Say what you mean, mean what you say

Most of us who’ve been a hair’s breath away from finalizing a much needed listing or closing a deal after a long drought, know that’s when the urge to gloss over the truth may be at its greatest.

It can be something uttered under your breath, or a comment dropped casually from one side of your mouth to distract the client from something negative — or a subtle suggestion about something positive that may not be entirely true. Answers to direct questions become slightly vague: “I believe so,” “I’m pretty sure,” or, “I am almost positive.”

Don’t fall into this trap. Make sure to follow-up and communicate with your client about things you are unsure of. Instead of “I believe so,” you could say “I believe so, and I will check for you.” Then, check and let the client know for sure.

To be known as a trusted advisor, owning what you communicate is important. That’s because information that is vague, incomplete or inaccurate can come across as deceptive. Put the details that are uniquely important to that client in writing via email or in your other communication with them.

There is obviously nothing wrong with highlighting all the positives at a house showing. However, if there are major problems with the property, it’s far better to inform the client well before they find out from the Property Disclosure Statement or building inspection.

If you show a property to the same buyers on two separate occasions, the information you share at the first showing should not change substantially at the second showing. Only when new information is discovered about the property can you rightly claim that you were forthright from the start.

Keep in mind the inexperienced or naïve client who is totally unfamiliar with the terminology and the processes involved in a real estate deal. This is when your communication is especially important. Don’t assume clients know what you’re talking about or that they will tell you when they’re confused. Most people are shy to admit they are ignorant about a subject considered common knowledge. Make it a point to confirm with the client that they have understood the meaning of your terms, and offer to explain it if there is any uncertainty.

A Realtor who communicates all relevant information and ensures that their meaning is understood, will build trust and a professional reputation to a degree no paid advertising ever could.

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