Don’t Know The Answer? Don’t Answer.

Don’t Know The Answer? Don’t Answer.

Hi Everyone,

In real estate, like any business, you are constantly learning and evolving as you go. You have to accept right away that you aren’t going to be perfect and in fact, you might not know everything. Once you accept this fact, you have to learn how to shut up.

When I first started in real estate almost 10 years ago, I always wanted to have all the answers and I wanted to have them right away. This seems a pretty logical practice but oftentimes I would get myself in trouble if I didn’t know a specific answer to a specific question right on the spot. I’d answer with, what I thought, was the right answer. In reality, I wasn’t 100 percent sure. Yes, I am admitting that I have made mistakes in the past (I NEVER MAKE THEM NOW search.)

Buyers and Sellers will have a multitude of questions for you, that is a given. This is completely appropriate and encouraged. Buying/Selling a house is a HUGE deal and it’s important to make sure that everyone is completely comfortable. What I had to learn the hard way was that, sometimes, that answer could come back to bite you.


Client: Conor, do you know if the HOA covers hazard insurance?

Conor: Yes (In reality I’m not 100% sure…more like 90%)

1 month later when the client moved in and found out that hazard insurance was NOT included, I was in trouble. In my haste to answer a question immediately, I gave false information and made myself look bad in the end. Here’s how I handle this question now.


Client: Conor, do you know if the HOA covers hazard insurance?

Conor: (Stop and think) Typically the HOA covers hazard insurance but I am not sure on the specific property. Let me check on that and get back to you as soon as possible.

Here is the most important part: I take out my phone and write a note for myself to check into this when I get back to the office. If I don’t set a reminder, I’ll likely forget.

The craziest part is that it is getting harder and harder to shut up. Cell phones/twitter/internet make it insanely easy to access information immediately thus increasing my desire to give immediate answers. Luckily, on the flip side, access is super easy. Usually, if I don’t have the answer, I can grab my phone and find it in a matter of minutes.

In the end, it’s always better to bite your tongue and give a correct (albeit delayed) answer. Believe me, I KNOW that this should be a given. I also know that there are plenty of people out there who’ve never made this mistake and I applaud you. In my experience though, there are a lot more who’ve made the same mistake as I have, and looking back on my conversations now, I can only shake my head. You can either learn from it or be doomed to repeat yourself. I choose to learn.


P.S. What to know how much your house is worth?

P.P.S. If you have any real estate-related questions for me you can email me any time at [email protected]

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