Somehow, some way, no matter who you are, how long you’ve been in the business, or where you do business, there are certain phrases every agent hears (or utters) when interacting with other agents.
At face value, an outsider may think they mean exactly what the words are saying, but after you’ve been around the real estate block a time or two, you get to know what certain phrases really mean.
Let’s take a look at 7 common phrases a listing agent hears from a buyer’s agent, and how it translates to an agent once they know how to read between the lines:
1) “My clients are well qualified.”
This is usually just a quick little phrase a buyer’s agent drops in conversation with a listing agent to dance around the one thing everyone wants to know—how much their buyer is offering. It’s presumed that the buyer is well qualified for the house; otherwise, why would you even be coming in with an offer…
Translation: So you’re saying their offer’s probably gonna suck, right?
2) “My clients could buy this cash if they wanted to.”
There are a number of reasons why this would come out of an agent’s mouth. But it’s usually in response to the listing agent questioning or pushing back on a low down payment, a low offer, or their pre-approval letter.
Translation: But they’re not…and probably actually couldn’t…so why are you bringing it up?
3) “My client’s initial offer is…”
This comes out a millisecond before the buyer’s agent tells you the actual amount the buyer is offering. And in that millisecond, an agent who knows a thing or two knows way more than they should…
Translation: First of all, your client’s offer is probably coming in way low, you don’t agree with how much your client is initially offering, and they’re willing to offer more.
4) “My buyer will accept the house as-is.”
Sounds like the buyer’s gonna be totally cool, and this will be a smooth transaction! No need to worry about any home inspection issues!
Translation: Your buyer is 100% going to ask for every single thing to be repaired that the inspector finds, including the squeaky hinge on the bedroom closet door.
5) “In my experience…”
This could also come out more specifically as, “In my 13 years as an agent…”, but this is a nicer, gentler way of saying it. It can come out at any given moment in a transaction, from the initial offer, all the way to the closing table, and applied to any number of issues.
Translation: You don’t agree with what I’m saying, and you want to establish dominance and get your way by playing the years-in-business card. (FWIW, the picture on that card probably hasn’t been updated any more recently than your actual business card headshot.)
6) “I look forward to working with you on this transaction.”
This one’s tricky in that there are two distinct times you’re most likely to hear this. It could be as you’re submitting an offer, or right after they find out their buyer’s offer was accepted. Who’d question such a basic, genuine-sounding sentence? An experienced agent, that’s who!
Translation(s): If it’s said as the offer is being submitted, there’s a good chance the agent is puffing up the offer a bit with a little “presumption”, as if they’re so confident in their client’s offer, even though it’s not all that great. If it’s said after all negotiations are done, and the offer is accepted, there’s a good chance it literally means the opposite and that they are in no way looking forward to working with you, but let’s just do this and get it over with.
7) “Are you happy with your current broker?”
You’d probably think they’re asking because they’re wondering if your company is great and if they should consider working there as well.
Translation: I’m about to recruit the ever-living hell out of you!