Real estate is no joking matter

Real estate is no joking matter

There’s no doubt that a real estate agent benefits from having a sense of humor. It can help break the ice with clients and it can help ease the nerves during what is often a stressful situation for a client who is contemplating a major financial and life decision.

But there are definitely jokes you want to avoid on the job. They can get you in hot water fast. Here are a number of things you DON’T want to convey with a joke.

Insult their house
You have a duty to give your sellers frank advice about how to make their homes more attractive to buyers, but don’t say anything that may be interpreted as making fun of their home or lifestyle. A joke about the shape of a big stain on their wall or the smell of the basement might end up hurting feelings.

Laugh off their suggestions
Many of your clients may make suggestions that strike you, as a seasoned real estate professional, as ridiculous. A buyer might wonder if they could buy a house in a neighborhood that you know is way outside of their budget. And of course, you’ll have sellers convinced that their home can sell way above what you know it’s worth.

You may occasionally find it amusing, but you have to resist the urge to show it. They might not find it so funny.

Make light of a bad situation
You have a house that just won’t sell, and sellers who are at their wit’s end. No matter how bad the situation is, your job is to give sound, sober advice and above all to be encouraging. What you should never do is try to lighten up the mood by telling a joke about their (and your) poor fortune. Example: “Well, who knows, we might get this sold by the end of the decade!”

Joke about their pickiness
Some buyers are really, really tough. There’s no doubt about it. But any comment that suggests that you’re losing patience with their home search is likely to make them feel insecure and under pressure to buy a house. They might feel that instead of helping them to find a great home, you’re just trying to get them to sign a contract and get your commission.

Talk smack about a place they may want to live
Be careful about the jokes you make about certain parts of town or certain types of houses. You can find yourself in an uncomfortable situation very quickly if you make a crack about a neighborhood and then find out that they’re considering buying there.

What other types of subjects should you try to avoid as a real estate agent? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!


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