Agents Owe Clients the Truth, Even if Clients Don't Want to Hear It

Reblogger Chris Ann Cleland
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Elizabeth Weintraub hits yet another nail on the head with her post about owing clients the truth, even if they dont' want to hear it.  Let's face it, a doctor who had taken a sworn oath to do no harm, would be remiss in not mentioning that you had a serious illlness just because you might not like hearing it.

Realtors® are bound by a Code of Ethics that bind us to be truthful to our clients.  So if you here something you don't like from one of us, don't get huffy with us.  We're actually exercising our fiduciary duty to help you.  It may not be obvious right away, but words you don't want to hear today can save you thousands in the long run.

Please leave your comments with Elizabeth's original post.

Original content by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1% DRE #00697006

confusionI was reading another agent's blog this morning about dealing with a screwball situation and unreasonable demands. I made the comment that the icky part of the real estate business is when an agent has to choose between being honest and getting more business. Because sometimes when an agent tells a client the truth, that person is unprepared to hear it. Not only that, but because the client doesn't want to hear the truth or refuses to believe the truth, that person will look unfavorably upon the agent. An unfavorable opinion equals no more referrals. No more referrals hurts an agent's business.

So, what does an agent do? Is it wise to compromise?

I say no. I believe in telling the truth. That doesn't mean let it all hang out, but it does mean being honest, knowing full well that the honesty may not be well received. Being honest sometimes means an agent will lose business. A client may not like the agent as a result. But as like-able as one may want to be, the other side of the coin is you can't please everybody 100% of the time. It's impossible. And you can drive yourself crazy if you try.

An out-of-area seller called me yesterday about taking a listing in Land Park. He told me how much he wanted to list his duplex for and asked whether I would do it. Ordinarily, if I think a seller is listing a home too high, I will say so yet take that listing for a couple of months, just to see how it goes. Because it's possible a Bay area buyer will overpay for a home in Land Park. I don't like to be judge and jury. It's not my home. But I do need to be honest.

Based on my experience over the years of selling homes in Land Park, I can pretty much predict at what price a home will sell. I explained to this guy what similar properties had sold for and why. Didn't matter. He demanded I sell his fixer-upper duplex at $450,000; said it was my job to get that for him. He got huffy with me. No, sorry, it's not. Because it's not gonna happen. Not in this real estate market. Maybe in an alternate universe but not in this one. Well, my name is mud to this guy.

Hey, is anybody else watching Fringe? That show has become so darned confusing. I finally figured out that each show is now based in alternating universes. If the opening shots are tinged in red, it's the parallel universe. If the opening is blue sky and clear, whoa, wait a minute.

Photo: Big Stock Photo

sacramento short sale agent


Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying columnist for The New York Times-owned, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout Sacramento. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. DRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available through bookstores everywhere and at

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.

The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate.

Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice. It could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to



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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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