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How do I test the honesty of a real estate professional?

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Buying and selling are difficult with an incompetent or disloyal real estate agent. The majority of agents are excellent and worth their weight in gold. Yet, there are agents who are incompetent and deceitful. Every industry has this type of person. The real estate industry may have more than its fair share.

All agents have one thing in common – their job is a “deal-maker.” Some agents try all sorts of tricks to stitch up a deal. Nothing wrong with enthusiasm to put a deal together. A good agent stays professional and ethical all times.

Homeowners lack experience when buying or selling. It’s not something they do all the time. They rely on the ability of the agent they are dealing with. Transaction complexity is immense. Many homeowners are “fair game” for an incompetent agent!

WIN – WIN deals are the best. It is simple, sellers want to sell and buyers want to buy. Sometimes when buying or selling a house, motivations clash. There lies danger. Is the agent working for the seller, buyer, or themselves?

To test agent integrity, ask about any home they have for sale. The answers show much about ability and loyalty. 

1. How much will the seller take? You may learn the bottom price that the seller will accept.

2. How much do you think the home will sell for? You may discover that the agent’s opinion is less than the asking price.

3. When does the seller need to move out? The agent may reveal an urgent deadline. This could be an advantage in negotiating a lower price.

4. Why is the homeowner selling? The agents may reveal a confidential reason for selling.

5. How long has the property been on the market? The agent may tell why the property is difficult to sell.

6. Who priced the property? Is the agent quick to deny any involvement and say the seller is greedy?

7. Have offers been received? An answer reveals the demand for the property. 

These questions are simple and not hard to ask. In all cases, the agent should explain politely the answers are confidential. However, failing to ask these types of questions can put you at the mercy of a dishonest or incompetent agent.

Buying or selling a home is a big investment for all people. Well worth the effort to select an agent you can have confidence in.

Notice: This website contains general information about legal and financial matters. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal or financial advice from your attorney, accountant or other professional services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal and financial matter you should consult your attorney, accountant or other professional services provider.