Google real estate secrets and you will come up with a ton of results about what real estate agents don’t want you to know. But talk with a number of real estate agents and you will inevitably come across a few who will offer to let you in on “the secrets of real estate”. You should be wary when a real estate agent offers to share anything in confidence.
You will hear these “secrets” being shared with you for one reason only, to get you to act fast and work with the agent sharing. If I have learned one thing above all others in this business, no one can offer a very compelling argument that a secret benefits either the buyer or seller of real estate. But look below the surface and it’s pretty clear who benefits most from keeping secrets in real estate and that is the real estate agent proffering secrets.
You will hear of a few of the most open secrets in when talking about real estate with agents. Agents tout their pocket listings, for example, giving the impression they have properties for sale that only they have access to. Pocket listings are properties for sale that are not listed in the Multiple Listing Service and do not appear in the Apps most people use; Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc. In a few instances, this practice may make sense. It is certainly within the rights of a seller to withhold the property from the general market. But the main benefit falls to the listing agent selling the property. They will make double the commission representing both sides of the transaction.
Some folks will tell you that there are secret arrangements with a small group of agents in a particular area and that if you are buying or selling you should only work with these agents. If you are a buyer, they claim that they can get your offer accepted over those represented by agents outside the select group. Although this may happen occasionally, good agents that dominate an area select the best offer for their clients, not the one represented by their friends or co-workers.
When choosing an agent to sell your house, beware of the agent that says they can provide buyers others cannot, or tries to convince you that only they can sell your home for the highest price. They often refer to their own group of buyers as a key element to their ability to sell your house. But their group of buyers is nowhere as large as the thousands who are out there looking in the market at any given time.
Another common secret you may hear is from an agent is the fact the seller is willing to take less than the asking price. All good listing agents will encourage buyers to make their best offer and occasionally encourage an offer lower than the asking price if the property has been on the make a while. But to share specific information in regards to the seller’s willingness to accept less is contrary to the fiduciary duty the agent owes to the seller.
A good realtor will attempt to engage with you about your needs and how they can help you achieve your real estate goals. They will ask questions and offer insight on various aspects of buying or selling a property as it relates to your needs. Listen carefully and ask questions yourself. If they are engaged and eager, they might be worth hiring. If they spend more time touting their own success or trying to convince you they some kind of confidential information, be cautious. If they seem too eager to share secrets then you know for sure they are just trying to sucker you… The biggest secret Real Estate agents will not tell you? There are no secrets.