Growing up it seemed ‘white lies’ were okay while lying was a sin. As children, we sometimes had difficulty understanding where the line was. As we matured, we realized there most definitely was a difference.
If a husband or wife asks if it is okay to invite their parents over for dinner, the spouse would probably say ‘sure’ even if it wasn’t 100% the truth. That was a ‘white lie’. If a young boy dresses up as a monster on Halloween and asks his father if he looks ‘really scary’, it was okay for his dad to say ‘YES’! That was a ‘white lie’.
In both cases, the person telling the ‘white lie’ was saying what the other person wanted to hear. In both cases, there was no harm in not telling the 100% truth. In both cases, it was a ‘white lie’. However, if we are not telling the 100% truth in order to save someone’s feelings AND IT HURTS THEM, we are lying.
What does this have to do with real estate?
We believe there are some in the real estate industry more worried about a homeowner’s feelings than they are about telling the truth about the current value of their home. These agents are not necessarily malicious. They just realize they may disappoint a seller at a listing appointment by telling the truth about what the house will sell for. They find it difficult to deliver tough news. To make sellers feel better, they lie.
Good agents can deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news.
In today’s real estate market, you need an agent that will tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. You need an agent more worried about your family than they are about your feelings. You need an agent who can get the house sold!
What this means to you
If you are interviewing potential listing agents, demand they tell you the truth. Don’t hire the agent that tells you what you want to hear. Hire the agent that tells you what you need to know. Reward their honesty.
Sometimes the truth is not what a seller wants to hear…they have made additions, improvements, but their neighbors have not. The Appraised value of the buyer’s lender is the value of the property. When a former client calls to ask my advice about spending $$ for improvements my questions are: how long do you plan to live in the property, describe the improvement…is it what buyer’s are asking for or a very custom design that few buyers may want, and the list could go on. I also send them a list of properties in their neighborhood that have sold in the last 6 months. I would rather not “win” the listing than see my name on a property for an excessive time period…