5 Things You Cannot Tell Me as Your Real Estate Broker

I love my job assisting clients in the purchase, sale or lease of a home. However, part of my job is also to ensure that the transaction runs smoothly and legally from start to finish.


  1. I’ll sell/rent to anybody except ________


As a real estate broker in and around Fairfax County, I have made a pledge to live by our code of ethics. This code means a lot to me and most of the real estate professionals with whom I have the pleasure of working. Our ethics stipulate that I am not allowed to exclude anybody from buying or renting your property. The only reason I can reject a buyer is if they do not qualify because of insufficient credit scores or financing. That’s it. I am simply not allowed to (nor would I even want to) discriminate for any reason. If you insist, my only option is to withdraw from the listing.


  1. I just bought the car of my dreams!


I have been showing you house for the better part of a month. We have narrowed it down to an area, the type of house you really prefer, and we are so close to writing a contract that you can just feel it. At the very beginning of the process, I sent you to a loan officer and had you pre qualified for a loan. And now you tell me you just bought that new $65,000.00 ride. You’ve wanted it your whole life. The only problem is that your back end ratios for the loan just got much higher and now you can no longer qualify for the same amount of money that you could before you bought the car. Surprisingly enough, this dynamic has kept people from closing on existing contracts that the buyer thought was a done deal. The time to make any big ticket purchase is after you close on the home.


  1. The basement has leaked a couple of times during the last year, but I do not want to disclose that.


Honesty is the best policy. Any known defect has to be disclosed. It’s that simple. It is a great time to have the conversation with the potential buyer about how you have already remedied the problem. For example, telling a prospective buyer that a licensed contractor has installed a sump pump and the warranty transfers to the new buyer is an ideal way to not only disclose the defect, but to also convey at the same time that the likelihood is that the problem no longer exists.


  1. I have changed jobs.


Once a buyer has been pre qualified for a loan, there is a continuing responsibility to disclose any material changes in employment to the loan officer. The hope is that the change is in the same industry and for even more pay than you had at the previous job. Really big problems arise if you have decided to change industries. Oftentimes, lenders will require that you have at least a year in your chosen profession. If you change jobs in midstream, and it is in a different industry, the chances are very high that the loan approval will be withdrawn and the home purchase will have to be put on hold.


  1. I have income that does not show up on my tax return.


This one seems kind of obvious, but it happens a lot more than you might think. There is absolutely no way to qualify anybody for a loan unless there are W-2’s and tax returns that verify the income. Any income that is “off the books” cannot be used to help you qualify. Additionally, the mere disclosure of unreported income can get you in some real trouble.

But there is one thing I love to hear my clients tell me. That I have been chosen to help them buy, sell or rent a home! If you have any questions about the local real estate market, please contact me at any time.


Mike Shearer
Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty, CDPE, SFR, IMSD
Proudly Serving VA, MD, & D.C.

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