Buyers, don't discuss your negotiations unless you know it's private

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

This evening I was picking up dinner for my daughter and me at a local place. Pick up is at the bar at this place and other guests were dining at the bar.  One of the other guests happened to be another agent I know.  This agent was with what appeared to be clients.  And right there among strangers they were discussing marketing strategy.  The buyer clearly stating out loud what their "top dollar" was for this home and the agent never once telling them this was not the time or place to have this discussion. 

Of course I have had lunch and dinner with buyer clients before, even during times we were in negotiation periods, but no public place discussions are held about the contract.  When I left dinner that night I knew what house they were making an offer, what the offer was they had made, what their top dollar they were willing to pay for the house was and even details about their loan. 

I didn't, but I could have told the listing agent.  We live in a small community and it's really not hard to figure out what house they are talking about. In fact, one of the other random strangers at the house could live next door to the sellers for all they knew.  Maybe someone else at the table did go tell tell the sellers or the listing agent.

When I am working with buyer clients we keep discussions about offers and negotiations and private loan details to the confines of my car or my office.  We don't even discuss them at a house they are considering making an offer on in case there is some recording device inside the home.  I always remember to warn my buyers that sellers probably have cameras and could even be listening to our conversation. At Lane Realty, we work really hard to protect our clients.  This goes for both buyers and/or sellers we are working to help with a real estate transaction.  Agents don't discuss among themselves the details.  As the broker I am generally "in the know" on all transactions, but I don't discuss other than with the representing agent.

Great Service is our #1 goal at Lane Realty.


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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Tammy great advice there are no secrets anymore, I will have to share with you a story one of these days....Endre

Nov 27, 2018 11:16 PM #1
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Absolutely correct. Those conversations have got to be done privately! Good post.

Nov 28, 2018 03:50 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Tammy... I'm in total agreement. Always amazed at what people will discuss in a public forum that should be private.

Nov 28, 2018 05:16 AM #3
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Tammy - you would hope that people are more "aware" especially a broker/agent.  Think.  Silence is truly golden.

Nov 28, 2018 06:39 AM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Tammy- I've been amazed when we were looking at a house and the listing agent was present and they would tell us what the seller would take for an offer. Seriously??!!

Nov 28, 2018 04:03 PM #5
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Tammy

You raised a great point here. People seem to forget when out in public that it IS public. You just never know who might be listening. Same kind of issue when talking...loudly...on a cell phone.

I was showing a property one time and a buyer agent was outside talking on her photo, first to the buyers, and then to the listing agent (I know because I heard the name). Needless to say confidentiality was violated.


Nov 30, 2018 04:27 PM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing this experience. A good reminder to be careful with conversations.

Dec 01, 2018 08:45 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                              Thank you, Tammy!

Dec 01, 2018 05:06 PM #8
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tammy. What a thoughtful and insightful post. Just plain stupid to have this discussion at a bar with others within ear shot.

Dec 02, 2018 04:10 AM #9
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

People are often caught up in such self-importance, like they are the only people who matter in the world, and they forget we actually share space with others.

Dec 02, 2018 10:43 AM #10
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

 Good morning Tammy Lankford, just last week, while showing a home, another agent was in the driveway talking to her buyers. If the conversation is in a public place, it's not private. This is a great reminder to all of us.

Dec 03, 2018 06:07 AM #11
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

If I were having this conversation in a restaurant or other public place, we would use discretion in our chat. You can always lower your voice or move to a less crowded area. Sounds like it was "rush hour" at this particular restaurant and not the best place to be negotiating their offer. I'd opt for take-out to the office where we could talk privately. 

Dec 03, 2018 08:36 AM #12
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Something I think of whenever I am approached by brokerages that have no physical office.  "You can just meet clients and do your business at Starbucks or Panera."  Wrong answer.  If for some reason my sellers can't meet at their homes, we meet in a conference room in my chosen brokerage's office.  Privacy is necessary to real estate business.

Dec 03, 2018 10:33 AM #13
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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