Choosing a Real Estate Agent: Beware These Little White Lies

Real estate agents are our friends and business partners, right? Actually, maybe not. While on a personal level, many agents are lovely people, buyers and sellers frequently mistake the relationship for a friendship -- and that's not a good thing. An agent may be representing you in the largest money transaction of your life, but he or she is there for a very specific reason: to earn a living. And the only way an agent does that is when a deal closes escrow.

So: No deal, no money. Suddenly agents' interests don't appear quite so precisely aligned with yours, do they?

To be fair, agents rely on repeat clients and recommendations from those who are satisfied with their work. But you need to protect yourself too. When you interview agents to sell your house, listen carefully for these statements. If you hear one, proceed with caution.