It's Time To Bury This Monster.

By
Real Estate Agent with Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME

Frankenstein Grave at the Jewish Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, IL.

photo courtesy of sscornelius

I read something the other day and a crusade was born.

I am going to kill something.  I am going to bury it so deep in the ground the world will forget it ever existed.  I am going to see to it that it is destroyed and removed from this world.  I am on a mission and none of you can stop me.  I am not an angry person in general, but I have reached my limit and the only answer is that it has to pay.  And its death is the only way to resolve the issue.

What am I talking about, you ask?  What could make my blood boil enough to throw words like kill, death, and bury around?  What is my mission?

Its rather simple folks.  I am going to destroy an age old real estate-ism.  Something I heard in school while taking my licensing classes.  Something I have heard in the halls of offices and in conversations between agents thinking they are alone.  Something that reared its ugly head  and gnashed its sharp teeth in a post by a fellow AgentGenius writer (*please see my note below about that) the other day and made me firm in my belief that it must be wiped from the face of the earth.

That thing my friends is a phrase.  A phrase so ugly and insidious it makes my skin crawl.  The phrase?

"Buyers are liars and sellers are too."

(Also sometimes said as "Buyers are liars and sellers are worse.")

Are you kidding me?

Some of you in the non-Realtor® public might have your jaws on the ground right now.  I don't blame you.  I'm as flabbergasted as you that this phrase was ever used and has been allowed to float around for years.  Is this how we view the home buying and selling public?  If so, we deserve a much worse reputation than we get at times.  I'd call for the head of any agent who used the phrase and round up a posse with torches and pitchforks in an old fashioned monster hunt.

This phrase has been allowed to live on in the real estate lexicon for too long and it is now my mission to get it listed in the real estate phrase book as archaic.  I would love to say it already is as there are many great agents out there that are as disgusted with this as I am, but there are still those out there that will whisper this to their friends as some sort of private inside joke.  To them I say, no more.  Forget our industry for two seconds and let's just think about the public.  What are we saying to them if we whisper this behind their backs and then smile at them and say "just sign here, I'm your friend."  Would you trust someone with a purchase as big and complex as a home if you knew your agent was saying this?  Of course not.  So stop thinking it, repeating it, and tossing it about like its some sort of trite joke.  This isn't a joke.  Period.

Of course, our industry could use a bit of a face lift too and there are those of us out there that are trying to change the state of real estate one client at a time.  Bringing the "service" back to the "sale."  Putting clients' interests back where they belong - in the number one spot.  Making sure that things go smoothly - not so we get paid at the end of the month, but because there are people's lives involved.  Real people with real dream, real desires, real problems, real hopes, real money, and real estate.

There are plenty of agents that have always felt this way. I know, because I've been helped by them in my own buying and selling.  Not every agent is the enemy, but there are those that have allowed this kind of self-centered thinking to perpetuate and they must be told that this will not work anymore.  It won't be tolerated and it won't be looked kindly upon by the consumers or the agents that have made it their career to help them.

Its time, so gather your pitchforks and torches and let's put this monster to rest...once and for all.

*I don't think Brian, the writer at AgentGenius meant anything bad when he said it, but it was said and that's what upset me.  It shouldn't be said unless its in the context of "Hey, remember when real estate agents used to say that?  How stupid was that?"  I'm actually glad Brian said it as I had forgotten about it since the last time I heard it.  If he hadn't said it, I might not be on a quest to conquer it.

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Ambassador
583,935
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Very well said, my friend. I've had a few deals killed by other agents who went out of their way to kill them because things were being done in ways they "had never seen before" so it "must be wrong." I may be "new" to the "game" and "periodically stupid" but I'm not THAT stupid as to embrace this phrase. I hate this phrase. I hate the mentality behind it. Bring on the social media war. I shall join your army. :-)

Mar 24, 2009 02:39 PM #1
Rainmaker
272,035
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

C Tann-Starr - Once again, I have to say I'm not surprised that you would agree.  You?  New to the game?  Really?  I don't believe that.  "My army?" - I like the sound of that General C.

Mar 24, 2009 02:44 PM #2
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Matt~ Yes, It IS a horrible phrase.  There is a saying that I hear a lot, that also makes my skin crawl..."No good deed goes unpunished"  Where the heck did that come from?

Mar 24, 2009 02:51 PM #3
Rainmaker
223,439
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

It is such a negative phrase and we wonder why people have such little regard for agents. 

Mar 24, 2009 03:33 PM #4
Ambassador
1,333,956
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Hey Matt, will you throw "Deal Killer Inspector" and his friend "Toxic Mold" in there too?:)

Mar 24, 2009 04:02 PM #5
Rainer
89,908
Randy Hooker
Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area - Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek

Hey Matt ~ when exactly in your life did you paint a bulls eye on your back?  The way you're going, with pitchfork and torch in hand, I think you might single-handedly end up cleaning up this profession!  Or at the very least, you're sending a clear message, "There's a new Sheriff in town!"  Like you suspected, my friend, I absolutely detest that phrase.  It actually repulses me more than I can say.  All I can say is that I applaud your audacity......  Now watch your back, dude!   ;-)

Mar 24, 2009 04:11 PM #6
Ambassador
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Matt - I haven't heard this phrase thrown around in about a decade or so (seriously).  I do remember hearing it a few times when I first entered the business. 

