It Is in the Way You Say It.
I read a fantastic post about Choose Your Words Wisely by Myrl Jeffcoat. The way we say things can get us into trouble and not just when we are angry, tired or pushed to the wall. Not only can we alienate a prospect, client or other agent, we can earn a bad reputation of being a hothead with a big disrespectful mouth or a person that doesn't know what he is talking about. Either of those is not good. There are other ways our mouths can get us into trouble.
We can say and present information in the wrong way that can get us into big trouble and even into court. Passing on information about a property as to the condition, effective age, usefulness, value, quality, etc. is putting ourselves in the position of having the answers or facts and it may only be an opinion or estimate by us or told to us. If we pass it on like we know for sure we take on responsibiity.
Years ago i attended a Liability Class taught by an attorney. He cautioned us to not speak out of turn and to be careful about where we get our information and how we state it. The most important takeaway was in learning how to relay information given to us by our clients and particularly by the seller.
For instance, the seller tells you that the utility bills are very low and hardly ever exceed $150. The proper way to relay this to a buyer or another agent is to say According to the statement by the seller he states that the utility bills are very low and hardly ever exceed $150. Getting documentation to this back this up is also a good idea and business practice. Doing it this way names the source and transfers the responsibility of this statement to the seller.
Another example would be when you are asked by another agent how old is the roof? You go to your seller and ask the question. Your seller tells you that the roof was replaced by the previous owner a couple of years before he purchased the home. You should relay the information like this, According to the statement by the seller, he states the roof was replaced by the previous owner a couple of year before he purchased the home. He purchased the home in 2010.
Get the Idea? State the source of where the information came from and state it exactly as it was told to you. It is also a good idea to make a note for your file for future reference or with your documentation. Learning to incorporate this technique into your dialog and sales talk is smart business and will help keep you out of trouble and possibly court.
This has proved valuable advice and now is second nature to me by stating the source. It works beautifully.
This is One Way to Stay Out of Trouble and Out of Court.
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