the most money for the seller, giving a discount to the first person that asks does not help us achieve this goal.
4) Do I get a discount if I pay cash? Sometimes, but not most of the time. The end number to the seller is the same. Cash is just quicker and easier. It makes a big difference if you are competing with other offers, but otherwise the seller cares about the final number.
5) How much is the loan on the property? None of your business, the price is not based on that. Even tough most of the time your agent can find out this information.
6) Why is the seller moving? Not that important if is for a negative reason like loud neighbors or other problems, most likely he is not going to tell you, ven tough by law you have to disclose all this stuff and you can go after him later if you can prove that he knew.
I think these are the most annoying and unimportant questions that I get asked all the time. If I think of something else I will add it up.