Mar 24, 2009 04:38 PM #7
Rainmaker
346,007
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Very thought provoking Matt,

I must admit I have heard the phrase about the buyers, but not the sellers.  Maybe we like our sellers more here in Canada lol??? 

My interpretation of the phrase was that buyers tell you what they want and what they want to pay and then it turns out they pay more and buy something totally different. But hey, what's so wrong with that?

It's a learning process.  Often people will see something totally out of character and make an emotional buy.  We have a lot of people who move to our area from communities and think they can buy a house for the same amount price point.  When you show them houses they realize they have to up their price. 

So let's all ban the phrase from REALTOR vocab 101.  Ilike the phrase "buyers are so much more educated today" better.

Mar 24, 2009 04:43 PM #8
Ambassador
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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Brother Matt...

I never really thought about it, but you are right. That kind of thinking is very unprofessional.

Featured in the group "Whacked!!!"

Mar 25, 2009 12:19 AM #9
Rainmaker
516,438
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Awesome post! I realized the folly of this statement when I was an agent AND buyer at the same time! The house we thought we wanted somehow how evolved, through the process of looking, educating and an open mind into a completely different neighborhood, school district and home style over the course of time. It was eye opening to me me and I have always remember it with buyers AND sellers today.

Okay, I also have to agree with, "Of course, our industry could use a bit of a face lift" but that will also be an ongoing challenge!

Mar 25, 2009 12:46 AM #10
Rainer
18,478
Connie Case
Platinum Realty Group - Fountain City, TN
Realtor, Knoxville Tn.

Matt,

Great Post, I love your writing ability. The phase is Old and very derogatory! Yes, we do need to kill it!

All Realtors aren't just out for the dollar they make off you, either! If I didn't want to be of service to people I would'nt be in this Business!

Mar 25, 2009 01:39 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,132,361
Claude Cross
Homes By Cross, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Homes For Sale

Matt - Yes,  occasionally it's time to dust off the ghost of Christmas past. Time for some fresh sayings. Good post.

Mar 25, 2009 04:23 AM #12
Rainmaker
272,035
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Vickie - I'm not sure where that one comes from.

Brian - That's a good word for it - negative.  Aren't we always preaching that we should not push the negative?  It just makes good sense to not push this negative...wouldn't want to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Charles - If you're on a crusade, I will gladly join you.  Of course, you're a great inspector who takes time to explain things to their clients (and to the whole world thanks to your blog), so you my friend, are a different breed than some others.

Randy - If the death threats start rolling in, I'll send them your way.  Haha.  I think I got it from my own bad experiences.  I don't want someone to be treated the way I was by an agent that didn't about much more than their $19,000 commission check.  That bit of anger still burns inside of me and although I've moved on, I'll never forget the experience.  I'm no Sheriff though, I'm not here to say I'm the leader - I've learned from many great agents and will continue you to do so.  Maybe after that I'll settle for global real estate czar.

Jason - That's because you Austinites are forward thinking.  Some of the best transparency- and client care-centric agents that I've learned from are out of there.

Jenny - The thing is that the phrase comes from a certain experience.  I've had buyers lie to me.  It happens.  But to blatantly use a phrase like this is setting ourselves up for failure to build a relationship with a client because right off the bat, we don't trust them.  Plus, the negative image it gives our industry will just self-perpetuate a bad vibe from consumers towards us.  We'll never get anyway without their trust.

Brother Richard - Its super unprofessional and it really got into my head once I thought about it.  Its great to see agents agree about it though.  I'd hate to see everyone come on here and say "I disagree."  My guess is there are some agents in this world that would read this and call me a fool, but those are the ones that I disagree with anyway.

Russell - See what I mean?  Just like I said to Jason Crouch - another Austinite.  People change their minds, open them up to new ideas, unexpected things happen - it all can change.  That doesn't make them all liars.  I just can't imagine why anyone would say it, even in a joking manner.

Connie - I've always said the same thing about money in my careers.  I want to make a ton of it, but that's not why I'm doing it.  Sure, I need to put food on the table, but I left a lucrative career for real estate - because I had lost the passion for it.  Real estate isn't anywhere near the money maker that rock 'n roll was...yet.

Claude - My purpose was two-fold.  I wanted to "kill" the phrase and I wanted to show the world that there are some bad things we need to clean up in real estate.

 

Mar 25, 2009 10:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
188,973
Jeanna Martinez
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX

Matt,

I guess I am new enough to the business that I have had the good fortune of not having heard this one!  Good luck on your crusade...definitely a phrase for the chopping block!

Mar 25, 2009 11:57 AM #14
Rainmaker
272,035
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Jeanna - Stay clean and pure then!  I am new enough as well, but I still heard it.

Mar 25, 2009 01:03 PM #15
Rainer
80,254
David Painter
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC

Nothing good ever comes from not being ugly and from name calling.

Mar 25, 2009 03:51 PM #16
Rainmaker
467,265
Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Online Marketing For Real Estate Professionals

I've heard this for years and ignored it for just as many!  You are right...some agents really believe this!

Mar 29, 2009 10:17 AM #17
Rainmaker
272,035
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

David - I think this phrase could lead to the death of the agent if allowed to continue.

Midori - At least you've been ignoring it!  Its one of things that will give us all a bad name if it continues on with some agents believing it and using it as a mantra.

Mar 29, 2009 10:31 AM #18
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