Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: What's Up With Sneaky Buyers and Sellers?

What's Up With Sneaky Buyers and Sellers?

To have effective representation you must have good honest communication with your agent.  It is surprising how many people don't tell their agent what's on their mind, or even answer questions in an honest manner.  When you go to the doctor's office and are asked, "Where does it hurt?", do you stay mum and have him push, pull, twist, prod, and poke until he finds where you are hurting?  Of course not! 

Walking in to a real estate office and not being candid about your wants, needs, abilities, and overall situation is no different in its absurdity, but it is truly amazing how often that happens.  Most agents will quickly ask you a simple question, "Are you working with an agent?"  You might have been, but aren't happy with the service.  If so, explain it just that way.  You might not like what the other agent told you, or how you were treated - explain it that way.  If an agent won't show you certain properties, if an agent only shows you listings from their own office or won't show your listings from a specific other office, or if an agent doesn't hear what you are trying to tell her ... you have good cause to change agents.  Share your frustration with your new agent - don't keep it a secret. 

If you simply don't like what you are hearing from that agent, though you know it to be true in your heart, you aren't being realistic.  In that case you aren't being fair to you and your family, or to either of the agents involved.  You can't escape the truth by agent shopping.  If you find an agent you can push around, or one that says only what you want to hear, you're setting yourself up for frustration and failure.  

It's okay to be cautious with personal information until you reach a level of comfort with the agent you've just met, but be truthful when your agent is asking qualifying questions.  Qualifying questions are what the good agent asks about you and your situation so she can get an understanding of how she can help you.   The weak agents don't ask the hard questions because they are afraid of the answers they will hear.  The good agent knows that they need the information in order to properly assess your situation and match it to the market.  Without it they would be like a doctor that gives you a pain pill without knowing your broken bone is in need of repair. 

Real estate is multi-dimensional ... it is not a black and white business.  You have personal Past Experiences, i.e.- grew up in a two story farm house; future Goals, i.e.- want horses; present Needs, i.e.- want kids in certain elementary school ... all which must be understood and applied by your professional real estate practitioner to the market.  If you don't share and they don't ask you are both in the process of finding the proverbial needle in the haystack - a waste of everybody's time.  

Our Advice:  Whether buying or selling, it is more important now than ever to have competent professional representation in your real estate transaction.  Your agent can help you keep the right perspective and separate fantasy from reality.  Understand that there are those that will abuse your candor so proceed with caution as you develop your relationship with your agent.  Your honest agent will listen to you and serve your needs based on what you are saying ... sharing their thought process along the way. 

You'll know when you are in the hands of a professional.  Its then that buying and selling real estate is a magical process as your dreams manifest.  When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs... Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781- 5472.,

Comment balloon 8 commentsLisa Wetzel • March 05 2009 05:59AM


Hi Lisa-

Great advice!  The most important part of buying/selling a home is communication.  You need to ask questions and more questions in order to better service your client.

Posted by Laura Karambelas, Realtor - Downers Grove (Baird & Warner Downers Grove) over 11 years ago

'Most agents will quickly ask you a simple question, "Are you working with an agent?"'

We have little choice but to ask the question.  If the buyer has a relationship with another agent, we need to know the details and if we can or even wish to talk with them.

Buyers do not understand or even want to understand about representation.  They just want what they want when they want it. 

I receive telephone inquiries daily from buyers who have friends, neighbors, relatives who will be writing a contract for them when they find the home that they wish to buy.  In the mean time, the buyers would use my time or our agents' time to accomplish their goal until it's time to write the contract, then they go right back to their friend, neighbor or relative. 

We have to ask.  We need to know where we're going with a prospective buyer/client or if we're just being used.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 11 years ago are (as always right) but I have even had buyers go so far as to tell me they were not working with someone, when in fact, they did have someone in the wings to write the contract..unfortunately the buyers brokerage agreement is only as solid as your brokers willingness to enforce it... :)

Posted by Konnie Mac McCarthy, Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!" (MacNificent Properties, LLC) over 11 years ago

Lisa, I'm not a believer in the tired old real estate phrase, "buyers are liars," but until they develop a trust in you, buyers do withhold information. I also think that many are just getting wrong information from the internet and family and friends. It is a complex transaction and they should seek professional help. Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 11 years ago

I posted my customer service belief on my website years ago.  "It's Not About the Money -It's about life long relationships that are based on Customer Service Excellence." 

I am finding more buyers feel the Internet has empowered them to search on their own.  I'm for education and making informed buying and selling decisions.  The issue is the gaining just enough knowledge to really hurt yourself.  Why wouldn't you want to benefit from the years of experience and education of a great agent? 

I'm seeing more title and lien issue than ever before with the market stresses.  Not to mention our market is mainly short sales and the numerous issues involved with them.

Buyers do need to be honest with agents or we simply can't provide the professional service you deserve. 

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate over 11 years ago

HI Lisa, Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

Posted by Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate (RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.) over 11 years ago

Laura - Yep!  Thanks for your comments!

Lenn - Buyers are very myopic!  They have a personal agenda and really don't usually care about the agent. 

Like you, I've had people call me and say, "My agent works during the day and can't show me this house, can you?"  What's up with that!

This guy that we wrote about actually looked at and wrote an offer on a house we have listed, never said he already had an agent - I personally asked him!  When the offer wasn't accepted, I asked him if I could show him other properties - he said he'd let me know.  Later the nest day I got the call from his agent!

Why wasn't he just honest in the first place?

Konnie MAC - I agree with you agreement with Lenn!

Richard - Sometimes I think that "Buyers are Liars" ... sorry, I do!  Some, no all, have personal agendas and don't think they need to exhibit integrity!

Mark - I think that a Buyer or Seller gets out if a transactional relationship what they put into it!  The people who treat us right are the people that we bend over backwards to go the extra mile for.  What do you think?

Sash - Thank You!  It's our pleasure!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 11 years ago

Thanks for the great post, Lisa. You are very right...I just got a call from a guy last night who said he wanted me to help him find a bank owned property but he's working with about 12 different agents...He's been making offers with other agents on other properties. That just turned me off. I know how hard we all work and if I don't have a partnership with my client that they are working with me and I am working with them - Exclusively - I am not going there.

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 11 years ago