Money Talks: Tricks of the Trade Real Estate Agents

"When I go to a property, my job is to figure out what the seller's motivation is. I may be able to save my client an extra 20-30,000 dollars."

This is why people use real estate agents: to save both time and money.

But just as with any profession, real estate has tricks of the trade. Learn them, and you might help keep more money in your pocket instead of theirs.

First trick? Creative wording: You've got to understand listing lingo. "Lots of potential" can mean lots of work. "Cute and Cozy" can mean small and cramped. Next trick, over-estimating your home's value to get a listing.

"A lot of agents will over-promise a price. They'll tell you or tell the homeowner what they want to hear. In hopes that later, they'll be able to reduce the price."

Next trick? Agents will sometimes refer you to mortgage brokers and home inspectors they know. But they may not be the best deal for you. So you can take their referrals, but always shop yourself too.

Then there's commissions - no agent will tell you they're negotiable, but they often are.

And finally, loyalty. Let's say you walk into an open house, and there you find a nice, friendly agent.

Guess what -- they work for the seller - not for you. So don't tell them anything that you wouldn't tell the seller.

Bottom line? Every business has tricks of the trade - and there's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to broker the best deal in real estate, it's going to pay you to know them. Want to learn more about working with agents? We've got information right here at Just do a search for

"Tricks of the Trade." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.