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How Candid, How Much Candor Do You Use In Listing, Selling Real Estate?

Candor, the tell it like it is, here is what is up, going on may or may not show up in your real estate transaction.

Some folks believe people avoid candor in order to curry favor with others in a real estate sale. But the opposite can happen. By not stepping up to the plate and with Ricky Bobby "all due respect" candor, the truth of the situation does not get out there in to the sunlight. For air to hit it. Candor can unnerve people.maine winter woods tree plantation

From the time we are knee high to a grasshopper, we are taught to soften the blow, lighten the bad news and like politicians, add some spin.

Sugar, candy coat it to make it go down easier. And tip toe around the elephant in the room logic applied.

Lack of candor in a real estate transaction whether you represent the buyer or seller or both, is deadly.

It wastes time when speed is of the essence as the transaction inches forward.

Or dies on the vine.

Because certain key points, realities were not discussed, brought up.

Candor can make people uncomfortable but holds them accountable. It means getting your hands dirty and bringing up something on your mind knowing it could be simpler selfishly if you did not.

Playing it safe to avoid confusion, pain and resentment means leaving candor out of the real estate transaction.

Because if you bring up some key points glossed over or just not being thrashed out, wrinkles removed, it means awkward moments and time consuming diplomacy as the topic subjects, situations detonate.

When you speak your mind in a real estate transaction, or as a leader of a group, you do stand a chance of alienating someone. But if you develop "bump on the log" limp along status, playing it safe and protecting yourself, the rest of the players in the real estate deal suffer. The seller who is totally unrealistic on the value he expects continues to think he is in the right if you do not point out "with all due respect" you are attempting to receive three times the actual value of your property listing Mr Seller.

His eyes may bug out, his lip curl and his attitude to become a tad snarky.

But if the real estate listing price he dictates is set in granite, this real estate movie does not have a happy ending. Everyone's time, financial, emotional resources are wasted. Like throwing horseshoes expecting a ringer when someone removed the stakes at both ends. Lesson in futility. No pair of tickets for the buyer and seller to get to the big long simulated wood real estate closing conference room table.

Without candor in a real estate transaction, obstacles (including the two legged kind) stall a property sale process. Lack of candor or someone recognizing the wrong path we are on, the mix up on directional turns we did back on those last two cloverleaf transaction intersections means we're hopelessly lost. And just don't know it. Yet.

In fact many meetings, calls, emails without candor can give every one a sense all is well. When it is not. Anything but.

And then as the deal dies a certain death, finger pointing starts. On who is to blame. Again playing it safe, self protection mode kicks in and isolating yourself from the anything to do with the failure of a deal. Or even then stepping up to the mic and saying I could have told you this was coming, this would happen. Why didn't you?

Fear of alienating someone, making a person or two not like you for being the bearer of bad news. It is a little like touching a hot stove. Catching a hot potato. Or pointing out folks, I think we need to back up, regroup, cut our losses. Pull this real estate wagon train 180 degrees around to high tail it out of this dead end box canyon. Candor, speaking up, do you avoid it because of the reaction it gets from others in the real amber diamond active rain blog post awardestate deal that might take it as a criticism, personally? It can be awkward, unpleasant at times when you start using candor in your real estate day to day. But the guts to display it, use it in the long run sets you apart from the rest of the real estate herd wearing the "R" but lost in a sea of sameness.

Say, have you ever attended the Aunt Bea real estate public relations seminar series? It made the Active Rain Amber Diamond blogging group roster of gold stars posts that should have but were missed, didn't.

Maine, a tad out spoken, but the folks are hardworking, God fearing, family based and you always, always know where you stand.

I'm Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

info@mooersrealty.com | 207.532.6573

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Comment balloon 37 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • July 24 2011 10:26AM

Comments

Candor is what our industry is all about and all of us should fly this personal flag of candor in all we do. I find transparency and easy to read people very refreshing thank you Andrew

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 9 years ago

I agree that candor is in the best interest of your clients. But I am reminded by another peer of mine who has the priviledge of being known as the agent that can talk someone into and out of buying a home in the same day! Use candor wisely as to not blur the lines between protecting your clients and your idealisms.

Posted by Randy Landis, Overseas Retirement Consultant (Retired in Samar) about 9 years ago

Richie ... Say it like it is. All the cards on the table, like a doctor that does not pull punches but says you are in stage 2 of cancer, but all is not lost and there are some things we need to do pronto. Like right now. Let's roll up those sleeves and make it happen and not dance around it, talk it to death or give everyone a false sense that all is well when it is not. What are the odds, what have you seen like this in your real estate career? That experience is what the real estate buyer and seller want, need from the guy or gal wearing the "R". The by far hardest working letter in the entire 26 letter alphabet.

