One of the most powerful tools in real estate is the truth. It can be surprisingly unpopular, though, as some home sellers and home buyers may not want to hear it or to tell the whole truth as required by law (and that may apply to their real estate agents as well).

The importance of truth

Listing agents and sellers

Real estate agents sometimes accidentally miss the mark with pricing, and may tell a home seller a price that is too high, which of course usually causes the  home not to sell – in fact, the main reason why a home won’t sell is having a price that’s too high.

Sometimes, though, the seller does not want to hear the agent’s honest assessment of value. Some sellers insist on a high price and may even challenge his or her agent to back it no matter what. I once had a seller tell me “I want to hear your enthusiasm for my price”. I could not do it in good conscience, and allowed that client to cancel the listing. I wasn’t going to lie and just say what that home owner wanted to hear.

Other times, agents may be afraid to tell the home seller the hard truth about the property condition, such as the need to paint over garish colors or replace tired, worn carpeting. It’s harder to tell the truth if sellers either bite your head off or cry when you are truthful with them. Buying and selling is stressful, and emotions can rise to the surface easily. If getting top dollar is important, it’s imperative that sellers welcome the truth, not fight it or pressure their agent to tell them what they want to hear.

Here are some of the hard truths for home sellers to understand: