Losing Trust When You Put a Positive Spin on Everything

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage GREC #208281


I Want to Know the Good, the Bad and the Ugly 


Key Points

  • A few people might like living next to a cemetery but many are scared of cemeteries
  • There's a bright side to everything but you also want to be aware of the dark side
  • If everything you say is positive, I don't think I can really trust you


I saw a video post this morning about buying a home next to a cemetery.

I assumed that this agent would mention the pros and the cons.  I was ready to make a joke about "quiet neighbors".

But I watched the video and he only mentioned three items, all of them were positive benefits.  After watching the video, one would think that a home next to a cemetery would sell at a premium.

  • People who have loved ones buried in the cemetery have comfort that their loved ones are close by.
  • The neighborhood is quiet. Fewer noisy neighbors
  • People in general respect an area around a cemetery more.  

But let's be real.  Unless people are very different where this guy lives, I would have to say that living next to a cemetery is an overall negative.  I've never, ever had anyone go out of their way to live next to a cemetery but I have had buyers make it known that being close to a cemetery was a definite deal breaker.  I've had contracts terminated when they found out there was a small church graveyard a few hundred yards away.

Wouldn't you want to at least mention one negative aspect about living next to a cemetery?

The guy seemed to be a very nice, pleasant and trustworthy person.

But seeing him smiling and only saying positive things about living next to a cemetery made me pause and wonder.

Why isn't he saying anything negative about living next to a cemetery?

Personally, I like optimistic people.  I like people who see the glass as half full.

But when it comes down to making a big financial decision, I want someone who's going to also tell me the possible downside.

As a buyer, I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly.  

If all you are doing is telling me the good, I don't think that I can really trust you.







Posted by



About the Author:  Tim Maitski has been a full time Realtor since 1999. He has sold several hundreds of homes in areas around metro Atlanta.  Tim started with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta and is now with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.


Along with blogging on ActiveRain, he provides one of the best real estate websites in Atlanta at www.HomeAtlanta.com .


His proprietary  "Maitski Line Reports" chart out the absorption rates over the past 14 years in 37 different market areas.  Know when it's a good time to buy or a good time to sell.    


His online Property Tax Calculator allows you to compare property taxes in many counties and cities around the Atlanta area.  He provides the Atlanta MLS Power Search Tool that allows searches of homes using over 35 specific criteria.


Over the years, Tim has optimized his business so that he now can offer a huge 50% commission rebate to his buyers.  The more experience one gets, the easier the job becomes.


Tim also has a "Five Days to Sold" System that uses an intensive marketing blitz to create a showing frenzy that creates urgency and offers.


Tim is always looking to LinkIn with anyone who is interested in building their social network.


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Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

I once had a client who wanted to buy a new home in a cul de sac lot and put in a pool.  The lot backed up to a cemetary.  After conferring with the county, I found that the cemetary was for indigent folks back in the 1800's and there were no definitive boundaries.  I was also told that if my client dug a pool and dug up bodies, she was responsible for re-burying them. Needless to say, the builder didn't make a sale.

Jan 01, 2018 04:42 PM #18
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Tim

Interesting post and line of discussion. I do think cemeteries are an issue for many buyers but I don't see the point in making that part of the marketing. Its like buying a home next to the freeway - some won't care, while for others the noise is a huge issue. I'm not sure that has to be pointed out as a negative in any marketing.

That said, I certainly would want to have a discussion with buyers who are considering homes by cemeteries, freeways, high tension wires and towers, and rail road tracks.

So I suppose the issue of sharing positives AND negatives depends on the circumstances, and when they are shared, and by whom. As a seller I would not want my agent pointing out all the negatives of my home's location in the MLS listing.


Jan 01, 2018 08:06 PM #19
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I wrote a post about this topic a few years ago about my personal experience with my buyers.

Jan 02, 2018 04:06 AM #20
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

You certainly opened an important discussion - I agree completely that a Realtor who is only spouting platitudes and sunshine is going to lose the trust of their clients.  'Nuff said. 

Jan 02, 2018 05:12 AM #21
Clay R. Seay
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL

Tim,  I can see that your point, being overly optimistic with no couter points, can cause others to feel that you are not being 100 percent truthful. In your specific example, a marketing video, it is not the presenters goal to be 100 percent truthful, it is their goal to secure clients. In general,  it is not always the agent's responsibility to comment, positive or negative, on every home features, including location, since sometimes they are obvious and not hidden. When information or isues within a home are hidden or concealed from the other party is when the Agent should voice their concern and opinion to protect their client's interest, whether positive or negative.

Jan 02, 2018 05:27 AM #22
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

When representing clients, you must be realistic, that is part of being honest. I'd discuss problems that may arise with an exit strategy immediately to potential buyers but the end decision is ultimately up to them. Price point is often a deciding point and can trump all other factors.

Jan 02, 2018 05:46 AM #23
Delphine Nguyen
Baird & Warner - Northbrook, IL

Certainly a thought-provoking post. I thinkm you are syaing we shoul always be realistic. I agree with that. Sometimes we let our enthusiasm for our listings get the better of us. Happy New Year to all! 

