Of course, folks have a desire to protect their privacy. Even when visiting their physicians, some patients are foolishly leery of disclosing details that they view as embarrassing or otherwise just too personal.
It follows that many buyers and sellers also may be reluctant to reveal information about themselves, but it’s important to heed the line between what is essential for their brokers to know and what doesn’t much matter.
It is all about recognizing that brokers and the individuals they represent have to function as a team and thus be honest with each other.
For sellers to lie about the lowest price they can accept, thinking that the broker will make a headlong dash for that number, is counter-productive. Conversely, it is equally important for buyers to be forthcoming about their requirements and willingness to obtain them.
(Yes, selling and, to a larger extent, buying is a process that involves growing acceptance of reality and a refinement of goals.
(Buyers invariably change their minds on what frequently for them is a tortuous journey as they gain an increasing amount of insight into the housing market, develop a clear understanding of the features their new home must have, and come ever closer to where the rubber of their aspirations meets the road of their resources.)
For example, the team concept means that sellers must provide their broker with their knowledge of any defects in their townhouse, apartment or the unit’s building that may not be immediately discernible. For their part buyers in need of a mortgage must cooperate by obtaining a (pointless but essential) pre-approval from a lender and by completing a financial statement.
We are conditioned in this country to hold income and wealth close to the chest (breath deeply!), but buyers in most parts of the country — and doubtless nowhere more so than in Manhattan — need to demonstrate to sellers that they have the funds necessary to close the sale.
Obfuscating or inflating that information does no one any good.
Finally, the team approach means that both broker and client need to be responsive to each other. It is not incumbent only on the broker to respond swiftly and completely to all e-mails and telephone calls. If they become too burdensome to the client, the broker has two options: Let the person know that or “fire” the client.
When it comes to the broker/client relationship, mystery is a four-letter word that a physician would never utter.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022