How Candid, How Much Candor Do You Use In Listing, Selling Real Estate?

Real Estate Agent with MOOERS REALTY ME Broker License 106759

Candor, the tell it like it is, here is what is up, going on may or may not show up in your real estate transaction.

Some folks believe people avoid candor in order to curry favor with others in a real estate sale. But the opposite can happen. By not stepping up to the plate and with Ricky Bobby "all due respect" candor, the truth of the situation does not get out there in to the sunlight. For air to hit it. Candor can unnerve people.maine winter woods tree plantation

From the time we are knee high to a grasshopper, we are taught to soften the blow, lighten the bad news and like politicians, add some spin.

Sugar, candy coat it to make it go down easier. And tip toe around the elephant in the room logic applied.

Lack of candor in a real estate transaction whether you represent the buyer or seller or both, is deadly.

It wastes time when speed is of the essence as the transaction inches forward.

Or dies on the vine.

Because certain key points, realities were not discussed, brought up.

Candor can make people uncomfortable but holds them accountable. It means getting your hands dirty and bringing up something on your mind knowing it could be simpler selfishly if you did not.

Playing it safe to avoid confusion, pain and resentment means leaving candor out of the real estate transaction.

Because if you bring up some key points glossed over or just not being thrashed out, wrinkles removed, it means awkward moments and time consuming diplomacy as the topic subjects, situations detonate.

When you speak your mind in a real estate transaction, or as a leader of a group, you do stand a chance of alienating someone. But if you develop "bump on the log" limp along status, playing it safe and protecting yourself, the rest of the players in the real estate deal suffer. The seller who is totally unrealistic on the value he expects continues to think he is in the right if you do not point out "with all due respect" you are attempting to receive three times the actual value of your property listing Mr Seller.

His eyes may bug out, his lip curl and his attitude to become a tad snarky.

But if the real estate listing price he dictates is set in granite, this real estate movie does not have a happy ending. Everyone's time, financial, emotional resources are wasted. Like throwing horseshoes expecting a ringer when someone removed the stakes at both ends. Lesson in futility. No pair of tickets for the buyer and seller to get to the big long simulated wood real estate closing conference room table.

Without candor in a real estate transaction, obstacles (including the two legged kind) stall a property sale process. Lack of candor or someone recognizing the wrong path we are on, the mix up on directional turns we did back on those last two cloverleaf transaction intersections means we're hopelessly lost. And just don't know it. Yet.

In fact many meetings, calls, emails without candor can give every one a sense all is well. When it is not. Anything but.

And then as the deal dies a certain death, finger pointing starts. On who is to blame. Again playing it safe, self protection mode kicks in and isolating yourself from the anything to do with the failure of a deal. Or even then stepping up to the mic and saying I could have told you this was coming, this would happen. Why didn't you?

Fear of alienating someone, making a person or two not like you for being the bearer of bad news. It is a little like touching a hot stove. Catching a hot potato. Or pointing out folks, I think we need to back up, regroup, cut our losses. Pull this real estate wagon train 180 degrees around to high tail it out of this dead end box canyon. Candor, speaking up, do you avoid it because of the reaction it gets from others in the real amber diamond active rain blog post awardestate deal that might take it as a criticism, personally? It can be awkward, unpleasant at times when you start using candor in your real estate day to day. But the guts to display it, use it in the long run sets you apart from the rest of the real estate herd wearing the "R" but lost in a sea of sameness.

Say, have you ever attended the Aunt Bea real estate public relations seminar series? It made the Active Rain Amber Diamond blogging group roster of gold stars posts that should have but were missed, didn't.

Maine, a tad out spoken, but the folks are hardworking, God fearing, family based and you always, always know where you stand.

I'm Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

Comments (37)

Amy Gerrish
Realty Executives - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor - Phoenix to San Tan Valley

Hi Andrew! I have no comment on your blog, but I miss Maine! 

Jul 24, 2011 12:07 PM
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

AMEN!  You are right on the money and I hope your blog inspires others to be more candid.

Jul 24, 2011 12:49 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


I'd rather be honest and straight forward.  Life is too short and I don't want to waste it explaining an untruth. 

Life in Maine, keeping it simple and honest sounds good.  

All the best, Michelle 

Jul 24, 2011 01:57 PM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

If buyers and sellers can't get the bad news from us who can they get it from.

Jul 24, 2011 03:43 PM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Excellent post and your insight is right on target.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jul 24, 2011 03:56 PM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change
Andrew, I'm prepping for a listing appointment where I intend to be very candid. If I'm doing the best job for the client then that's what I have to do.
Jul 24, 2011 04:34 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I'm pretty transparent. Perhaps too much so.  I lose a  lot of business by being totally candid and somewhat picky about what I'll take on.  But no one can accuse me of conning someone.

Jul 24, 2011 04:54 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Andrew, I like your no-nonsense approach to real estate. As you point out it's business. To be on top of my game, candor is a requirement, otherwise everyone loses.

