The Problem With Truth

Photo credit: Cindy Andrie via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo credit: Cindy Andrie via Flickr Creative Commons

Ask most people what their number one negative perception of real estate agents might be and the answer almost always come back to the question of honesty. We, as a profession, tend to work on commission, so the assumption goes that we will say or do almost anything to make sure a deal gets done and we get paid.

Some, no doubt, operate in such a manner. Possibly to my own financial detriment, I’ve never been able to do so.

If someone’s better off with a less expensive house (i.e., less commission for me), I tell them. If there are major red flags in an inspection report, I tell them. If they have no sense of smell (which happens often) and the house smells like cat piss, I tell them.

Which brings me to yesterday and my not-even-close to monthly newsletter that I sent out for the first time in roughly forever.

A handful of people unsubscribed, which is par for the course. One, however, did so because I “discouraged Canadian buyers” from buying real estate here in the Valley.

Our friends from the Great White North have been a major part of my business since 2008, when the loony reached par with the American dollar for the first time since, well, I don’t know … War of 1812 perhaps? Buyers came out of the woodwork to come see what they could find here in Arizona, where the homes were cheap and the exchange rate was unprecedented.

Yesterday, in my newsletter, I pointed out that the Canadian dollar was back to its semi-traditional place at 79 cents per US dollar. This is only a few cents worse than what the Canadian government always has seemed to prefer – a loony at about 85 cents to the dollar. (If not what the good folks in western Canada would prefer to see. But hey, the West disagreeing with the central government seems to be something we have in common.)

Anyway … that statement, along with the observation that I don’t hear much from Canadian buyers these days, apparently is considered to be discouraging Canadian buyers.

Sorry, friend. It’s called reality. I don’t create the exchange rate, I just report on it.

And there’s a reason. If you’re looking to sell your home and still are hoping for some Canadian buyer to come down with armfuls of cash to give you whatever price you ask regardless of value, you’re living in a dream. It’s not going to happen, no  matter what your friends happen to tell you happened to a neighbor two blocks down and three houses over.

We traffic in honesty here. If that doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. Enjoy the web search on a fictional site. Maybe Zillow.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at