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Sometimes the truth hurts....really hurts.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. 

Unfortunately, sometimes my job requires that I tell buyers and sellers things they don't want to hear or believe.  Over the years I've gotten better at it. The thing is, as we grow older and hopefully wiser in this business, we learn that telling the truth in difficult transactions is the best policy. 

Let me be a little more clear.  You see, many agents have a hard time delivering the truth when it counts.  It's not that they are habitual liars or that they want to be misleading, but the harsh reality is that they might not have any other deals in their pipeline and that they were really counting on this sale to make ends meet.  It's a scary proposition that many buyers and sellers rarely know they are even taking part in.  Real estate is like the stock market in some ways. One day you are up the next you are down.  I've personally seen my sales pipeline go from one extreme to another in just a matter of minutes.  It's how we react to these changes that truly shows our character.  Nobody likes to loose money, but doing the right thing usually pays off in other ways right?

Try telling that the the new agent who just had their "big deal" fall apart right in front of their eyes.  So what do you do if you are a consumer?  Well, you probably need to do a little research on your agent and see how they are doing in the current market.  Do they have a good sales pipeline?  Are they somewhat busy?  Chances are if they are working another job and can only talk to you on a break or similar, than they don't really have a real estate career, they have a hobby. Do they already have that commission check spent a month before closing?  No offense, but any of these situations are probably not going to work out with your interests being put first. 

So what do I mean by that?  Well, if your agent is plugging homes and pushing for that close, you probably have an agent that meets the prior criteria.  A good agent will know how to get you on board with a transaction if it's what is right for you, without being pushy or compromising your position.  When given three homes you like, does your agent automatically gravitate to the home with the  commission bonus or higher sales price?  Don't get me wrong, sometimes that IS the right house, but are they being honest with you or trying to fill their pockets. 

As good agents get better at their career, you start to notice a calmness and confidence.  I love that now that I have a steady pipeline of clients, I can truly relax and come from a place of sincerity in order to help my clients make good financial decisions and speak with 100% honesty.  It's not always easy to tell the truth, especially when it means I recommend the house that is 200K less expensive because it makes better sense for the buyer.  Sometime it hurts to tell the seller the truth that their investment is worth much less than they paid for it and that they are going to loose a lot of money.  No one likes to disappoint, but sometimes, the truth hurts. 

At the end of the day, if you are a consumer, make sure you fully evaluate your agent and check credentials.  Ask to see their last 12 months sales.  Find out if they are working in real estate or if they are just playing.  Trust me, it could cost you a lot if you hire the wrong agent!  You know the idea of not going to the grocery store when you are hungry?  Well, the same applies here.  Don't hire a hungry agent without the means to feed themselves.  Happy hunting!

Jacki Tait, CLHMS
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Flagstaff, AZ
Finding Your Place in Flagstaff, Arizona

In the 12 years I've been in real estate,  the thing that I see push an agent out of the business faster than anything else is living commission check to commission check.  You are right on by saying that an agent who is really counting on the commission to make ends meet is less likely not to come from a position of what's best for the client.  Of course, as you also stated, busy seasons can come and go.  As an agent, the most important thing I've found is to have at least 12 month's reserve in the bank.  That way you're always in the position to put the client's needs first.  Great post!

Sep 24, 2014 05:20 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

After 25 years I learned a long time ago that it is all about the buyer or seller whoever you represent.

Sep 24, 2014 05:52 AM
Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Destin, FL
Your Real Estate Resource!

When you call your agent at 8:30am do you wake him up? If so, that's a bad sign!

Sep 24, 2014 10:45 PM