Randy ... Like the light sword, be careful Jedi REALTOR with this approach. Moderation but missing candor, frankness, honesty is why many deals go south because no one saw it coming, or were too scared to speak up.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago

This is so true! It seems some REALTORS tap dance around feelings and this is really to the detrement of you as a agent and to the client as well. It is also just another reason to only work with people who are really truely ready to sell....priced right, open to doing defered maintenanace, open to leaving during showings, open to open houses, getting rid of clutter, cleaning.....etc! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Hi Andrew~

 

I like the photo with shadows and inuendoes that underscore your very to-the-point words: "

Without candor in a real estate transaction, obstacles (including the two legged kind) stall a property sale process. Lack of candor or someone recognizing the wrong path we are on, the mix up on directional turns we did back on those last two cloverleaf transaction intersections means we're hopelessly lost. And just don't know it. Yet."

 

 

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) about 9 years ago

Tell it like it is, and when it is are very important. Unfortunately some people either can't hear you or worse don't want to.

The sooner the better. and the most direct route is always the best. If I want cereal it's not frosted flakes, there already coated in sugar.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) about 9 years ago

Rosalie ... Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't duct tape the pie hole and avoid being involved, helping the deal. Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings is like letting Jimmy take the test over and over until he gets 100 percent for a score. That is not real world. This is business not playtime unless you work at a REALTOR day care.

ANCRE ... Maine tree plantation with some snow and shadows, long runs. The forest for the trees thinking made me stop and capture. Cut to the chase, see the path we are on. Or should be comes with a few years wearing the "R" on the utility belt buckle.

 

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago

Don ... I remember being on a local community relations board and every breakfast meeting the CEO would ask "what are you hearing out there?" I took the job serious so I gleaned, wrote down notes and asked folks in the operation about the good, bad, the ugly. I kept coming up with common themes are what was going wrong to make the public image poor, blurred, inconsistent. When I brought up the constructive list of what we might be working on, addressing the CEO laughed, threw his hands in the air and discounted all of it. Three other members dropped off the board to as we were supposed to be yes men, pack each other on the back and continue the illusion that all was well when it was not. Any operation, transaction can use tinkering for the good. But we have to realize the situation, the reality. Some folks don't want to, with or without healthy doses of candor.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago

HI Andrew,

We try to Solution base everything we do in working with our clients, if that means to be candid, so be it, although we never get personal about it....

 

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) about 9 years ago

I whole-heartedly agree. Candor is a requirement. When I'm faced with "telling it like it is" to clients or customers about something sensitive, I like to preface the comment with... "Do I have permission to be honest & direct with you?" At least this gives them fair warning, rather than just blurting it out.

Posted by Anthony Gilbert, Real Estate SEO about 9 years ago

Candor, is that in Maine? No I think that's Bangor. Yes Bangor is in Maine.  

Posted by Peter Testa, PETER TESTA (Nationwide Homes) about 9 years ago

  As Forrest Gump would say, candor is as candor does.  So much is in the presentation.  Tell what you think and feel and believe, but don't slap them upside the head with it and don't over sugar coat it.  Each client is different and ultimately, it comes down to our ability to "put on the right personality" for that person.  It is sort of a negotiation process. Gotta make them hear you first and understand the truth. Can't always get that done, but not telling it all, as you say, will come back to bite you more times than not.  And that bite can become very expensive.

Posted by Stan & Karen Fernald (Johnson Monroe, Realtors) about 9 years ago

HI ANDREW!  In all situations - saying it how it is - is best.  You can lessen the blow, or hurt or reality with the words you choose but we should always choose accurate words no matter how frank and honest you have to be.

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Its best to always state the truth. I'm all about setting the correct expectation and to do that you must speak with candor. Thanks for the post!

 

Posted by Rhonda Fee - REALTOR®, @ Aspire Realty Services (Luxury Property Agent, Home Sales, Relocation) about 9 years ago

I agree, except in circumstances where our agency requirements prohibit us from saying things that could hinder or hurt our clients' position. There is a matter of confidentiality that must be respected. But then there are some things that should be disclosed, either as a courtesy or as a legal requirement. But it is usually not hard to tell which is which.

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Oh, this is SO SO good! Congrats on a well-deserved feature. Head-in-the-sand mentality only works for the ostrich, and then maybe even for him not-so-much, because you can STILL get eaten!

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 9 years ago

Hi Andrew-You and Debe Maxwell from Charlotte have two excellent posts on this subject. Your post is very worthy of the feature label.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 9 years ago

Hi Andrew! I have no comment on your blog, but I miss Maine! 

Posted by Amy Gerrish, Realtor - Phoenix to San Tan Valley (Realty Executives) about 9 years ago

AMEN!  You are right on the money and I hope your blog inspires others to be more candid.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) about 9 years ago

Andrew, 

I'd rather be honest and straight forward.  Life is too short and I don't want to waste it explaining an untruth. 

Life in Maine, keeping it simple and honest sounds good.  

All the best, Michelle 

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

If buyers and sellers can't get the bad news from us who can they get it from.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

Andrew

Excellent post and your insight is right on target.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 9 years ago
Andrew, I'm prepping for a listing appointment where I intend to be very candid. If I'm doing the best job for the client then that's what I have to do.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 9 years ago

I'm pretty transparent. Perhaps too much so.  I lose a  lot of business by being totally candid and somewhat picky about what I'll take on.  But no one can accuse me of conning someone.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) about 9 years ago

Andrew, I like your no-nonsense approach to real estate. As you point out it's business. To be on top of my game, candor is a requirement, otherwise everyone loses.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 9 years ago

Andrew I agree that candort and transparency are the best approach to selling real estate.  I'd rather tell someone the truth and have them be unhappy for a brief time initially than to lie and have them end up angry for an eternity!  I've always said I'm not a good sales person but I am a great Realtor!  

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) about 9 years ago

Yikes ... Feel like the star in the kids story about leaving leather out and the next morning as the sleep seeds are rubbed out and first cup of coffee of the day is made discovering lots of shoes made. Lined up, waiting for a brisk day of sales. Somebody behind the lime green curtain clicked there ruby reds together and thank you. It is always an honor to be gold star certified. With all due respect and being candid here.

Tammy is right "If buyers and sellers can't get the bad news from us who can they get it from?" Like kids you don't give the heart to heart talk about life beyond the door yard perimeter, it's better to hear it from us in person at their kitchen table and to "nip it in the bud".  Just checked in before heading to Augusta for a Maine Association of REALTORs meeting and this is a nice send off. Thank you folks.

Stan ... Gump would approve.

Peter ... Bangor is in Maine, but the state has lots of territory and just one of the neat spots in Vacationland.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago

Too much goes unsaid in many real estate transactions.  The fear of losing the sale prevents many agents from putting all of the facts on the table.

Promise us some cool weather in Maine and we might overlook some other details.

 Life is good!

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 9 years ago

Roy .. Good advice. Speak up, get it out there in the open and thrashed around.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago

Hi Andy,

 A lot has been responded to this well thought out blog.  So not to repeat what has been said, I will add this.  Bad news can be good.  Don't be afraid of the honest words that need to be said.  Get them out and move along.  There is business to be done.

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) about 9 years ago

Andy,

Like anything in life, candor takes courage and most people are trained from a young age not to be blundt.  As this downturn in the market continues I find myself being more candid by the day. 

Posted by Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO, Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan) about 9 years ago

Absolutely Andrew.  If you're not up front and don't divulge the difficult and occasionally bad news, you may not only loose a deal, but also many future clients.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 9 years ago

Andrew, this is a business where you have to be candid with your clients. Sugar coating issues will only make them worse in the end.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 9 years ago

Candor, tempered with sensitivity, and you can't go wrong.

Posted by John Davison, Raleigh-Cary-Triangle NC (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

Cindy ... It is awfully easy to put off being the bearer of bad news, but the earlier it is detected, the quicker it can be fixed or everyone misses their opportunity. Feeling comfortable, all is well is a sad way to kill a deal and to be asleep at the wheel.

Bob .. You are right. Blunt is sharp...straight forward, this is the way it is boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen gets all the cards face up, showing. So all can know what is everyone's role in getting this deal to the closing table. Before it is too late and could of, should of happens. And letters to the real estate commission because just not on top of the deal. The play by play.

Gabe ... A good agent, broker, REALTOR sees it coming, diverts the problem before it snags. Or sails right in to the real estate swamp, quick sand from inexperience.

Michael ... The sooner you fix it or kill it if not hope to continue, the faster the property gets back on the market, the sale pending rider, mls designation removed so open season happens again on the property listing highway. Don't leave a deal park to bleed out, die on its own. Cut to the chase.

John ... One of our many jobs, developed or natural talents to succeed in the real estate dog and pony, to earn the tshirt, a ticket to the property listing closing table. The easiest group to offend is other agents, brokers, REALTORS when an organization is comfortable, a little removed from their membership and you suggest this, this and this. Oh oh, that steps on toes. Not everyone is cut out to wear the "R", I'm just saying.

 

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 9 years ago

Andy, one of the best scripts I use is, "You do want me to be honest with you, right?" One of my more difficult clients responded, "Well yes!" This was the client, a doctor, who stated she was raised in a family of realtors and knows how the game is played. On the tip of my tongue (if I had been chosen to be candid) was, "I am from a family of doctors, that qualifies me to write prescriptions and make diagnoses, correct?" When the listing came up for renewal, I said it would need to be listed in the 290,000's. She told me they would not be relisting with me. The new agent did get them to reduce to $300,000. I had an office mate which took the original listing at $330,000 and needed me to take over. This client needed a fresh start, but not only does it take candor, it also takes one who is hearing the candor with a desire to hear what is being said.

Cal

Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) almost 9 years ago

Cal ... Time lets the words you speak that are the truth sink in. Or the market changes and the situation gets more interesting. Real estate appraisals are not valid for more than six months to a year and in some cases they are out of date within weeks of doing them. The market changes. People's attitudes have to as well to know the "truth will set you free". Chose if the client, agent or broker match is good for both sides. If not a good fit, breath a sigh of relief and help guide them. Or stop trying to make it work, a dead horse to neigh, whinny, stomp and snort again. Nip it in the bud as Barney would say.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 6 years ago

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