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How Important Is Your Credibility ?

Real Estate Agent with New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

I recently wrote a post titled What You Write in the Comments Section of your Listings... Can Either Make or Break your Credibility .

In one of the comments... a commentor seemed to imply that I was being selfish or self-centered.  The implication was that I was over-concerned in trying to "build my own credibility within a Community..." (with that "community" being the other Realtors who read my listings remarks before showing my listings.)

In a question he asked me... he seemed to think that I was choosing establishing "MY" own credibility... over "representing the Seller  as the Listing Agent]. In other words... that I was more concerned about my self, than about my Seller.

I was holding that I should not be "unrealistically rosy" about the condition of my listing.  Basically... that I should not "tap dance" my way through the Realtor remarks... hoping to increase the number of showings.

My response was:

I would not be representing my Seller very well if I wrote information in the "remarks" section of their listing... that were not true, or that really showed both the buyer's agent and the buyer that I was misrepresenting the condition of the home... just to get showings. 

There is a saying in sales... "under-promise, over-deliver."  In the case of playing up the house to be more than it is... the usual response of the buyer when they see it, and their Realtor as well... is usually... "this house is NOT like the write-up claimed.  Get me outta here."

"My" credibility is extremely important. 

When my reputation with the Realtors in my area brings them to know that what I say is true... they will show my listings much more often... than they will show the listings of other agents whom they may know from past dealings... do not write the truth, or may over-embellish when describing the condition of the house they have listed.

Every agent makes up their own mind as to what homes they show and what homes they do not show.  And sometimes... if an agent has the reputation of sometimes being believable, and sometimes not... the buyer's agent may choose not to show a home.

And that... can hurt my Seller.  Big time !

What would you have said ?


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Posted by

Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Never distort I would say Karen Anne but put things in their best light. Like looking at things positively.

Jan 20, 2011 03:31 PM
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Karen Anne... I think that once your credibility is gone there is much left to sustain a positive reputation.

Jan 20, 2011 03:41 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Karen-Anne - Sellers don't care - they want you to paint the best picture possible about THEIR home - but the potential blow back is a serious problem and that good reputation that we build is what keeps agents coming to our listings.

Jan 20, 2011 03:47 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Amen, Sista! If sellers want their house to have a glowing write-up in the remarks, they need to be sure the home actually glows. After all, that may be one way to convince them to spruce it up!

MLS is a cooperative. It is not merely a method of advertising. To that end, REALTORS® should be able to count on the honesty of descriptions, instead of having to write off everything as hype. When we get to the point that the hype is all that counts, we have nothing that is useful. It's not just about personal promotion, listing promotion, or even personal credibility and integrity--it's about the continued usefulness of the cooperative effort that MLS represents.

Jan 21, 2011 02:25 PM
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

Karen, I totally agree.. our word IS our credibility!! We must strive to never loose that...


Jan 21, 2011 03:35 PM
Yolanda Hoversten
Self Employed - O'Fallon, IL
Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East

Karen Anne - Sorry, this might be echoing somebody else already, it doesn't take long to build credibility, but once it's in question, it will take years to correct if ever.  I don't want to be in that position.

BTW, your help with picture insert is truly appreciated.  It's been fixed and I gave you a shout out on my blog.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jan 21, 2011 04:09 PM
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

KarenAnne, your credibility is extremely important, as is the credibility of every agent. How we represent ourselves in the MLS will impact our sellers either positively or negatively, so it is necessary to protect our credibility. Your point was spot on, it is too bad that some people did not get it.

Jan 23, 2011 01:19 PM
Arleen Montford
Selling NW Florida Homes in Pace/Milton/Pensacola FL

Good morning Kearn, I would have to agree you. I have a lot of buyers. Some are looking for fixer uper and some are looking for turn key. It is not just that my time is valueble, but the buyer's time is too. When we walk into a house that sound just like what they are looking for and the home is trashed they are disappointed and a lot of mad.                                                                           

Jan 23, 2011 10:17 PM
Raiza Schwartz
West USA Realty - Ahwatukee, AZ

I would't take it personally, some agents can be so un-professional.

Jan 29, 2011 05:02 PM
Janet McCarthy
San Diego Homes Guide - San Diego, CA
Broker Associate

Sometimes you can't win no matter how hard you try or how right you are.  I wonder if he had just got off the phone with a testy client or difficult bank employee before he spoke with you.  I really like the expression you cited, under promise and over deliver.  It's safe, practical and smart.

Feb 04, 2011 01:45 PM
Debbie Jean (DJ) Artrip
Debbie Jean (DJ) Artrip, Cardinal Real Estate, Northern Mich - Hawks, MI

Hey Karen, Your heart and head is in the right spot.  Credibility is Crucial.  Eventually, the less desirable agents will weed themselves out.  We just can't take their comments to heart. DJ

Feb 06, 2011 08:00 AM
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Karen - Creditability is key in life, business and friendship and should be taken very seriously. Love Richard's remark - "I was just in a home that would have to be cleaned up in order to be condemned" - perfect illustration to make this so important point!

Feb 24, 2011 12:23 AM
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

A great post.

Feb 28, 2011 09:08 AM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Karen: I try to wax euphoric BUT be honest also... If the house is lovely, then I am not going to write otherwise, and I endeavor to be poetic....  if the house is not so nice.... then you stress the positives.... I cannot stand calling an agent and hearing that agent state how wonderful a house is.. noly to find out it has an overlofwing toilet, and flooding on the first two floors (exaggeration) but you know what I mean... This is where we should all attend those broker's open houses, and so we can write to our clients exactly what we saw...  I wrote last week... 'great photography' on one house... not the same in person!  Best, Gay

Mar 07, 2011 02:21 PM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

I think it is everything. Although we are in different businesses a bit, there is nothing I abhor more than giving out delayed or wrong information. To me, credibility is what separates us from the rest. Thanks for the post!

Mar 08, 2011 09:12 AM
Christianne O'Malley
Dickson Realty - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Karen - I know the agents in my area who embellish in their comments -  'a little TLC' from him usually means "complete redo needed". We are honest and try to find the best our homes have to offe,r but I don't lie or be intentionally dishonest with my MLS remarks. 


Mar 18, 2011 03:48 PM
John Gall
Nextage Property Solutions - Las Vegas, NV


 Credibility and perseverance is everything in this business. Keep to your original statement.

-John Gall

Mar 22, 2011 07:53 AM
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

I agree that comments should give a realistic narrative while making as many positive (if true) points as possible. It's a waste of everyone's time to misrepresent a property and can hurt sellers' chances.

Apr 07, 2011 12:56 AM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Your reputation is priceless not only with your seller, but the other business partners involved in the transaction.  There is no substitute for doing the job the right way the first time.

Apr 12, 2011 12:06 PM
Barbara "Barb" Bodnar, Licensed Associate RE Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Yorktown, NY
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


I agree entirely.  Our reputation and credibility are so important.  We certainly get to know who is providing the clearest information on behalf of their clients.  Today with the internet being such an important part of marketing as well, and, so many photos being available buyers are certainly looking for clear representation of properties. What we say and do with one another survives well after the sale.


Apr 18, 2011 11:30 PM