Above all else...be honest. All 50 states have some form of consumer protection brochure. In NC it is called Working With Real Estate Agents and serves as the basis for an open and honest relationship between licensed real estate agent and the real estate consumer. Two of the several key components are the topic of today's writing and centers on honest dialog.
- Promote the best interest of your client.
- Provide your client with all material facts that could influence their decisions.
Surprisingly, it isn't always as easy as it sounds. Particularly if you were brought up to be kind to people and not hurt their feelings. In the dozen years that I've been in real estate, I've learned that the kindest thing you can do with real estate clients and customers is plunge headlong into honest conversation with them but warn them ahead of time that they will not always like what you have to say but you say it with the best of intentions.
Often it is easier with buyers than with sellers. For buyers, the conversations aren't related to them on as personal a level. You aren't advising them about curb appeal or how they smell or how clean they seem to be. Here is me keeping my fingers crossed that I NEVER have a buyer that this topic has to come up! For buyers, the truthful conversation is more about advising to get pre-qualified or the likely reception to a lowball offer, possibly a sellers probable perception of an unreasonable repair request. Nothing really personal about the buyers themselves.
The sellers on the other hand, no matter how diplomatically you present the issue(s) there will be a higher chance that their feelings get bruised. Just a few examples of what I'm talking about...in as plain language as possible.
- Sellers...buyers will judge a book by the cover and your curb appeal isn't there. Fill in the blank...could be exterior damage, overgrown lawn, trash in the yard, dog holes, kids toys, cheesey statuary and other yard art...I've seen some ridiculous things.
- Sellers...buyers must not be distracted by the personal property contents. Again, there's hardly anything agents haven't seen. Get rid of or conceal the liquor collection, the pharmeceuticals, the massive collection of whatever...creepy glass eyed dolls, animal trophy heads, 1500 stuffed toys, photographs of your entire lineage covering all of your walls, Playboy style magazines, guns, frog statues, fairy statues, panda statues, black bear-moose-manatee-dolphin-eagle-whatever collections and for sure anything that detracts from being able to represent the style and size of your home. You'll have to pack it when you move - why wait?
If truth freaks you out, don't worry because there will be plenty of listing agents who will whisper sweet nothings into your ear and promise you anything to list your house. Here's what I will promise you on behalf of MoonDancer Realty you will NOT always like what I have to say but I will always be honest with you. There is absolutely no benefit to you or me to do otherwise. We have the same ultimate goal to achieve!