Sec. 262. If the agent should at any time have in his possession funds belonging to his principal, he should be careful to keep such funds separate from his own funds, as, if the two could not be distinguished, the principal might claim the whole. If deposited in a bank, the agent should keep two accounts, one for the funds of his principal and one for his own funds, and make all payments by means of checks, which, in the absence of receipts or other written proof of payment, might serve as vouchers.
Sec. 263. An agent should always keep his principal well informed as to the progress of negotiations and as to the condition of business under his charge.
Sec. 264. In opening negotiations for a bargain between parties, a broker should invariably communicate sufficient information to them to identify the transaction so that he may be entitled to his commission.
Sec. 265. A person undertaking to act as a broker impliedly warrants that he possesses such knowledge and skill as, in ordinary cases, would be adequate for the purpose.
Sec. 266. A portion of this lesson will consist of a few "Don'ts for Real Estate Brokers."
(a) Don't induce your client to buy an undesirable property for the sake of the commission you might make.
(b) Don't buy property yourself from your client, knowing you have it already resold to another at an advance; you probably made a commission in buying the property for your client, and you should sell it for him to the best advantage and be satisfied with the second commission.
(c) Don't try to coerce buyers, after you have shown a property, by insistent suggestions to buy, as they may think you too demonstrative and avoid you.
(d) Don't give your estimate offhand as to the value of a certain piece of property when you don't know what it is actually worth. You might lose your reputation for good judgment. Simply say you don't know what it is worth now, but will investigate and report.
(e) Don't attempt to crowd sellers into making a sale. Instead of doing so, use arguments that will appeal to them, as, that the time to sell is when one has a buyer, and that there are other properties on the market, as good or better, which may be brought to the attention of the proposed buyer if the sale is not made.
(f) Don't, if possible, let your buyer have an opportunity to think about the deal over night; if the buyer has time to consider over night, he is pretty certain to decide not to buy, as human nature is so constituted that fear is predominant in the night, whereas hope is quickened by the light and sunshine of the day.
(g) Don't take sides with either party when both are present, closing up a deal; let them adjust any differences that may arise, and, by a tactful, diplomatic word at the right time bring the matter to a friendly close.
(h) Don't forget that every buyer will some day buy, and every seller will some day sell; so work a "follow-up" system on each class, offering new properties to the buyers and soliciting new properties from the sellers. Keep separate lists of both buyers and sellers, with brief notations, if need be, to indicate their wants.
(i) Don't forget to remain with your customer, when you take him out to show him property, pass his objections by unnoticed or courteously dismiss them; and don't let your customer talk to neighbors or tenants, except in your presence.
(f) Don't omit making suggestions to your customer along the lines of the comfort, contentment and pecuniary gain, which, in your opinion, will be his if he makes the purchase in question; and by all means, don't neglect to first place yourself in a buoyant and confident frame of mind, as your sanguine utterances will then have the more compelling effect upon your customer.
(k) Don't manifest any impatience if the buyer desires, before purchasing, to have the property examined by a builder or architect to determine what the building could be erected for and its present value. Arrange for the examination and impress upon the buyer that you are looking after his interests.
(f) Don't fail to get a deposit from the buyer as speedily as possible, as this is what you are working for, and you are never sure of a sale until you have received a deposit, and not always then, as the deposit may be forfeited by the buyer.
(m) Don't contradict your customer, unless absolutely necessary to do so to correct a serious misapprehension, and if he is pleased with a property that you don't think well of, acquiesce in his judgment.
(n) Don't attempt to sell or list too many properties at a time, if you expect to do all the work yourself. It is better to confine your efforts to a few first-class properties that are real bargains until you dispose of them, rather than to scatter your energies over a multitude of pieces. After you have gained a reputation for making sales, people will come to you without solicitation and insist on your handling their property.
(o) Don't allow the owner to offer the property at one price while you quote it at another and higher price, the difference being your commission. Insist on his quoting the price you quote, with understanding that he may say to an intending purchaser who has come voluntarily to him without having obtained information as to the property by or through you, that, inasmuch as he would have to pay a certain amount as commission in case the sale were made through a broker, he, the owner, will deduct that sum from the purchase price, provided the proposed buyer will at once close the deal. The practice of having two prices on one piece of property at the same time always leads to trouble and complications. A buyer, if he ascertains that the owner has a lower price, concludes that the broker has been trying to extort money from him, and feel aggrieved, and the reputation and business of the broker is needlessly injured.
(p) Don't forget to obtain a deposit from a purchaser who offers less for a certain property than the owner is asking for it, as, by obtaining the deposit, together with say ten days in which to endeavor to close a deal, you prevent the purchaser from buying anything else, and in many cases by diplomatically securing concessions from each party, you will succeed in effecting a sale of the property desired, or of some other property.