The Price of Oversharing

How your social media credit score can kill your real estate deal

Published online: Mar 05, 2021 Articles, Home And Garden, Lifestyle Renee Spurgeon
Viewed 14696 time(s)

Sitting across the table from a seller a few months back looking at multiple offers, the wife looked at me and said, “Did you know that this buyer has made offers on other houses and backed out?” Puzzled, I felt the wrinkle between my eyeballs deepen as I wondered how in the world she could have known that. 

Going down the line of offers previously emailed to them, she proceeded to tell me a tidbit of information about each and every single person making an offer. She knew how long people had been married and divorced. She knew the number of household members and that this buyer had to put their beloved dog Fluffy down right after their 14th wedding anniversary. She knew about job promotions and job changes. She commented on their list of friends and the circles they ran in. What they ate for dinner last night. I thought to myself, holy cow we have a real problem facing the real estate industry and we don’t even know how big it is! 

The public is protected by the Fair Housing Act designed to cover protected classes from discrimination. Race, religion, color, national origin, sex, familial status and disability are not to be considered or addressed, mentioned or even thought about in a real estate transaction. But if Sally wants to air her dirty laundry, overshare, post political memes and provide her opinion about gun control on her social media pages, then Sally might not get her offer accepted. Sally’s views on the world are not a protected class and remain in cyberspace forever. 

Climbing atop my soapbox in front of my 15-year-old son I pointed out to him that social media is a form of responsibility. It is like a social security number with a score tied directly to how much you share, like, heart, hug, join, follow, affiliate, delete and block. All of this has, for a number of years, had an impact on people’s jobs and relationships and ability to run for political office but now on getting your offer accepted over another in a real estate deal. 

Like the Black Mirror episode where humans walk around with a digital scorecard adjusted constantly based on other people’s perception, we are quickly becoming more and more impacted by our digital footprint. Be aware, don’t overshare. 

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