“This side appears to be brown.”

–What a CPA says, when asked the color of a horse standing in a pasture 50 feet away.

“Buyer no longer interested in property.”

–Buyer’s agent explaining why they canceled a showing.

CPA’s (I used to be) and Realtors (what I’ve been for 16 years) are equally adept at the art of saying nothing.

But, the motivations are different.

CPA’s auditing companies are circumspect because of potential legal liability.

So, if the auditor says that “Accounts Receivables are properly stated,” and 30% later turn out to be uncollectible, they get sued.

But, if they instead say, “Accounts Receivables appear to be properly stated” . . .  they have some wiggle room.

Realtor Motivation(s)

By contrast, Realtors become practiced at the art of saying nothing for a different reason: time management.

So, a busy Realtor who wants to cancel a showing on MLS needs to fill in various required fields, including “why are you canceling?” (see drop down menu, below left).

MLS cancellation drop-down menu: 20(!) different choices.

The most expeditious answer:  “the Buyer changed their mind” (or some equivalent).

But, it’s also the case that a Buyer’s agent who gives a more candid explanation — “Buyer decided Kitchen looks too dated in online pix” — gives the listing agent an unwanted opening to engage with or even challenge them.

Possible comebacks: “What do you mean, it’s too dated?!? The Seller just put in $50k!”; or, “Yeah, we know it’s dated; the Seller will give a $10k allowance for remodeling.”

You can’t fault listing agents for trying to overcome Buyer objections.

But, veteran Buyers’ agents have heard it all, and just want to move on, quickly, to the home(s) that their clients genuinely want to see.

P.S.: How do attorneys (and former attorneys like me) artfully say nothing?

I’ll tell you in an upcoming post . . . 🙂

See also, “Prospective Home Buyer Doesn’t Want to Go In? What Smart Agents Do Instead of Canceling Showing.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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