Never Tell Your Agent These 5 Things

General Advice

DEC 29, 2022

It goes without saying, that if you're planning on using an agent for you real estate needs, it helps to find & use a good one. Your agent is going to be your most important asset when buying or selling your house, especially since using a listing agent can net you a higher sales price than by selling on your own. However, regardless of how good of an agent you have — there are things you should never tell them.

I'm selling because of divorce, bankruptcy, illness, etc.

It's pretty easy to drop the motivation behind your decision to sell in everyday conversation. As a matter of fact, when your listing agent first meets you, they'll probably ask you why you're looking to sell now vs. at a later time. Although your agent is legally bounded to put your interest first, your motivation to sell is something that might slip out in conversation at an open house, showing, or any other interaction your agent has.

This might not sound like a big deal, but airing your dirty laundry to the world ends up hurting you as buyers will know that you're highly motivated to sell and will likely lowball you.

We're only interested in a certain type of buyer

Shortly after the Civil Rights Movement, the Federal Equal Housing Laws were passed in order to protect consumers & homebuyers from discrimination when purchasing homes. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of: race, color, national origin, religion, sex (gender and orientation), familial status, and disability. It might sound absurd to think that you'd ever violate any housing laws, but most people don't realize it when it happens.

For example, when selling your house, you shouldn't ask your agent to only show you offers from buyers that are similar in ethnicity to you. You also shouldn't ask your agent to only look for young families when entertaining offers.

I'm in no rush to sell (sorta) 

The longer the house sits on the market, the lower the eventual sales price. When houses sit on the market for too long compared to others, most buyers begin to avoid it because they think there's something wrong with the home (otherwise why wouldn't it sell?). Although you should avoid telling your agent that you're in a distressed situation and need to sell ASAP, you also shouldn't tell them that you're not in a rush at all. When you tell your agent you have all the time in the world, typically they understand that you might not be as serious to sell — and so you won't get their full attention or marketing effort.

Only show when I'm free/available

All the data points to the fact that the more showings you allow for your house, the faster it'll sell. Which makes sense, buyers want to see a house when they're available, and they'll likely only make an offer on a house they've seen. It might be awkward to accept the fact that strangers are going to walk through your home without you there, but only allowing showings when you're available will severely restrict the amount of time your agent can make available for viewings. On top of that, most buyers don't want the homeowner inside the house while they're looking around, it's hard to picture themselves in their new potential home with a stranger there.

I'm not accepting anything lower

This might hurt your ego to accept, but most times your home isn't worth as much as you think it is. A lot of homeowners view their home from a sentimental perspective which often inflates their perceived value. A market consists of both buyers and sellers, and those that hold the money (buyers) dictate what they're willing to pay for your house. Your agent's responsibility is to sell your home at the fair market value, which might be lower than what you think it can sell for. If you're too stubborn about not being open to potentially lower offers, your agent might just decide to not work with you. Selling your house for much higher than the market will scare away buyers, and lead to your home staying on the market for longer.

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice.


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