How honest should I be with showing feedback?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843

One of the joys of mentoring new agents here at Century 21 Bradley in Fort Wayne is that I get to answer all kinds of questions.  It's almost like a refresher course!

This morning one of my new agents called and asked me this question:  

How honest should I be with showing feedback?

Showing feedbackShe told me that one of the homes she toured yesterday smelled terrible!  There were at least five kitty litter boxes throughout the home, and the cat urine smell was over powering.  

Should I tell the listing agent that, or is that being mean?  

In my opinion, telling the listing agent that would probably help them.  What they'll do is forward that information to the seller via email or a phone call.  

If one of my listings was having this issue during showings, I'd want to know about it so I could remedy the problem with my sellers.  

As a listing agent, I've received some showing feedback from buyer agents that was downright rude and completely unecessary.  I softened it up a little before I forwarded it to my sellers.  

I think that being honest with showing feedback is key.  If that means telling a listing agent that the home was a mess or that it smelled, so be it.  

That's not being rude.  That's being honest and it really could help the seller and the listing agent.  

What are your thoughts as Realtors?  Do you soften it up when you leave feedback or do you just say it how it is?  

How about sellers out there?  Do you want to hear it, even if it's bad?


Amanda and Jared Christiansen

Full time Realtors with Century 21 Bradley Realty in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.  We'd love to hear from you if you have any real estate questions at all! We can be reached at 260.704.0843 or 260.704.0842.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!  Thanks for reading!

Century 21 Bradley Realty Fort Wayne

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Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen with Century 21 Bradley

Amanda Christiansen is an award winning Realtor with Christiansen Group Realty.


Jared Christiansen is a business partner and in charge of marketing and taking care of things behind the scene.


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Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842, or you can email us at, or




Re-Blogged 2 times:

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  1. Debbie Reynolds 04/13/2014 11:11 AM
  2. Winston Heverly 06/29/2014 01:55 AM
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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Jared, Offering clothespins to all who enter is not feasible so being blatantly honest to sellers to get their home sold is necessary or it just may just sit on the market and continue to reek. 

Mar 28, 2014 12:30 AM #69
Dwight Puntigan
DRP Realty, LLC - Saint Peters, MO
Dwight Puntigan

Just like with my kids, hearing it from another source means more than when I preach on it.

Mar 28, 2014 12:47 AM #70
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

It would be great if all agents gave honest feedback, this just might reinforce what the listing agent has been telling the sellers.

Mar 28, 2014 01:27 AM #72
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

I have been honest and gotten snippy replies, but that doesn't bother me. I feel the agent needs to know the problem(s).

Cosmetic issues, maybe not so much. Sometimes it is as simple as 70% of the home being painted bright yellow, but the home owner loves the color and won't change it. The agent probably knows about this issue. 

Mar 28, 2014 01:31 AM #73
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

IMO, you have got to be brutally honest! That one showing agent will go back to their office and tell all the other agents about how bad it was.  Anyone that was thinking about seeing it will change their plans.  If one of their buyers calls and says they want to see it the agent will tell them about it.  The seller is who gets hurt.  The chances of them selling their home for a decent price has dropped considerably...tell it like it is!

Mar 28, 2014 01:48 AM #74
ReadySetLoan Condo Approval Team
ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC - South Windsor, CT
The FHA/VA Condo Project Approval Specialists

Hi Amanda and Jared - it is absolutely necessary to give appropriate and honest feedback to the listing agent.  In this case, with the cat pee smell, the listing agent might have been too shy to notify the seller of the odor but forwarding this feedback gives the listing agent an "out".  Also, if the listing agent mentioned the cat odor but the seller did nothing, it might reinforce the listing agent's opinion if a third party (or multiple people) say the same thing.

Mar 28, 2014 01:50 AM #75
Sophia Lin
Intero Real Estate Services - Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale CA Real Estate Specialist

Hi Amanda & Jared, we should definitely be honest with our feedback, it helps us as the realtor, it is helpful feedback coming from other professionals to our sellers, and it will ultimately help sell the house sooner than later if remedied.

Mar 28, 2014 02:06 AM #76
Jill Saddler
Draper, UT
Draper Utah Real Estate Professional - 25 years+!

Hi agree - honesty if the best policy - you won't hurt the agent's feelings!

Mar 28, 2014 02:19 AM #77
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

If it's helpful, then it's probably worthwhile to be honest. Otherwise, I'd just let it go.

Mar 28, 2014 02:20 AM #78
Jim Griffin
HouseLens: Video Marketing for Real Estate - Nashville, TN

It's ideal when visiting agents can give honest feedback politely, and listing agents and sellers can accept it graciously. As Evelyn points out, the visiting agents are going to tell SOMEONE. If I'm a listing agent, I'd prefer they tell me so that my clients can do something about the problem before it affects their ability to sell the house.

Mar 28, 2014 02:28 AM #79
Stacey Williams
Alpharetta, GA
Experienced Metro Atlanta Real Estate Agent

I am diplomatic in my delivery of not so great information. I have nothing to gain by making unnecessary unprofessional comments to a peer. In metro Atlanta if you have been in the industry awhile you come across the same people quite often. Being rude can be a career crippler. However, honesty is GOLDEN.

Mar 28, 2014 03:00 AM #80
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

I always provide honest feedback. I'm good at massaging it.  I start with the positives.  Then provide honest negatives.  I spend time thinking about how to work things so the sellers are not hurt by my comments.


Mar 28, 2014 05:52 AM #81
Jean Jannopoulo
Love where you live - Sarasota, FL
Robert Slack LLC

Wording carefully, there is always a way to give honest feedback without causing harm.  And when I have listings, I always write a person email to each agent asking for any feedback they can share.  Almost always, the very thing I advised my sellers about, are the things they hear again from potential buyer's agents.  You can say almost anything in a nice way.

Mar 28, 2014 06:19 AM #82
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Feedback is important.  Sometimes the way it is given with the intent to help makes the difference.  Ignoring it does not help.

Mar 28, 2014 06:49 AM #83
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

So true, some things we try to make the owner aware of, do not hit home until the feedback confirms it.

Mar 28, 2014 09:11 AM #84
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jared- I'm not an agent, but I would imagine that just like any kind of criticism or feedback, if done constructively, can be helpful.  

Mar 28, 2014 10:32 AM #85
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

We give honest feedback. We generally try to give pros and cons, if possible. As the listing agent, we give our sellers the same access we have, so if the buyer's agent is rude, that's what our sellers see.

Mar 28, 2014 10:54 AM #86
Deleted Account
Fort Myers, FL

You need to be 100% honest.  Being dishonest is not only not helping, but it can be considered unethical.  Tell it like it is.

Mar 31, 2014 09:27 AM #87
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

It all depends on the situation and should only be speaking for myself not my clients, some days I'll let loose with pleasure!


Apr 13, 2014 01:10 PM #88
Erin Bates
CMG Financial and Expansion Marketing Services - Aurora, CO

WOW! I just wrote a blog about this very subject. I am always very very honest with feedback, the agents need to know! I bet you would get a kick out of some of the feedback we provided this week. I detailed it in my blog! 

Apr 14, 2014 03:32 AM #89
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Amanda Christiansen

Christiansen Group Realty
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