Jan 02, 2018 07:37 AM #24
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Agreed.  I want to know both sides and that is what I tell my buyers.  I will point out the features of the house that are on their must have list, but I will also point out the things that are lacking.  It is important to remind our clients so that they don't miss something that is important to them.  Sometimes the buyers get mixed up after seeing too many homes.  I had a couple once argue about which home had the fireplace that they both wanted.  They were both wrong.  :)  As far as cemeteries go, I have not had anyone outright say no to a home located near one.  

Jan 02, 2018 11:41 AM #25
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Interesting post Tim Maitski . I understand both sides. However, I lived next to a cemetery for about 7 years. I never had any negative feelings living next to one. It was like living next to a park only quieter. 

As for property values... I would comp the home the same as others in that same neighborhood.  This would take in any devaluation (if there is any) into consideration. This is where the conversation would come into play about the perception of most people and cemeteries. If the house was comped like a home next to a golf course instead of the actual neighborhood it is listed in, I would have that conversation with my buyer and proceed with an offer that reflects the proper value of the neighborhood. 

As for my opinion, it does not matter. It is all about the buyer. If they get the hee-bee-gee-beez when you mention "cemetery" then I should not be showing them property like that.  This seems pretty straight forward to me. 

As a seller's agent - I will point out all the great amenities it has to offer and most importantly,  price it based on the value of other homes in the neighborhood where the cemetery is located. 

Jan 02, 2018 12:18 PM #26
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Tim Maitski  If you have a good relationship with them I would think you would want to make them aware of both scenario's .. Good point

Jan 02, 2018 02:11 PM #27
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


Good discussion Tim Maitski   All houses with all kinds of quirks do sell. 

 I specialize in  hard to sell homes. Those next to a cemetery, next to the beltway, next to railroad tracks. 2 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, a basement kitchen, etc.etc.

Someone who does not want to live next to, or even drive by, a cemetery will not look at the property. Same with a noisy freeway or train or a stigmatized property.

When selling a home adjacent to a cemetery...I found there are  some special and interesting people who appreciate the location  including writers and some artists to name a few.

The train track home was purchased by a former train conductor and he felt he hit the lottery when he found this one. 

We can find the positive and the negative about each and every property. Present and let the buyer decide.


PS...It is kind of hard to hide or ignore the cemetery


Jan 02, 2018 04:40 PM #28
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

I always let my folks know that I will always share the good, the bad and the ugly with them. I even had to tell one guy that if he wanted an agent who only told him what he wanted to hear, then I wasn't the right agent. LOL (He finally started listening) 


By the way, love the comments you have going on here. Fascinating to watch and read  :-)

Jan 02, 2018 04:57 PM #29
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


Tim Maitski This discussion hs inspired my latest post. 

The drive under garage (if there is living space on the same level) is a positive for accessibility..also easy to install a stair glide. 

Again...good comments and discussion.

Jan 02, 2018 07:12 PM #30
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I would have made the same joke about quiet neighbors.

I confused about everything else. There is a neighborhood in my market area that has a small family cemetery right in the middle of the subdivision. The residents actually like it because of the privacy. It's semi-grown up and difficult to see from the street. No-one seems to mind the cemetery. So, it would be up to the buyer to determine whether or not it was a negative feature.

Jan 02, 2018 07:58 PM #31
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID


  1. Quiet location
  2. Well Manicured lawns
  3. Constantly changing floral arrangement
  4. Front row seats to the Zombie Appocolypse


  1. Neighboring lots have no resale value
  2. If a military cemetary, 21 gum salutes could be negative for those with PTSD
  3. Very narrow lots in adjacent community
  4. Commercial zoned recycling facility - Earth to earth - dust to dust?

Sorry, but my mind works in mysterious ways!

If a buyer has an issue with living next to a cemetary, I don't think any salesmanship, marketing, or price reductions will change their mind.

Jan 02, 2018 08:34 PM #32
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Some people are optimistic, many are pessimistic and the rest are simply annoying or procrastinators, however, from securing information from these people, we'll discover if an opportunity is suitable for them or not.

Trust IMO, is earned from the things you say and do before illustrating a particular presentation. If an objection is raised and it's a major concern, advising a prospect to reject an opportunity makes more sense to me than raising an issue that may or might not be objectionable. 

Jan 02, 2018 10:39 PM #33
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

While I do not like negativity the down side must be espoused or at a minimum acknowledged sometimes... well put!

Jan 03, 2018 05:03 AM #34
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I have a home listed right now--beautiful home, well priced, however, you can hear some highway noise from the exterior.  That is the main objection for buyers. Yet there are so many positives--including a walking path down the block along a lake that leads to a nice shopping/restaurant district.  Kudos to that agent for looking at the location a bit differently--I do agree with you however, that as an agent, you should point out the pros and cons of location.

Jan 04, 2018 07:02 AM #35
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

I've listed houses bordering cemeteries. Spin is spin and is transparent. Let the market decide.

Jan 06, 2018 06:53 PM #36
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Tim,

Personally, a cemetary would not bother me, but I realized that not all people have the same taste, when buyers raved about a deep green carpet that did not thrill me at all. Good to find out, what a particular set of clients likes or does not like. That way, you can make them reasonably happy within their budget.

Jan 09, 2018 07:08 PM #37
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