Be Careful Having Trust In The Real Estate Business


redridinghood.jpgWe’ve all seen it before . . . a clean, polished smile uttering the words “trust me.” Sadly, these two words are some of the most dangerous out there. I want to talk a little about trust and the real estate business.

As a person with too much faith in humanity, I tend to get myself in trouble, but luckily, I learn from my mistakes . . . I’m more of a professional skeptic now. I’ve had more bad experiences in the real estate business then one person really needs to, but each of these has taught me one extremely important lesson: only trust yourself!

What does trusting yourself entail?

First, it means that you need to educate yourself enough in what you’re doing, so that you don’t need to rely on the bad advice of anyone else. This includes everyone from your friendly real estate agent, to your mortgage broker, to a teacher who may be in it for himself. I see and hear about people getting screwed by others so frequently that it no longer shocks me. If you’re educated, then you can’t be victimized by the bad advice of others. This is not to say that every realt estate agent or motgage professional gives bad advice, but if you have no idea what they are talking about, you have no way to tell, do you?

Since we don’t want to trust the good intentions of others, we also must remember that any business relationship should be in writing. When I was getting into the real estate business as a real estate agent many years back, I asked a friend of mine to mentor me. He agreed and we established a relationship . . . unfortunately, it was done by word of mouth. I agreed to help him on a particular deal he was working on in exchange for a financial return. Once the deal was completed, he simply disappeared. I got a lot of promises, but never saw a dime. As you could imagine, that was the end of our friendship, but it taught me to put EVERYTHING in writing, ESPECIALLY when working with friends!

Along similar lines, you need to learn to trust only the facts. Not the facts as someone presents them, but the real facts. Is there a difference? I’ll argue that there is, and the following example should help me demonstrate. Recently, a member of our site heard about a deal from someone who was making certain claims about both the deal and himself. He was somewhat skeptical, as he should be, of what he heard, and did some research on his own to VERIFY the claims. This research revealed that the guy couldn’t get his story straight. What he was saying didn’t mesh with the facts of reality, presenting a MAJOR RED FLAG to our member. Thanks to his research, he was able to avoid entering a relationship with someone who wasn’t presenting the REAL FACTS. Again, you can only trust yourself and what you can personally verify though proper research.

I can go on and on about this, giving dozens of examples, but I think you get the drift.

To sum it all up:

  1. Educate yourself so you don’t need to rely on bad information from others
  2. Put everything in writing
  3. Always personally verify information by doing your own research

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. Pingback: RE Agent in CT » The Feed Bag

  2. Thank you. I’ve been screaming this from the top of my lungs for quite a while. The crooks don’t get a free pass. But the victims, often times, could have prevented the situation by doing more research or hiring an independent set of eyes.

    Good post.

  3. ” Educate yourself so you don’t need to rely on bad information from others ” – this is what I am always saying to my colleagues. Common sense + education = great weapon against stupidos 🙂

  4. My parents are going through an annoyingly hard time getting qualified buyers to put an offer in on their California home. At least their agent is really qualifying the people putting in their submissions. We’ll see if the agent is decent or not when a real offer comes in.

    I’m glad I’m not selling a house right now. So, so glad.

  5. Go with your gut instinct. Don’t rush into anything. Walk away. Due your own due diligence even when the agent does it for you. Build relationships, then when someone says ‘trust’ it holds more weight.

    Enjoy your blog and site – keep it up.

  6. Investing Foreclosures on

    I think it’s especially true in Real Estate for the “Buyer to Beware” A realtor has nothing to lose, and a whole lotta commission to gain.

    Do your homework, ask tough questions, and don’t feel rushed into doing anything!

  7. Self education certainly is the best answer! Another trouble I have run into on a property I own is a title company mishap that has me running all of my businesses on credit right now! The debt piles up, and while I’m sure I will be paid off from legal reciprocation, in the mean time, my credit history gets destroyed.

  8. Pingback: Beware of Real Estate Fakes |

  9. Real estate is a shady business. You need to have a very healthy sense of skepticism as well as a LOT of common sense (which seems to be not-so-common). I’m always surprised how many fast-talking con-men (and women) are out there that made a TON of cash in the last few years. Not only do you need to be a people person, but being naive will drain your pocketbook.

  10. Jim Harrison on

    This “Trust me” comment . .spoken by people who you barely know, is something you really need to be careful of. I’ve had several situations where people were very dishonest and I was hurt.

  11. Absolutely, right. With advanced technologies and internet savvy generation holding the reigns of this modern world the process of marketing has undergone a sea change. Approaching people has now become much more easier but the authenticity is often doubtful, specially when it comes to selling or buying houses. I would say look for an agent who has a good reputation, inquire about him and make sure that he is reliable. Being a real estate agent myself, I have seen agents misguiding the buyers just for the sake of business and money. And that is the reason why i always insist on my clients to clarify all their inhibitions before going for the actual trade.

  12. Investing Foreclosures on

    I think the best thing to do is to find a real estate mentor, a real, true friend in the real estate industry that can be your eyes and ears in the market.

    You know how they say everybody needs to have a really good lawyer in their Rolodex? I think the same can be said about a really good real estate guru that isn’t out to make a quick buck off of you, but can be your friend and adviser.

  13. I’ve always been interested in real estate. I have read all I can and feel fairly good about my knowledge. My only problem now is my credit. I really need to get that worked out ASAP.



  14. Nice post!…I agree with you regarding the importance of learning to trust only the real facts. Maybe the most difficult thing is to find the real facts. Many times I feel that it is easier for me to believing what other people said as “real fact” than find it myself… Need more effort to do the research our self.

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