Sellers Who Bare Souls Before Hiring a Sacramento Realtor to List Their Home
Home sellers say the darnedest things when they are talking to a Sacramento REALTOR about selling that home. There are times I might even stop them, but those are the occasions when I know that I will be their listing agent. In other cold-call situations, I might let them continue to babble. The reason I might stop them is because they will say something that I may file away in the back of my mind, when I don’t need to know it. Something like: my bottom line price is XYZ. It could be; it could not (which is a whole ‘nother blog). In any case, I have no business obtaining that knowledge.
My real estate business — one of the reasons I work as a premium agent and not a discount agent — is built on a passionate bedrock of commitment to obtain a full-price or higher offer for the seller. To do what is absolutely best for the client. What is best for the client is that I not possess any inkling of a bottom-line price. I don’t need to know. It’s not my business to know how little the seller might take. I maintain a fierce loyalty to my clients.
However, if I am not the listing agent, then all bets are off. I have no fiduciary to the home seller. Sometimes, I will meet with a seller whose goofy idea is to flatter by proclaiming that they have placed me on the top of their list for hiring a Sacramento REALTOR, but then say they want me to discount my standard commission or perform some other task that is outside the realm of reality. Or, maybe they’re just trying to confirm a price range because they’ve already decided to hire their sister-in-law, and are seeking free advice, I dunno. But the point is if they are not hiring that Sacramento REALTOR in a fiduciary capacity to represent them as a listing agent, I think they forget that we real estate agents work with buyers as well.
They might forget that they already disclosed their bottom line price, all of their fears and other important information, which buyer’s agents will use to their advantage. They might say: the pool needs work so we expect to pay a big credit to the buyer for that. Or, buyers can repaint those red and pink walls and we’ll give them money. They often don’t realize that buyers don’t want to paint and, if they must, they will deduct many thousands of dollars from the sales price. It’s not two $25 cans of paint in a buyer’s mind, which it is to the seller. It’s tough to understand sellers who want top dollar and refuse to neutralize god-awful colors. It’s one thing if you live in a culture like Mexico or Miami. Quite another in Sacramento suburbia. But if I am not the listing agent, I’m not there to give tips, drawn on my 40 years of experience in the business; I reserve pertinent advice for my own clients.
The main thing is home sellers should not share personal information or facts that can affect the sale of their home while talking to a listing agent who is not their agent. Because that listing agent might also be a buyer’s agent with a buyer underfoot who will now use all of that information to her advantage. It’s not unethical. That agent enjoys a fiduciary relationship with her buyer. Different priorities. And that buyer’s agent might be a shrewd negotiator, especially after the sellers have moved out of state, expecting escrow to close.
Sellers don’t often think of things that can come back to bite.