Humor: Five Lies We Tell Our Clients

Lies We Tell

After a couple of weeks of intensity about social media and Periscope, I thought it would be fun to end the week on a lighter note. I love reading humorous posts about real estate, and I hope you do too!

Without further ado, here are five lies we tell our clients. Enjoy!

“Five Cats? No Problem!”

Ugh, pets can be the worst, can’t they? Whether it’s a buyer or a seller, there’s rarely anything more frustrating than trying to work around animals, especially lots of animals.

Buyers often have a hard time finding a home in an area that allows a large number of pets, or they may own a dog that’s going to be almost impossible to insure. Sellers with multiple pets have to be encouraged to clean and move pets before showings – NO the buyers don’t want to meet Mr. Fluffy!

Now, I’m not against pets – I have them myself. But sometimes homeowners with multiple pets or specific attitudes can be a challenge!

“Of Course We Can Consider the Zestimate.”

This may not be a lie, actually – you will consider it, for about five seconds before you throw it in the trash where it belongs. Unfortunately, homeowners think the Zestimate is somehow professional advice, and it becomes an objection we have to settle when we price the home.

Some good advice I’ve encountered for handling the Zestimate issue is, first of all, to take the homeowner seriously. They don’t know how silly it is, so don’t make them feel foolish. Then, follow up with comps and let them know that a Zillow estimate doesn’t take into account anything specific about their home, and is really just a wild guess.

Good luck!

“Thanks for the Cell Phone Photos of Your Home!”

Ever had a seller offer to “save you time” by taking their own photos of the home? Unless they are a professional photographer, this makes you want to run for the hills. Explaining to a seller that the photographs need to be professional quality can sometimes be difficult.

Fortunately, you can show them a lot of examples of poor photos of listings online, and ask them the impression they get. Then show them great photos and ask them which one they would pay more for. Hopefully, they’ll get the point quickly. Then you can take the quality photos you need, list the home, and make the sale!

“You Smoke Indoors? Oh, No Problem.”

Smells in a home can easily ruin a listing, and smoking smells in particular can be really difficult to get rid of. Hopefully you follow up this kind of statement with some suggestions on who they can contact for extremely thorough cleaning, and let them know to call you when it’s ready.

Smoking cigarettes indoors can significantly damage the value of a home and can cost tens of thousands to remediate. Even smokers don’t want to buy a home that reeks of someone else’s cigarette smoke. As an agent, I would shy away from even taking a listing from indoor smokers. It’s a lot of work to get that home ready to sell, if it could be done.

“I’d Be Happy to Take You to Six Homes This Evening!”

This is almost more of a rookie mistake than a lie, really. But buyers that want to see tons of homes in a short timeframe are simply asking for trouble. As agents, we want to ensure that both our time and the buyer’s time are well spent. As a result, it’s better to “counter-offer” with a different plan.

When a buyer sees so many homes in a row, when they’re already tired, everything blurs together. They won’t have a good memory of what they saw, and may ask you to take them back again anyway! Remind them of this, and advise them to just see one or two houses in an evening. Even if they have a full day available, too many homes in a row will not be productive.

As the agent, you may want to take notes for them. You can record what they like and don’t like at each home and send them a copy the next day. That will help refresh their memory and avoid having to revisit multiple homes.

Obviously, as professional agents we aren’t unethical in our work. However, sometimes we tell some “white lies” like the ones above. I hope you got a smile out of this, and maybe some tips on how to handle difficult buyers and sellers in the future!

What “lies” do you tell in your work? Share in the comments!