Dishing on the Real Estate Industry - an insider's observations

Dishing on the real estate industry - what this insider has heard

Workers in every profession and occupation have their own stories about what really goes on, their perception of events. Can you imagine what is talked about in a restaurant after the doors are locked? Or at the nail salon or the gym?


Well, I'm going to share two things I've heard from other Realtors more than once and tell you what I really think:

  1. "Buyers are Liars" I hate that phrase, and don't believe it for a minute. Sure, we've all worked with buyers who insist on having a 3-bedroom home, and end up buying a 2-bedroom one; or they say a large lot is essential and non-negotiable but then they buy a place on a postage-stamp sized yard. What's going on? Doesn't that mean "buyers are liars?" No! What it means is that we, as real estate professionals, haven't asked enough questions, haven't taken the time to learn why buyers feel certain things are so important to them. Perhaps they want a 3rd bedroom for a home office, but find a 2-bedroom house with a charming sunroom or enclosed porch perfect for an office. Does that make them liars? Or maybe it's privacy they are wishing to find with a large yard. When they find that yard with no windows overlooking them, with private spaces to enjoy as they please--are they liars? When I bought my last San Carlos home, we had to have a 2-car garage--the house we bought had a 1-car garage, but everything else was so perfect and more than we had imagined, the 2-car garage no longer mattered. Am I a liar?
  2. "Buyers have no loyalty to their agent" That could be true with some people, at some times. However, what have we real estate professionals done to earn that loyalty? Do we return calls and emails promptly? Do we pro-actively offer information to help them? Do we take time for them and with them? Do we educate them, help them know what to expect? Do we talk with them about pros and cons of different areas. Do we instruct them to give our cards or our names to agents at open houses? Do we follow up? Many years ago I bought a rental property in a completely different area than the one where I had been working with my agent. I had no idea she could represent me, so I went with the agent holding the house open. Was I disloyal? That's not how I see it--I was uneducated; my agent never told me what I should do.

As a Realtor active in the San Francisco Peninsula market, I know that buyers are not liars, and that if we're doing our job well and have established trust, that most buyers are loyal. If I felt otherwise, I wouldn't be an effective Realtor and wouldn't love the job I've chosen to do and continue to do for years to come.


--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 36 commentsLottie Kendall • November 16 2013 09:05AM


Lottie,  Well written post!  I truly do feel that if/when we do a better job of educating our clients they are loyal and will communicate honestly with us. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 6 years ago
Love this Lottie! Our own attitudes sure do create the opportunity to view others in the best light possible....or the worst.
Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 6 years ago

Grea post and I agree, I hate those phrases too.  Most things can be attributed to us, not them. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 6 years ago

Very well written, and so true.   I don't believe those phrases are the rule either.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Lottie~ We need to be very careful and NOT lump everyone in to a group. ALL buyers are...  Let's like the public saying that all real estate agents are like used car salesmen!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Lottie- I'm so happy this post was featured.  Years ago when we were looking at houses, our agent kept saying in front of us "buyers are liars"!  I couldn't believe it!  Sometimes we don't know what we want until we see it or until we can clarify it to our agents. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 6 years ago

Kathleen, we do need to let buyers know what to expect, how we can best help them

Nancy, our attitudes are completely under our own control

Marc, even writing "buyers are liars" made me cringe. So not true!!


Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Kat, you and I think alike!

Donna - "never" and "always" are indeed dangerous lead-ins to statements

Kathy, I'm amazed that your real estate agent woud say 'buyers are liars' to you!! I'm glad you didn't believe it!


Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

I like Donna's post above, but I HAVE had instances where buyers have blatantly lied to me.  It's awful.  People DO have their own stories are much worse than someone buying a house with a different garage, as an example, but as a ABR, I do see "all sides" of buyers.  Most are wonderful, however, and like our cannot let a few bad apples spoil a bushel.  Great post, congratulations on the feature.

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) over 6 years ago

Buyer often do not have a decision process or they have a process we do not understand. That does not make them liars. Working with them anyway is part of our job. We are more professional when we can rise to that occasion.

Posted by John Mosier, Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142 (Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert) over 6 years ago

I think it is a question of not listening to what the buyers have to say. All are different. Just have to go with the flow and Keep Prospecting!

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) over 6 years ago

Lottie, a well deserved feature. Any agent who has been around for a while has probably felt they were misled by a buyer or a buyer deserted them on the purchase of new construction, etc. You make some great points, many are not well educated by their agent, some don't understand that they really do need representation when buying new construction and then some no matter what you do will still see the grass as greener on the other agents yard.

