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One of the most important things we ask prospective clients to do is to change their social media privacy settings so that only friends can see what you post, particularly on Facebook.  If you’re not careful, what you post online about yourself or your property search can come back to hurt you.

For instance, when we’re representing a buyer and we’re negotiating an offer we google the seller and find out everything we can about that person.  If the seller posted a picture on Facebook of the $1.5M house they just bought, had a recent job promotion on LinkedIn, or posted that they moved out of state, we are going to play hard ball during the negotiations as we know that seller needs to sell that property asap.  On the flip side, when we represent a seller we do the same thing and Google the buyer. You’d be surprised how many times we find the buyer posting a status update that says something like “We just put an offer in on a beautiful house we absolutely love.  This is the ONE!! Wish us luck everyone. Hope we get it.” When we see that, we’re going to advise our sellers to not negotiate on the price at all as we know that buyer is desperate to own this house.

Revealing too much about your personal life, your family, or the home you’re about to buy or sell can provide ammunition to anyone (friends, those you may think are your friends, thieves who might case your house from the online photos you post, stalkers, etc). If you’re buying or selling a home, be sure to change your privacy settings to the highest security setting possible, while still allowing people to Friend you.  Do not post anything about your home or home search as it can be used against you during negotiations. While it’s okay to let your friends know you’re buying or selling a home, don’t say why and try not to post anything about your new place until after you’ve closed on the property. Then you can go hog wild on social media!

Here’s a tip: preview your page as an anonymous user so you can see what information on your social networking pages is public, and what is being kept private.

Remember, there is no such thing as true privacy online, so, don’t put any information online that you don’t want the world to see.