What Your Broker Won't Tell You

March 24, 2006 — -- Whether you're looking to buy a house or sell a house, if you're dealing with a real estate broker, then there's something important you need to realize: There may be plenty your agent is not telling you.

Luckily, real estate guru Barbara Corcoran has come to the rescue, revealing brokers' secrets and suggesting questions to ask them to get to the bottom of what's really going on.

What the Broker Might Not Tell the Buyer

"I think the house is overpriced."

"The house has been on the market for six months."

"They're building a skyscraper across the street."

"I'm going to show you a crappy house first to lower your expectations."

"We enhanced the online photographs."

"That scent is the three dogs that aren't home."

"There's a child molester in this neighborhood." (You'll have to talk to the local police department about that one.)

"A new house won't save your marriage!"

Questions the Buyer Should Ask the Broker

"How long has the house been on the market?"

"Are there any zoning variances pending?"

Decoding Broker Lingo When You're a Buyer

"New to the market" usually means overpriced.

"The price is negotiable" means make a low offer.

"A great family location" usually means it's noisy.

An "up and coming neighborhood" means it's a risky location.

What the Broker Might Not Tell the Seller

"My commission is negotiable."

"Your open house is really a meet and greet for me."

"We won't share your listing for the first 24 hours."

"There's no traffic on our Web site."

"My sign on your front lawn is sure to get me prospects for everyone else's house."

"Buyers will open your closets and your bedside drawer."

"The home inspector is my brother."

"Your house stinks!"

Questions the Seller Should Ask the Broker

"Does 'all cash' mean 'no financing?'"

"What's your commission on this offer?"

"What changes can I make to help sell this home?"