Q: I just read your column today about the decline in home sales working toward buyer’s benefit.

As a professional Realtor, I was pleased with much of what it said and was considering cutting out the article and sending it to my current clients – until I read your admonition the “Keep your cool. Don’t show anyone, not even your agent, how excited you are about the possibility of owning a particular home.”

I’m offended by this comment and comments like this. It indicates that your agent is your hidden enemy, and that all agents are out just for themselves and some sort of quick sale.

As Realtors we have a legal duty to the best interest of our clients. Most of us take that very seriously. In fact, the more information I have about my clients needs and wants, the better I can serve that client. If I think a client is somewhat neutral on a home they actually very much want, that won’t put either one of us in the best position.

It is my job to go into the negotiation with the attitude of not being married to any particular outcome. It’s my job to make the seller feel that the buyer is willing to walk away from this deal for the house down the street. But it is also my job to stay well informed of what my client wants so I can appropriately represent her.

Saying what you said, to me, is like advising people to not let their attorney know how much they want that settlement, or whether they care if they are accurately represented.

Comments like yours perpetrate negative stereotypes of Realtors, making it difficult for all of us to do our jobs of helping our clients to the fullest potential.

A: Thanks for your comments. But, I have to disagree with your contention that I believe that the agent is a buyer’s hidden enemy.

While many agents do work exclusively on their agents behalf, there are too many situations where a buyer’s agent also winds up representing the seller in a dual or non-agency relationship. This doesn’t always happen at the beginning of a relationship, by the way. It can happen quite by accident weeks or months after the agent-client relationship has developed.

By disclosing exactly how much a buyer likes a property, I feel the buyer gives away some of his or her leverage. Not disclosing it protects the buyer from awkward no-agency or dual agency situations that may develop later.

By the way, I feel the same way about disclosing how much you can really afford to spend. There’s no reason the agent needs to know this information. What the agent needs to know is what is the amount the buyer intends to spend on the home.

In general, from my experience of interviewing and working with thousands of agents over the past 18 years I have been writing about real estate, I have learned that agents like to be in the center of the transaction. They like to know as much information as possible about their clients.

With a great agent, all the sharing of information may work out fine. But given the possibility that the agent you’re working with isn’t so great, or is new to the business and might make the mistake of disclosing some very personal information, these suggestions will help protect an unsuspecting buyer.