Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author  (people first...then business Ran Right Realty )

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John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

We have a FAQ sheet that we provide as part of our Disclosures Package which answers he question of why the seller is selling unless it is personal or too revealing. Buyers are often interested in why the sellers are selling. There can be many reasons...many of them innocuous. We would never reveal information that the seller did not want shared or that we considered was too revealing

Mar 01, 2023 01:19 PM
Susan Emo
Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Whenever someone asks why my Seller is selling I ask "Why is your Buyer buying?"  If they answer, I simply respond with "Interesting".   I share nothing, ever.  And, what's owing is no ones business and never gets disclosed even at closing.  Absolutely confidential.  Privacy Laws are a great thing.

Mar 01, 2023 04:16 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

I never ask, it's just not relevant unless it's a so I don't get foreclosed on and that's just NOT the market we're in. 

Mar 01, 2023 01:28 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor" RETIRED

Whatever side I represent, I never provide the other party a reason or motivation why... 

Mar 01, 2023 01:01 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

 Most of the time we never get the truth anyway so why boher.  I find I can gather more information doing my own due diligence rather than asking.

Mar 01, 2023 03:48 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services


I ask whatever questions need to be asked relevant to each individual. 

Mar 01, 2023 02:05 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

The ONLY time 'how much is owed' might matter is 
Short Sale
Seller Carryback
Lowball Offer

I don't hate much of anything or anyone . . . but rag bitches complaining that 'seller's making too much money' bc they bought right or got lucky does inspire violent thoughts. LOL I have fired buyers over it! 


Mar 01, 2023 01:20 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

yes, the ask, no I don't answer.

Mar 01, 2023 01:58 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I might have asked out of curiosity Richie Alan Naggar but I think they usually volunteered it before my asking.

Mar 01, 2023 12:46 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Hot enough for ya?

The whys and wherefores of the selling has really never been pertinent, today, yesterday, or ever.

And how much is owed on said property isn't particularly relevant either in or out of my pajamas.

Mar 01, 2023 04:53 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Not often asked, and they can ask but the seller doesn't have to say why unless it's because of a material fact adversely affecting the property.

How much is owed is ballpark on the tax records, no need to ask as a buyers agent I already know, it's irrelevant to me unless we're dealing with a property on the verge of a pre-foreclosure. I know some agents and buyers think there's a strategy in knowing but as a strong negotiator I say meh!

Mar 01, 2023 04:45 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
The best agent in Southern Utah!

Have not divulged to a buyer/buyer agent why a seller decides to put a property on the market. They're just looking for any kind of motivation to take advantage of and it's really none of their business. 

Mar 01, 2023 04:24 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I've had it asked a time or two in recent years.  My answer is typically something akin to "because they listed the home."

Mar 02, 2023 04:16 AM
Jeff Pearl
Samson Properties / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I;ve never asked that when working with a buyer. Sometimes, a seller will tell me why they're selling without me asking.

Mar 01, 2023 02:38 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I don't know about pertinent... but it's an inappropriate question. When I'm asked by a buyer's agent why my clients are selling my lips are zipped. I don't say anything that might compromise my client's negotiating posture. Obviously, if it's listed as a relo sale or estate sale, etc. no need to ask the question. And for those reasons I don't ask a listing agent why their client is selling. I just chat them up and sooner or later they'll let something slip that might be of use to my buyer.

I've never been asked about how much money is owed on a property as a listing agent... not once in 30+ years. And I've never asked that question in 30+ years. We only ask that question of sellers as it's a part of our listing agreement to note the balance of a mortgage and with whom if there is one.

Mar 01, 2023 02:11 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Irrelevant was always y response and I encouraged sellers to respond the same way!

Mar 02, 2023 03:37 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
ZOOM Realty Group - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

They ask but I don't tell. We can only disclose why a seller is selling if that is authorized by them in the listing agreement and it rarely is. When an agent asks that, my response is "either Why do you want to know?" or "Why is your buyer buying?", depending on who is asking. If neither of those stop the questioning, I ask the agent if they disclose that information to a buyer's agent when they are the listing agent and that usually ends the conversation.


I have never been asked how much is owed on a property and that would only be relevant on a short sale.

Mar 01, 2023 06:59 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Ha ha ha ha  I like the answer of Susan Emo 

Mar 02, 2023 07:02 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I always ask the buyers back at these questions like 'why does it matter'?

The how much they owe hasn't been asked in years & that REALLY makes no difference to the buyer. What they are really asking is 'how much they gonna get'?

Mar 02, 2023 06:27 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Answer that question with a question. Why do you ask?  And no, it is not relevant why sellers are selling and I do not disclose the why.

Mar 02, 2023 10:06 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

It depends on who you Represent

Mar 02, 2023 07:12 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Some ask, few answer.

Mar 01, 2023 06:38 PM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

They still ask and I've never thought it matters unless it impacts the wants and needs of the terms associated with an offer. 

Mar 02, 2023 07:35 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I still get that question, yes. I think buyers are just curious. No harm intended and nothing that a crazy market removes from their curiosity either!

Mar 02, 2023 05:39 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Sellers sell because they can.  For the money obviously.

Mar 02, 2023 01:22 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

I always thought that this question was laughable.  I explain the hundreds of reasons that a person sells their home and that it doesn't really matter.  I then let them know that I'll check into it.

Mar 03, 2023 01:59 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

People do ask why the seller is selling. It's usually not a big deal. I do think how much they owe is pertinent so you can make sure sellers will be able to payoff their mortgage.

Mar 03, 2023 05:38 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

     The motivation to buy and sell... critical information to form the correct expectations and strategy in any real estate sale. It puts the cards face up to show everyone involved what is at stake.

     If a seller says I don't have to sell but would if I could get seven times the realistic current market value, their expectation guides whether you take the listing or not. Whether you can help them or not.

     In our small real estate market 90 percent of the sales are list, market sell and bring the two sides together. One broker. So much easier when you know what both sides expect and can quickly communicate back and forth without "my buyer" "my seller" iron curtain barriers.

Mar 03, 2023 04:20 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Buyers can ask, but as part of our loyalties, as listing agents we do not tell. How much is owed is relevant in case it's a short sale.

Mar 02, 2023 02:02 PM