Can You Handle The Truth?

Real Estate Agent with CHANE REALTY INC 3230505



Ok, so we don't need Jack Nicholson yelling at us about handling the truth, as in A Few Good Men.  But, we do need a reality check before setting out to buy or sell a home.

Keep in mind that real estate is a sales industry.  Gimmicky advertising, flashy photos, and fast talkin’ sales agents often come with the business.  You have to be able to sift through all the hype to understand the reality of a listing.

Not All Sellers Are Serious About Selling

Just because a property is listed on the market, does not mean that it is actually available.  A listing report with little or no description, or with poor or very few photos is usually a good indication that the seller is not serious about selling the home, or more likely that they have a lousy agent.

The Listing Is Only As Good As…

A listing and its report are only as good as those who prepared it.  Although the agent is a good target for poor listings, I place just as much blame for a bad MLS report on the broker that actually owns the listing. 

One of my pet peeves is lousy photos on a listing report.  I’ve never understood why a listing broker would allow an agent to publish a poor report with bad photos and little or no description.  That would NOT be a real estate office you want to work with.

If It’s On The Internet It Must Be True!

Along with famous mom quotes like “brush your teeth” and “don’t chew with your mouth open,” we need to add “don’t believe everything you see online.” 

I receive so many calls regarding properties found online, and often these listings don’t exist, are under contract, or already closed.  These “dummy” listings used by unscrupulous agents to drum up business are an epidemic throughout the internet. You can find them on just about every real estate website, especially Craigslist where there is limited control of what gets posted.

If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.  And, if it’s truly a great deal and property, then there will be countless multiple offers and buyers scrambling to buy it. “Dummy” listings drive new customers to agents, but only at the expense of disappointing the public and breaching their trust.

The freshest and most accurate information regarding the real estate market is found through your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Get your agent to set up your search criteria along with automated notifications that are emailed to you the instant a new listing matching your criteria hits the market.  If you wait for it to go online, it’s already hours, days, and even weeks old.

Financing Doesn’t Always Mean Financeable

Just because the listing says the seller will consider financing, doesn’t mean that the property can be financed.

I have a simple rule…just remember P.E.A.R (Plumbing, Electric, A/C, Roof).  If any part of the P.E.A.R. has a problem, then financing will be a problem.  Keep in mind that the “P” stands for anything water or plumbing related, including the “P” in pool (go ahead and giggle).  All of it has to be in working condition in order to be financeable.

Many bank-owned properties (REOs) are “cash only” due to their condition.  If it needs a lot of work and you are financing your purchase, don’t waste your time looking at it.  You will only frustrate yourself.

Cosmetic issues like paint, floors, and curb appeal are really not a lender’s concern.  After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Lenders are concerned with the larger issues of a house.

Renovation Loans Are NOT Easy To Obtain

There are renovation loans both FHA and conventional.  However, I have previously discussed how difficult they are to obtain and process.  The percentage of renovation loans that actually make it to closing are miniscule.  They take long to process, and the majority of sellers are not eager to consider your offer if renovation financing is involved.



Watch for Part 2 of Can You Handle The Truth?


Comments (26)

Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I LOVE the irony of the Albert Einstein quote!  TOO FUNNY!  Where does the "F" in P.E.A.R  come in??  F.E.A.R . . . foundation!  LOL

Aug 31, 2015 05:45 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

As you mentioned it depends on the loan you are after especially FHA and VA. Like the P.E.A.R.

Aug 31, 2015 05:45 AM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

I want to believe it's all true... but have realized so much is fake/fraudulent/false so dont be fooled... I have been to Einsteins home. fyi.. 

Aug 31, 2015 05:51 AM

Good point Carla.  I use PEAR specifically as a quick reference when buyers are viewing a property, either in pictures or in person.  It's a good tool to help keep them focused and moving forward.  Not to mention that you waste a lot less of your time if they are able to classify many of the properties as either eligible or ineligible on their own accord.

Aug 31, 2015 05:57 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Love the PEAR analogy

Aug 31, 2015 06:25 AM
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

Haha! I've been together with my husband over 17 years (married 13 years) and he always says "You can't handle the truth." I just this weekend realized where he got that from when I saw a preview of the movie. LOL! Love it!

Aug 31, 2015 06:33 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

FELIX SANTIAGO The title of this post is priceless and the content is a must read!  You are  right about P.E.A.R..

Aug 31, 2015 06:37 AM
Noeleen Duffy
Claddagh Florida Properties - Palm Coast, FL

I love your P.E.A.R, great post!


Aug 31, 2015 06:54 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

One very true takeaway from your post is that "not all sellers are serious about selling."  It took a few years in the business for me to realize that - and convey it to my clients.  Great post!

Aug 31, 2015 07:11 AM
Victoria Ray Henderson
The Buyer Brokerage - McLean, VA
Real Estate for Home Buyers

Oh how I love your post! Especially the part about if it's on the internet it must be true.

So much bad information on the Internet and we spend so much time explaining this to home buyers. How about the Zillow feature that lets people put their houses on Zillow just to see IF a buyer might buy it at the home owners suggested  price. It's not actually for sale! Talk about confusing!?

Aug 31, 2015 11:06 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

As a Lender, I could add a few things to your list, FELIX SANTIAGO.  Your post proves exactly why it's so very important to work with experienced professionals, whether agent or lender.  You get the facts and truth that way ...


Sep 01, 2015 01:31 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

FELIX SANTIAGO,  Sometimes it is hard to convince sellers to do the necessary repairs before listing s house.

Sep 01, 2015 01:38 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Great point & I know that when I advertise an REO I always note that it has to be cash because of numerous repairs. Saves me soooooo much time.

Annoying Orange is my fav lol.

Sep 01, 2015 04:59 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

What a great much valuable information!  The "don't believe the internet" illustration is hysterical!

Sep 01, 2015 07:10 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Home Run Post!  Great information and it is on the Internet!   Sorry couldn't  help myself.  Nice post and I too like the PEAR.

Sep 02, 2015 01:07 AM
Mery Fernandez Empire Network Realty Luxury Brokerage
Empire Network Realty INC. - Orlando, FL
The Rise of An Empire, Let's Build Yours!

Hello and congratulations on your featured blog post! Well done and hope to see you have many more featured post. 

Sep 02, 2015 01:16 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

FELIX SANTIAGO ~ good morning, Felix. Very clever post and congratulations on the feature. By the way, I had no idea that the internet was around when  Albert Einstein was! Learn something new in the Rain everyday (LOL)!

Sep 02, 2015 08:50 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Love your acronym PEAR and with permission, plan to use it.

Sep 03, 2015 05:16 AM
Chris Mamone
Keller Mortgage - Tacoma, WA
Senior Loan Officer

Most people can't handle the truth! Its amazing to me how many people ask for honesty and yet they can't handle it! I get this all the time especially the if its online its true! Its not! Well Zillow says my home is worth "x". Well They are offering a 2.65% interest rate. People dont read the fine print and understand that to get value and rate you have to fit in the box to get it. Great post!

Sep 03, 2015 09:04 AM
Olympus Executive Realty Inc.
Olympus Executive Realty INC. - Orlando, FL
Home Of The Top Producers

Congrats on your featured blog, hopefully you can keep them coming, topics that are featured take blogging talent!

Sep 03, 2015 02:18 PM