Basically, anything about your financial situation isn’t for sharing with the seller or the listing agent. “Any realtor that you have not entered into a client relationship with should be treated as opposing counsel,” said Ian Gordon, co-principal and real estate broker at Coldwell Banker Bain. “Anything you say to an agent at an open house, for example, may be used for the benefit of the seller as the agent has a client relationship with the seller and not you.”
For example, if a listing is at $600,000 and you tell the agent you’re pre-approved for up to $750,000, you can bet they’re going to tell their sellers to dig in their heels — they know you can afford way more.
On the other hand, when you hire a realtor, it’s vital that they know everything about your situation so that they use that information to help you to their best ability. “Much like an attorney or doctor, your realtor needs to know everything,” said Gordon.