Why Some Agents are Afraid to Tell You the Truth

"We would rather be honest with you and sleep at night even if we don't get the listing than blow smoke up your proverbial "you know where" and then have to dance around why things aren't working out."

Yes, that is a direct quote and one that I live by without exception. Needless to say, not all people have the same, (well, I’m just going to say it), morals. Taking the strategy of “question dodging” and constant price lowering is a really good sign that your agent is afraid to tell you the truth. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I want an agent that is a straight shooter and tells it like it is even if I won’t really like what they have to say or one that tells me what I want to hear at a risk of taking forever to sell my home and losing thousands of dollars in the process?”  

It is always puzzling why a professional would choose to avoid the truth but the fact of the matter is that it happens. Here are 5 things you need to be on the lookout for that will help determine if you have an Honest Abe or a liar-liar-pants-on-fire agent.  

Vague resume: When it comes to giving the details of how long they have been a licensed real estate agent, working at their current agency, and other questions about their experience, they are vague as hell. While this is not an out-and-out falsehood, it is misrepresentation by omission. Statements such as “In all my years of selling real estate...” is factual and one that instills confidence in the homeowner but when is the last time you asked, “So exactly how many years is that?”  An even better question to ask would be “How extensive is your training with your firm?” Truth be told, longevity does not equal knowledge in all cases.

Teaming up with an agent who has had extensive training means they are know what they’re doing, know how to best serve you, and can go toe-to-toe with the veterans of the industry.  

No solid data offered:

Agents that have real solid experience behind them will be more than willing to offer up any data that will help you feel confident in their knowledge. Agents who are fairly new with a yet-to-be-proven track record tend to shy away from offering such information. Instead, they choose to offer you their expertise verbally. Statements such as “One of my current listing sold in a record (x)amount of days”... “I had (x) number of offers on one of my recent listings. I love it when that happens”... “With just a few minor and cost effective repairs, I was able to get the homeowner (x) amount of dollars over what they originally wanted to list the home for”.... NOW, let’s think about this for a minute. That is one listing + one listing + one listing = 3 listings. While each statement unto itself my sound impressive, the facts are 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 and that is not enough experience to give you the representation that you need.  Knows someone: When deciding which agent to partner with for the sale of your home, you’re certain to run into one who over-enthusiastically lets you know that they already know a buyer who would absolutely love your home. This line of conversation is meant to make the homeowner think that the sale will take place quickly if you go with that particular agent since they seem to already have several potential buyers waiting in the wings.  

Your home is perfect:

Yes, I know you love your home but you’ve most likely lived in it for a while and it is no longer in parade-of-homes shape. Agents that make zero suggestions on things you can improve on to help the sale of the home most likely just wants to get the home up on the market asap. This is definitely not in your best interest. Even the best homes could use a bit of lipstick in order to show in its best possible light.  

Loves to lower the value of your home:

Lowering the price of the home is their first go to move if the home isn’t selling quickly enough. Some agents would actually prefer getting a somewhat smaller paycheck instead of working harder for their client. Yes, sometimes lowering the price is the best option however not until the home has been properly marketed and suggestions for home improvements have been addressed. While some homeowners don’t have time to wait and lowering the price is indeed in their best interest, that’s not always the case and should not be the first go-to move. 

Selling a home is often an emotional decision and a time of change for you and your family. It is important that you don’t let that throw you off of doing your homework and choosing the best agent for your needs; someone who is not only interested in your home but also has an interest in you as a person.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to get free access to Your Home Selling Guide. It is filled with great content that will empower you with information.