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) over 6 years ago
Lottie - I agree that we do need to educate our clients and also to make sure that we ask questions until we really know what they want.
Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 6 years ago

Hi MaryKay - I'm sorry you've had more than your share of unpleasant, untruthful buyers. I'm glad they are a minority for you.

John, you are completely right, on all points.

Bill, remember the old saying, "we have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason?" Listening is imperative.

Nancy, thanks! Yes, buyers' needs change, and sometimes that changes their relationship with us. But even then, they can be great referral sources, and we can keep their respect.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

So true about loyalty to the agent. I feel that if I have presented myself in such a way to a client that they would actually feel bad not using me for their real estate needs, current, future or family and friends of theirs.  If they don't I know that I did not do a good job of instilling that everlasting trust.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 6 years ago

Lottie:  Congrats on the Feature!  As with any profession or any endeavor, there are all sorts of people, personalities, and levels of honesty involved.  I agree with those that say our reactions to this should NOT be to lump everyone into a stereotype.  We don't like it as professionals when it's done to us.  We should do it to our clients either ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 6 years ago

Lottie, these and other statements like them are my pet peeves. If that is what we think it is what we are likely to get or experience.  My customers and clients are incredible and I am grateful to report have not experience either.  I am with you here.

Posted by Kelly Young, Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126 (The Platinum Group Realtors) over 6 years ago

Jay and Michelle, we work hard to earn the loyalty of our clients and create a trusting environment. I'm sure you excel at that.

Gene, thanks! We do a lot of educating in our professions, don't we? If not--we should!

Kelly, I'm with you 100% - I love your positive outlook.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Interesting post Lottie. I did not know these phrases were common in your industry. I would think that anyone who thinks their is a problem with their buyer, might have a problem with themself.

Posted by Juan Jimenez, The Richmond Home Inspector (A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC) over 6 years ago

Lottie - A great perspective on our industry!  Suggested!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) over 6 years ago

Juan, I agree with you. Those are 2 terrible phrases--just because one rhymes, doesn't make it cool--or true!

Thanks Laura!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Lottie, I don't talk to other agents about clients and I sure don't talk to agents about other agents. So I've never had anyone ever say those things to me.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Tammie, that's great. Whenever I hear phrases like that I cringe--it just isn't so in my experience.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Lottie, way to go defending the integrity of buyers! I like your positive outlook and constructive criticism!

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 6 years ago

I have often wondered where these phrases/claims come from.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 6 years ago

Ralph, thank you for your high praise; much appreciated.

Gerard, they aren't good ones, that's for sure.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

We can fun with this and just about any subject. However just like no two homes are alike, no one person is alike. Similar but different and I agree with you...dialog brings everything out so that a buyer is not a liar but a buyer

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago
Lottie, Very well expressed and we agree. Rarely is a home exactly what a buyer wants and it takes time for them to become educated in order to make decision. Usually they have to make some concessions. What they tell us they want initially is often not what they end up purchasing.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Richie, that phrase is one of my pet peeves.

Bill and MaryAnn, I'm glad you agree - patience and education on our parts is key.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Great post! It is so odd to hear people say that buyers are liars - I think some forget that buying a home is an extremely stressful process and I think most buyers don't know what they want exactly until they can take a look at what's out there! You made some great points. Thanks for participating! P.S. - I just sent you a message - the link that you posted to this blog in the contest feed, well, it doesn't work :( - Can you go in and resubmit it just to be sure you get the points? Thanks! 

Posted by Erin Bates (CMG Financial and Expansion Marketing Services) over 6 years ago

Lottie  We need to listen and educate buyers.  If we listen we will learn what is behind their words.  If we educate them, their appreciation is loyalty.  Great post!

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) over 6 years ago

I agree with you on both points!  Buyer need some guidance to figure out what is important to them! And very rarely do I come across someone that does not trust me!

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) over 6 years ago

We could avoid many of our own mistakes if we spent more time educating the buyers upfront.  A worthy feature--congrats!

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 6 years ago

Hi Erin, I appreciated your messages; link is fixed now. Thanks again for encouraging us to share our industry peeves.

Thank you, John. Helping people learn is paramount in our profession.

Shanna, you know you're doing things right when you've earned the trust of your clients. congratulations!

Norma, I agree---and thanks!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago
Great to see you featured, Lottie! I relish watching the buyer journey and how they refine their focus. It is all about education, communication, and understanding the whys behind the needs.
Posted by Melanie Narducci, Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert (Hillscape Properties, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Thanks Melanie - buyers need instruction from us; it helps them, they appreciate it, and everyone benefits.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago