Reader Susie sent in an article from called “10 things your real estate broker won’t say”, which first appeared on as one of their regular ’10 things your ________ won’t say’ series.  Because the original only had seven comments, and’s has over 200, here is their link:

My comments on the noteworthy items on their list:

1.”Your open house is really just a networking party for me.”

There are many myths about open houses, mostly made up by realtors who don’t like to work weekends, or those who just kick their feet up on the couch and watch the ballgame – and then wonder why they never sell anything.

If you are thinking of selling your home, ask the agents you are interviewing about how they feel about open houses.  Their answer will tell you EVERYTHING about whether they are the realtor for you. 

This is the right answer:

Buyers are energized by the internet, and gravitate to the fresh new listings. When they see a hot one, they’ll jump in their car and drive by – you’d be smart to have an open house to make it easy and convenient for them to see the property when it is hot. 

When done right, OPEN HOUSES INSTILL URGENCY IN BUYERS.  When the market is hot, like it is now, the only reason a professional open house wouldn’t sell is because the price is wrong.  Get the price right, and use the open house as a tool to incite urgency. 

2. “My fees are negotiable.”

They say you should shop around, but let’s be clear. You should compare the services provided, and then measure whether the corresponding fee is worth it.  You can list your house for $100, so if you just want to save money, just call one of those guys.  But don’t expect that their service, and sales price, will be the same as mine.

9. “My Web site is a dead end.”

Excellent idea to check the agent’s website, particularly for relevant content.  But I disagree with this quote they included by a sales manager, “If a broker has to advertise properties that are already sold, it tells you that he doesn’t have enough inventory to keep his (roster of houses) full.” 

The sold listings help identify the agent’s track record, both in the area you are looking, and how they did price-wise.  Plus, if they have a lot of active (unsold) listings, they are a lousy agent.

10. “You can probably do this without me.”

Absolutely true, but not for everyone.  Whether buying or selling, if you think you can do it yourself, I encourage you to give it a try.


The article was another one of these sensationalist pieces, whose intent seemed to be to rile up the reader into thinking all agents are lying thieves.  Speaking of thieves, their article sure sounds a lot like the youtube on broker tricks, which you’ll probably see in the sidebar if you click on my youtube at the bottom. 

One of’s own authors wrote this article, a much more balanced summary of what to look for in a listing agent:

If you prefer youtube, here’s one of my first videos, on interviewing listing agents from 2006 (back when my hair really was brown):

(Almost 18,000 views – thank you!)

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