Research shows that one of the most common traits of a real estate agent that people are wanting when they engage an agent is complete honesty.
I don’t need to tell you that real estate agents have a reputation of blatantly lying and in my time as an agent, there’s no doubt that I’ve seen plenty of evidence of this.
I remember one of the first seminars for real estate agents I attended back in 2001 not long after I first entered the industry, the trainer declared…
“Why would you tell a lie when you can have so much fun with the truth?”
He was being a little sarcastic but I remember the points he was making about being honest and over the years, I’ve seen many agents come and go based on their reputation of lies and dishonesty.
The funny thing is that it’s so easy for a consumer to test an agent and find out if they are honest in their dealings.
So here’s a little tip when you consider which agent you’ll engage…
Find a property currently for sale with the agent you’re considering and attend an open home.
Ask a few key questions to the agent such as…
- Why are the sellers selling?
- What’s their motivation?
- Are they negotiable on price?
- If so, what’s the price that they would accept?
An early indication of their honesty might be obvious if they are painting a picture that the owners are desperate and just want offers…a situation that is rarely the reality.
Perhaps make a few comments as to why you may not consider this home to be suitable.
A few days later, you might like to drop in on the home owner and tell them that you’re considering the agent that they have listed with and want to verify their honesty.
Ask the seller what feedback they’ve received from your inspection and see if the story correlates.
You’d be surprised at what you might find.
At times, there’s no question that some things can be a little mis-interpreted in second hand communication so if there are a few slight differences, I would not necessarily jump all over the agent but if there are clearly blatant lies, then run for the hills.
You’d be surprised how many listings we’ve picked up lately that have previously been on the market with another agent.
Often in these situations, the sellers were concerned that they were not being told the truth and sent a family member or friend through the open home…and the feedback given to the owner about this friend’s interest being no-where near the truth.
Going to this level might seem a little extreme but when you’re dealing with an asset that is worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s imperative that you’re being given the right information in order to make a decision about what offers to accept or reject…and an agent’s honesty is paramount in this process.
Until next week…Happy Listing and Happy Selling!