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Difference Between a ‘White Lie’ and Lying

Difference Between a ‘White Lie’ and Lying

Growing up it seemed ‘white lies’ were okay while lying was a sin. As children, we sometimes had difficulty understanding where the line was. As we matured, we realized there most definitely was a difference.

If a husband or wife asks if it is okay to invite their parents over for dinner, the spouse would probably say ‘sure’ even if it wasn’t 100% the truth. That was a ‘white lie’. If a young boy dresses up as a monster on Halloween and asks his father if he looks ‘really scary’, it was okay for his dad to say ‘YES’! That was a ‘white lie’.

In both cases, the person telling the ‘white lie’ was saying what the other person wanted to hear. In both cases, there was no harm in not telling the 100% truth. In both cases, it was a ‘white lie’. However, if we are not telling the 100% truth in order to save someone’s feelings AND IT HURTS THEM, we are lying.

What does this have to do with real estate?

We believe there are some in the real estate industry more worried about a homeowner’s feelings than they are about telling the truth about the current value of their home. These agents are not necessarily malicious. They just realize they may disappoint a seller at a listing appointment by telling the truth about what the house will sell for. They find it difficult to deliver tough news. To make sellers feel better, they lie.

Good agents can deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news.

In today’s real estate market, you need an agent that will tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. You need an agent more worried about your family than they are about your feelings. You need an agent who can get the house sold!

What this means to you

If you are interviewing potential listing agents, demand they tell you the truth. Don’t hire the agent that tells you what you want to hear. Hire the agent that tells you what you need to know. Reward their honesty.


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4 replies
  1. Karen Rohls
    Karen Rohls says:

    Mary-Catherine Cramer of Preferred Properties of Asheville, Woodfin Ave., office is the single most reliable and honest realtors I have ever met. She helped my husband and I move from NY City 4 years ago and cried with me when my husband died. She is now my “Preferred” realtor in the purchase of a newer smaller home and will help me sell my current home. She is honest, trustworthy and knows what you want after meeting with you for a short time. She is a “re-locator,” not just a realtor.

  2. Mr. Krispy
    Mr. Krispy says:

    The real truth is that the most common strategy for securing listings is to tell the prospective seller that the house is worth more than it will likely sell for. It’s a marketing strategy! Sellers are inclined to list their homes with the agent who tells them the highest price. The agents that give them an honest value range frequently don’t get the listing. When the house doesn’t bring a flurry of viewings and offers, the agent then “counsels” the seller to reduce their price. There are any number of reasons they can give that will sound plausible to the seller. That’s the truth….no white lie.
    Can a totally truthful agent overcome the “high price” strategy? Yes. But far too many sellers will give the listing to the agent who tells them what they want to hear.

  3. pat lydon
    pat lydon says:

    Just found out potential seller listed with out of area broker. I was honest with both brothers saying the most they should expect 6155-625,000 for property. After discussion agreed outside chance 650.
    They said not giving home away.

    Property just on Mls 825!!!!!!!!!!!! Called broker asked about pricing & comps. His reply “there are no comps-owner said if I want listing put that price” Told him I may have someone that I was in home maybe 625-630. His reply write it up will try jam it down his throat.



  4. Veronica Sims
    Veronica Sims says:

    Intelligent buyers can read comps and if they can’t, it is agent’s duty to explain to them how did he/she arrive to a certain listing price. It is the hardest for buyers to put their emotions aside and look at their home as just another house on the market. Interviewing several agents and hearing the same suggested listing price from several of them helps to put things in perspective.


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