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Copyright Carolyne Realty Corp – may be reprinted only by permission in writing.

The proper “representation” of your home can net you thousands of extra dollars. Ask Carolyne how she gets top dollar sale prices for her clients.

INSIDER TRADING - Be Careful What You Say - and to Whom
(How much did you divulge already?)

When you invite a Realtor into your home to be interviewed, as the prospective listing agent, typically the agent will ask you several questions and endeavour to answer yours.

However, before “you” answer any questions, be absolutely certain that you understand “agency”. You may even want to have the agent being interviewed sign off on a “Confidentiality” form.

There is no real need for anyone to know “why” you are moving: a divorce, a death in the family, retiring to a senior’s home, perhaps a relocation. Once you have chosen the agent with whom you are officially going to do business, then you can choose to divulge this information perhaps. In the meantime, the why related to your sale has nothing whatsoever to do with the value of your home – the bricks and mortar value. I have had countless numbers of agents tell me the why has a big impact on your business dealings and thus the “end price-sale price.” My question back to them is: WHY?

The house is the house. It is located where it is located. The market is what the market is. What and how does “why” you are selling it, impact its value. In my opinion, it simply does NOT. Even the definition of fair market value supports my thinking. Fair market value: what a willing buyer will pay to a willing seller, when the property has been sufficiently exposed to a given market, presuming neither the buyer nor the seller is under duress.

Perhaps preview other articles on our web site. There is an abundance of material there that will help you protect your position.

With no contract of any sort yet signed between you and the agent, covering agency/representation, you have none. The agent owes you nothing: no confidentiality, fiduciary duty, no representation of any kind. He, too, is merely “collecting information”. Granted he needs some information in order to formulate a helpful prognosis on how long your home will likely need to be marketed, and at what asking price. Based on his local expertise (and he should have plenty, specifically in your locale, if you are going to hire him to represent your best interests) in serving the area where your home is located, having viewed your property and assessed its saleability relative to current market conditions along with the condition of your home and how it shows – including curb appeal, and having compared it to existing market data, the agent will be able to suggest an asking price and a likely sale price.

Example: agent asks – “How much are you prepared to take for your house?” You answer.

You may have just given away your profit margin. Not only that, but if you decide not to hire this particular agent to represent you and the sale of your home, now you have committed to a possible acceptable sale price, to an agent who is not even “your” agent. That’s not to say you cannot change your mind, but you have provided him with ammunition to use against you at offer time, if he should be the one to ultimately bring an offer, while acting for the buyer, not for you as your representative. He’s working for “the other guy.” And there’s nothing to prevent him from sharing the information you have provided to him with his colleagues back at the office, when the listing appears on the system, with someone other than him, as the listing agent.

Think it through when you are interviewing multiple agents before choosing one you will work with. If you do not hire this particular agent, and your property appears on MLS at a particular price, the agent(s) you have “interviewed” are now all privy to your insider information. Each one now knows how much you said you would take for your house. So, since you haven’t engaged them with your for-sale contract (called a listing contract), and they appear with a buyer, in a typical transaction, the agent with the buyer will be working for – GUESS WHO? Not you.

He/she will be working for the buyer, not for you, and he will be the first one to remind you of what price you had told him you would take. He will likely have a buyer agency (there’s that “agency” word again) contract with the buyer. That means that he is working under contract FOR that buyer; his total onus is obligated to that buyer. That buyer, just perhaps, may have been willing to pay your full asking price, but you already told the agent you would accept a lesser amount and he has divulged this information to his buyer. He is now obligated while working for a buyer, to divulge all the information you provided willingly to him, to the buyer who is now his client.

So, since that agent is now working for the buyer and not for you, you can expect any offer coming through that process will be in favour of the buyer, not in your favour.

So, should you answer questions put to you, when you are interviewing agents?

Only some kinds of questions, but not the master question – how much are you willing to take? You may release this information to “your” agent, once you have chosen which one you are going to contract to have “represent” you, because “your” agent must keep your private information private. He must NOT share what he knows, with anyone else. When contract time rolls around, the contract will speak for itself, and “your agent” will guide you through it appropriately at that time. Market conditions may have changed since you initialized your contract. Your agent will keep you up to date throughout the process, and will bring you up to date again at the time of an offer presentation.

Use this information as a guideline only; but, know when not to talk. By answering this one important question, and by giving away your private information, you could be costing yourself thousands of dollars.

This information © is brought to you - compliments of:

Carolyne Realty Corp.


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1998 by Carolyne Lederer PLEASE NOTE: this material is copyrighted by Carolyne Realty Corp. and may not be reprinted or duplicated in any form without the written consent of the copyright holder.