How To Handle Clients That Are Not Truthful

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty RS-82566

I know with this changing market, we are running more and more into "unique" situations.  My question is, what can we do to safe guard ourselves from potential disasters?

I recently met with a client who was referred to me by a friend.  We had a very nice meeting and she decided that she would like me to list her home.  The home needed some work, but they were in the process of repainting and putting in new floors.  I put the lock box on the door, signed a contract with her and we were on our way.  A few days later I received a strange phone call from an "investor" who told me he had proof that this house was in foreclosure and that he would like to buy it for $40,000 under market value.  I was caught so off guard that I kindly told him to submit his offer and I would discuss it with my client.  When I called my client to tell her about this call, she didn't say much.  When I asked her if her home was in forclosure. all she said was, I don't know.  After a few more questions I realized that I have some investigating to do if I want to continue to list this house. 

How can we prevent these situations from happening.  I would hate to do all this work and have interested buyers only to have the deal fall apart from lack of knowledge.  Should we be asking all of our clients if they are current on their payments.  Where is the line drawn between pertinant information and being insulting?

Comments (5)

Ron Moore
RE/MAX Professionals/Regal Builders - Retired - Florence, SC
MOORE Thoughts

Remember the old saying, "Buyers are liars."  Now I guess we can start saying, "Sellers are story tellers."

Jul 10, 2008 08:27 AM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

Very interesting... I have heard that  Buyers are Liars and that Sellers are too many times over again.

Jul 12, 2008 12:26 PM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Staci, The rule of thumb is ask more questions than the client and find out if there is a mortgage or more than one, it is reasonable to ask about current payments and taxes if they are in arrears that will affect the selling price. So you can word these questions to not sound suspicious just well informed. Steve

Jul 16, 2008 02:14 AM
Eric Frederick
Eric at Eagle Nationwide Mortgage Co. - Phoenix, AZ

During my mortgage applications, I ask one very important question at the end:

"Is there anything else that we haven't discussed that I should know about?"

It's a simple, effective way for them to say, "like what"?  And then you can bring up about 3 or 4 questions that you want to ask but not insult.  And if they shake their head, then you can say "ok, just wanted to make sure because other things such as --insert those three or four questions here--can have a big impact on how we can market the property. 

I've found this trick to be extremely useful.



Jul 16, 2008 11:58 AM
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

yes they look so nice but Foreclosures are such tough on to stomach.

Sep 10, 2011 05:09 PM