What Buyers Do Wrong . . . They Talk Too Much

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

What Portland Buyers Do Wrong?

This really is a statement . . . not a question. Not to pick on Portland buyers . . . since buyers can make this type of mistake anywhere. But, there is one mistake that can cost them money, or ultimately, weaken their negotiation position. WHAT DO BUYERS DO WRONG!?!

Talk TOO Much!

Portland Buyers Have the Right . . .

Being an avid viewer of reality TV cop shows I do know one thing . . . everyone has a RIGHT . . . and that is . . .

To Remain Silent

Sadly, in real estate there are no "Miranda Rights" afforded to buyers.

Listing Agents Advertise Their Clients' Property FOR SALE

Listing Agents advertise their clients(the SELLERS') home FOR SALE in a variety of ways:

  • The FOR SALE sign on the Sellers' front lawn,
  • The Internet
    • Zillow, Trulia, IDX links, VOW's, Craig's List, etc.
  • Open Houses
  • etc. and so on

Realtors® are not at odds with each other when they represent their perspective clients. We are bound by our Code of Ethics to offer cooperation, and provide customer service to non-clients. However, all things in real estate boil down to one thing: legal contracts. The Listing Agent is under a legal contract with the sellers. The Listing Agent has a fiduciary duty to their clients to obtain the best possible terms, the best possible price and a host of other contractual duties to THEIR CLIENT -- the SELLER! The listing agent is NOT there for you . . . the Buyer.

The Tale of Betty Buyer

Betty goes out on Sunday to pick up the paper. While out, she sees an Open House sign on a house in the neighborhood she really likes. She decides to drop in. The listing agent greets her and Betty seems very impressed with the place. She tells the listing agent that she lives in the neighborhood and saw the For Sale sign go up a week ago. The agent tells Betty this is the first Open House and it's going really well - quite a few people have been in to tour. Betty didn't find any flyers outside and wondered how much they listed the place. The listing agent tells her . . . and Betty is surprised.

"WOW - I can afford this! I just got qualified online. But, I'm good to go for $50,000 more!"

Yeah! It happens just like this.

A buyer's anxious, nervous energy can get the best of them. They talk too much. Not only did Betty show an interest in the home, but she also told the listing agent she can buy it . . . and not only that . . . but she's qualified for $50,000 MORE!

Under the listing agent's fiduciary duty to their clients -- the Sellers . The Listing Agent can disclose what Betty has discussed with to them . . . to their client . . . the sellers!

They will.

Rule #1 as a Buyer: You Have the Right to Remain Silent!

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 


All Rights Reserved © 


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lynn B. Friedman 10/22/2011 01:46 PM
  2. Fred Griffin 10/26/2011 04:49 PM
Home Buying
Diary of a Realtor
Bartender, Make it a Double
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
buyers agent portland

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Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Hi little Carla...my wife does this all the time and I make sure nothing bad becomes of it....

Oct 23, 2011 03:58 AM #53
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Buyers are meant to be seen not heard especially when viewing a house. They need to share between themselves and their agent - not the seller's agent.

Oct 23, 2011 04:24 AM #54
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

I couldn't agree more on this one. Buyers are so excited they just wont shut up! I think social media is the one thing that you really have to warn your buyers about! People essentially broadcast their life online without nary a thought of the consequences! 

Oct 23, 2011 04:25 AM #55
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ

You are right on the money with this example.  I usually see this scenario play out the other way around when a seller does not leave the home during showings.

Oct 23, 2011 04:34 AM #56
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Carla, this is one of the reasons I tell my buyers why they should have an agreement with the buyer's agent - not necessarily with me but with any professional and qualified agent!

And I do 'fire' the buyers on my listings who come to me with an expectation that as they'd get some 'cut'!

Oct 23, 2011 06:04 AM #57
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Nice post, Carla. Another reason why buyers need proper representation.

Oct 23, 2011 06:26 AM #58
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate

HI Carla - sometimes silence is golden. And buyer's do their own agent to represent them.

Oct 23, 2011 07:18 AM #59
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Carla, great post with great graphics. But all is not lost  ~ pre-qualified online?? Well, you can't take that to the bank, you're still at square one. But I still get your message - loud and clear - just Zip it!

Oct 23, 2011 07:28 AM #60
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
This is one of the first things I discuss with buyers during their initial consultation. Great post!
Oct 23, 2011 07:29 AM #61
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

A MOST excellent and TELLING post Carla!  A HUGE mistake that BUYERS make in every town across the country.  And I have to admit... as a listing agent, I've been on the receiving end of Buyers talking to much... it was quite helpful when we went into a counter situation and I was able to share with my sellers how badly the buyers wanted their home ;)

Oct 23, 2011 09:42 AM #62
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Loose lips sink ships. There is a reason why brokers act as intermiaries in between the principals, and this is a prime example. 

Oct 23, 2011 12:37 PM #63
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Carla - This is such great advice.  It's amazing how much disadvantage the buyers can put themselves to.

Oct 23, 2011 01:00 PM #64
Rajeev Narula
iPRO REALTY LTD.,Brokerage - Mississauga, ON
My Services Are All About You!

Carla, I am not surprised that some buyers get too excited when they become aware of thier being in a better state than the rest and are unable to hide their excitement. What would you say when an agent comes and spill out their client's prosperity and abilities? (yes there are such agents). Now that is what I call Buyer mis-representation"

Oct 23, 2011 01:46 PM #65
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Carla, this is why third party negotiations work better for both buyer and seller. Seller says too much, buyer says too much - usually someone ends up saying too much whenever the two shall meet :)


Oct 23, 2011 02:24 PM #66
Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate

Yep Calra, spot on, on this one. I just had a seller friend, out of town, who has a potential buyer, going around the agent, and contacting him directly. Amazing the things the buyer is telling him.

Oct 23, 2011 04:43 PM #67
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

It's very hard for people to remain silent, agents and clients alike.  It's almost comical how uncomfortable a little silence can make folks.

Oct 24, 2011 03:30 AM #68
Glenn Freezman
Nucazza LLP & Home Buying Evolution, & Family Abstract, Inc - Fort Washington, PA

Carla, sounds like great advice for you

Oct 24, 2011 03:51 AM #69
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Good Morning Carla,

Great advice for all parties, I think we all talk too much sometimes letting out something that should have remained unsaid.  Congratulations on the feature!

Oct 24, 2011 05:04 AM #70
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Carla -- came over from Fred Griffin's re-blog to compliment you on your well-phrased explanation of this common error.

Oct 26, 2011 05:01 PM #71
Terronald Logan
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, Homes for Sale - Austin, Texas

Just came across this re-blogged by someone else and had to come and say thanks for the info.  Really love the "buyers have the right to remain silent" line.  So so true!  What's even more unfortunate is when a consumer unknowingly hires an AGENT who talks too much as well.  This was a great piece that's wonderfully written.  Thanks a ton!

Oct 26, 2011 05:24 PM #72
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