Jul 24, 2011 06:30 PM
Sherri Berry
Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN
Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate

Andrew I agree that candort and transparency are the best approach to selling real estate.  I'd rather tell someone the truth and have them be unhappy for a brief time initially than to lie and have them end up angry for an eternity!  I've always said I'm not a good sales person but I am a great Realtor!  

Jul 24, 2011 11:03 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Yikes ... Feel like the star in the kids story about leaving leather out and the next morning as the sleep seeds are rubbed out and first cup of coffee of the day is made discovering lots of shoes made. Lined up, waiting for a brisk day of sales. Somebody behind the lime green curtain clicked there ruby reds together and thank you. It is always an honor to be gold star certified. With all due respect and being candid here.

Tammy is right "If buyers and sellers can't get the bad news from us who can they get it from?" Like kids you don't give the heart to heart talk about life beyond the door yard perimeter, it's better to hear it from us in person at their kitchen table and to "nip it in the bud".  Just checked in before heading to Augusta for a Maine Association of REALTORs meeting and this is a nice send off. Thank you folks.

Stan ... Gump would approve.

Peter ... Bangor is in Maine, but the state has lots of territory and just one of the neat spots in Vacationland.

Jul 24, 2011 11:21 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Too much goes unsaid in many real estate transactions.  The fear of losing the sale prevents many agents from putting all of the facts on the table.

Promise us some cool weather in Maine and we might overlook some other details.

 Life is good!

Jul 25, 2011 12:34 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Roy .. Good advice. Speak up, get it out there in the open and thrashed around.

Jul 25, 2011 12:35 AM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Andy,

 A lot has been responded to this well thought out blog.  So not to repeat what has been said, I will add this.  Bad news can be good.  Don't be afraid of the honest words that need to be said.  Get them out and move along.  There is business to be done.

Jul 25, 2011 12:46 AM
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ


Like anything in life, candor takes courage and most people are trained from a young age not to be blundt.  As this downturn in the market continues I find myself being more candid by the day. 

Jul 25, 2011 01:08 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Absolutely Andrew.  If you're not up front and don't divulge the difficult and occasionally bad news, you may not only loose a deal, but also many future clients.

Jul 25, 2011 01:09 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Andrew, this is a business where you have to be candid with your clients. Sugar coating issues will only make them worse in the end.

Jul 25, 2011 01:52 AM
John Davison
Coldwell Banker - Cary, NC
Raleigh-Cary-Triangle NC

Candor, tempered with sensitivity, and you can't go wrong.

Jul 25, 2011 03:55 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Cindy ... It is awfully easy to put off being the bearer of bad news, but the earlier it is detected, the quicker it can be fixed or everyone misses their opportunity. Feeling comfortable, all is well is a sad way to kill a deal and to be asleep at the wheel.

Bob .. You are right. Blunt is sharp...straight forward, this is the way it is boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen gets all the cards face up, showing. So all can know what is everyone's role in getting this deal to the closing table. Before it is too late and could of, should of happens. And letters to the real estate commission because just not on top of the deal. The play by play.

Gabe ... A good agent, broker, REALTOR sees it coming, diverts the problem before it snags. Or sails right in to the real estate swamp, quick sand from inexperience.

Michael ... The sooner you fix it or kill it if not hope to continue, the faster the property gets back on the market, the sale pending rider, mls designation removed so open season happens again on the property listing highway. Don't leave a deal park to bleed out, die on its own. Cut to the chase.

John ... One of our many jobs, developed or natural talents to succeed in the real estate dog and pony, to earn the tshirt, a ticket to the property listing closing table. The easiest group to offend is other agents, brokers, REALTORS when an organization is comfortable, a little removed from their membership and you suggest this, this and this. Oh oh, that steps on toes. Not everyone is cut out to wear the "R", I'm just saying.


Jul 25, 2011 11:13 AM
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Andy, one of the best scripts I use is, "You do want me to be honest with you, right?" One of my more difficult clients responded, "Well yes!" This was the client, a doctor, who stated she was raised in a family of realtors and knows how the game is played. On the tip of my tongue (if I had been chosen to be candid) was, "I am from a family of doctors, that qualifies me to write prescriptions and make diagnoses, correct?" When the listing came up for renewal, I said it would need to be listed in the 290,000's. She told me they would not be relisting with me. The new agent did get them to reduce to $300,000. I had an office mate which took the original listing at $330,000 and needed me to take over. This client needed a fresh start, but not only does it take candor, it also takes one who is hearing the candor with a desire to hear what is being said.


Aug 17, 2011 10:38 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Cal ... Time lets the words you speak that are the truth sink in. Or the market changes and the situation gets more interesting. Real estate appraisals are not valid for more than six months to a year and in some cases they are out of date within weeks of doing them. The market changes. People's attitudes have to as well to know the "truth will set you free". Chose if the client, agent or broker match is good for both sides. If not a good fit, breath a sigh of relief and help guide them. Or stop trying to make it work, a dead horse to neigh, whinny, stomp and snort again. Nip it in the bud as Barney would say.

Nov 16, 2013 12:32 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?