Alex and the Business Listing: The Importance of Honesty in Real Estate

It is common for professionals to come across opportunities that deviate slightly from their area of expertise. Integrity and transparency are crucial in such situations.

When a real estate agent is faced with an opportunity outside of their area of expertise, it can be tempting to jump into the ring, especially if the commission promises to be lucrative. But is that always the best decision? Let's look at Alex's case.

Meeting Alex

Alex is a real estate salesperson who has been prominent in the residential business for almost five years. With a good number of sold properties under his belt and a portfolio of satisfied clients, Alex has built an enviable reputation in the residential market.

One day, he receives a referral for a commercial listing, a piece of land that will be developed for corporate use. Lured by the prospect of a high commission, Alex finds himself at a crossroads.

The Temptations of the Commercial

Commercial real estate, such as offices, shops and industrial land, often involves larger transactions than residential properties. Commissions are generally higher and competition between agents can be fierce. The opportunity presented to Alex is tempting. However, there is a problem: Alex has no experience in the business field.

Professional Etiquette in Real Estate

Alex's first instinct might be to accept the referral and venture into the commercial world, taking advantage of the opportunity to earn a juicy commission. However, this would be a mistake.

In the world of real estate, professional ethics and integrity are essential. Accepting a job without the necessary experience not only jeopardizes the transaction, but can also damage the agent's reputation.

The primary duty of a real estate salesperson is towards his client. Alex must ensure that his actions serve the client's best interest, even if it means missing out on a lucrative opportunity.

The way to follow

The appropriate response for Alex is twofold. First, you must disclose your experience in the field. It is essential to be transparent about capabilities and limitations. Although it may be difficult to admit that one is not qualified for a particular job, honesty will always be appreciated.

Alex should then assist the client in finding a specialized commercial agent, someone with a proven commercial track record who can guide the client through the complexities of a commercial transaction.

Key points

  • Alex, the real estate agent: With 5 years of experience in the residential business, Alex has established a name and a strong network. Throughout his career, he has managed multiple listings and advised various clients in the purchase and sale of residential properties.
  • The commercial listing challenge: One day, you are presented with the opportunity to manage a business listing, an area in which you have no experience. Commercial real estate, despite sharing similarities with the residential sector, has its own complexities and requirements.
  • The ethical path forward: Instead of immediately accepting the listing and venturing into uncharted waters, Alex should:
    • Disclose Alex's lack of expertise in that field: It is essential to be transparent with the client about your lack of experience in commercial real estate.
    • Assist the client in finding an expert commercial agent: Alex can use his network to refer the client to a colleague who specializes in commercial real estate. This not only ensures that the client receives the best possible service, but also reinforces the client's trust in Alex for his honesty and professionalism.


Integrity and professional ethics are pillars in the real estate industry. By always choosing the path of transparency and putting the client's interests first, professionals like Alex can strengthen their reputation and build lasting relationships based on trust. Alex's case shows us that in the world of real estate, integrity and professional ethics must always be at the forefront. By acting in the client's best interest and recognizing one's own limitations, an agent can strengthen their reputation and build lasting relationships based on trust.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

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