Section 256. A real estate broker should always keep in mind the fact that he must be pre-eminently a salesman. Commercial travelers and salesmen in other lines take kindly to real estate salesmanship. A salesman must have a meritorious article to sell, must seek his customer, must introduce the subject of the sale, and evince a willingness to serve his customer and aid him in making a desirable purchase or investment.
Sec. 257. A successful salesman must be honest. He must have a character that will inspire confidence and must be pleasant and agreeable as well as capable. He must create a congenial atmosphere about him. Then he must know his goods. He must satisfy himself that he is selling the best goods at the lowest prices. He must know the reason why they are the best, and he must present these honest, convincing thoughts in a way that will carry conviction to the hearer. The most successful salesman is he who understands human nature and who can set forth the merits of what he has for sale in a clear and convincing manner. It is unnecessary to state that every salesman should have system in his work, and the system should be his own. One person cannot adapt in its entirety a system devised by another, as there are no two persons who think, reason and act precisely alike. A broker should think out his own system and then live up to it. He should have certain office hours, be at his office within those hours, leave someone in charge when he is out, or leave a notice stating when he will return; have a method of making notations on a calendar pad or otherwise as to future work and appointments; and carry a memorandum book wherein he can jot down things to be done, together with names and telephone numbers of customers.
Sec. 258. The soliciting of life insurance is one of the most delicate and difficult duties of a salesman. A great deal of thought has been given to the subject, and the following is an adaptation to the real estate business of the pithy remarks of expert life insurance solicitors: 'You were afraid of your man - that he might turn you down.' - he bluffed you at the critical moment. You lost your moral courage at the crisis. You left your man five minutes too soon. You argued with him about other real estate dealers and their properties. You did not unfold your contract of sale and commence writing when he was on the fence. You failed to show a confident and fearless smile when he was gruff and severe, and you did not realize that a gruff man often has the kindest heart. You tried to talk to him in the presence of others or while he was busy or preoccupied. You did not re-quest a brief and private interview. A private interview has the effect of increasing your customer's importance in his own estimation. You did not study the favorable conditions of your property as compared with other similar properties and you did not emphasize these points. You waited too long and the other fellow got there first. He told you not to call again for two weeks, and you didn't You wrote him letters instead of calling. You spoke disparagingly of rival brokers and lost your customer's respect. You became temporarily interested in other customers or properties and neglected this particular customer. You expected your customer to keep you in mind and also his promise to let you know when to call again, instead of dropping in on him unexpectedly. You did not give him a straight-from-the-shoulder talk in a confident and bouyant spirit. You did not work and think hard enough, nor exercise sufficient foresight in anticipating and tactfully combatting opposing arguments."
Sec. 259. In selling property, both principal and agent should avoid artifices calculated to mislead. As is well known, fraud vitiates all contracts. Any misrepresentation of a material fact on which the other party had a right to rely, and in respect to which he was deceived to his injury, is fraud. Fraud has been defined to be any kind of artifice used by one person in deceiving another, but what constitutes fraud depends upon circumstances. Fraud must be proved and will not be presumed. Every person relies at his peril on the opinions of others when he has an equal opportunity of confirming or exercising his own judgment. Puffing and extravagant commendation of property is, therefore, allowable, and does not amount to fraud which will avoid a contract. The buyer should not trust to the assertions of the seller or agent as to the market or real value of the property. The principal or agent should not suppress material facts nor conceal latent defects regarding the property to be sold where both parties have not equal access to means of information. To do so will be deemed to be fraud. The difference between a false statement in the matter of fact and a like falsehood in the matter of opinion has been illustrated thus: If I, the owner of a house, affirm that it will sell or let for a certain sum per annum when in fact no such sum can be obtained, such statement is in its nature a matter of judgment or an estimate and will be understood that the party so considered it. But if I falsely affirm that the house brings $150 per annum when in fact it is let for $100 per annum, such affirmation is a fraud, because I know what fact is, although the buyer, even if he should inquire of the tenant, might not be able to ascertain the fact, as the tenant might not give him any information or give him false information.
Sec. 260. The seller is placed in a somewhat different position, as if he allows himself to be beaten down in price by any false inducements or statements on the part of the buyer or agent, he cannot recover the difference between the price he first asked and that which he afterwards consented to take because of such false representations.
Sec. 261. If a party discovers that fraud has been practiced upon him and he does not intend to stand by the bargain he should declare the deal off and restore, or offer to restore, anything he may have received under the contract.