Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Read 'Em Their Rights -- Miranda Rights for Home Sellers

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Read 'Em Their Rights -- Miranda Rights for Home Sellers

U.S. Supreme Court As anyone who watches Law & Order, CSI, or any other television show or movie featuring policemen, knows, criminals are entitled to be read their Miranda rights before being carted off to jail.  Having studied this in my criminal law class back in law school, I know that this stems from a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Miranda v. Arizona (does your REALTOR or even your attorney know this?)

After reading Poinciana Florida real estate broker extraordinaire, Bryant Tutas' post, Desperation Creates Depreciation!!!, which details what can happen when a hapless or naive home seller follows buyers and their agents around their home, I decided to create and institute a newly revised

"Miranda Rights for Home Sellers"

I've always counseled my clients on these points, but now I'm formalizing it.

It's time to read home sellers their rights (if you are planning to sell your home, listen up... If you're a REALTOR, I suggest you do the same with your clients):

You have the right to remain silent during home showings.

  If you can leave the house, that would be even better. 

Anything you say can and will be used against you when buyers decide whether they want to purchase your home.

  Anything you say will affect the price and terms that a buyer offers. 

Don't tell them that you NEED to sell. 

Don't tell them that you just got a job promotion and must be in Houston, TX by next month. 

Just be quiet.  Let the buyer's agent show them your house.

You have the right to ask them to call your REALTOR with any questions.

  If you cannot follow these rules and your home fails to sell, another REALTOR will be appointed for you.

Do you understand these rights?


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Comment balloon 25 commentsBrian Block • February 03 2009 06:58PM


This is an incredible post, and I could not stop laughing because it is so true.  You should have this published in Realtor magazine!  It is a must read for all!

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (RE/MAX Paramount Properties) about 9 years ago

You have now inspired me to come up with Miranda Rights for buying a new roof! It will start off with...

If you chose to go the cheapest route, I can just toss a bucket of water on your carpet now!

Great post Brian

Posted by David Phelps (The Roofing Company, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Brian, Thanks for the chuckle and oh so true...every point. Actually it was more of a belly laugh and it's got to be pretty funny to laugh out loud when you're by yourself!! Can I piggy back on you and write one for buyers??

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) about 9 years ago

Brian, I had this conversation with some sellers today!  So often they just don't get it!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Brian, I'm adding this to my listing presenation now.  Only one change.  I'm putting in the line If you can leave the house, that would be even better, every other line.  Think it will hit home?

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) about 9 years ago

Amen to those Miranda rights!!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 9 years ago

A humorous way to make an important point. I liked it. Thanks.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 9 years ago

Oh this is so great! And I agree with Roger, the "If you can leave the house" line needs to be reinforced for those that just don't get it.  Many buyers don't seem comfortable looking at a property when the sellers are around.  Even if they are  silent! 

Posted by Camille J. Robinson, GRI, Broker/Owner (Camille J. Robinson, GRI - Philadelphia Supreme Properties) about 9 years ago

Brian, love it!

Posted by David Matney, Omaha, NE Real Estate | Omaha, NE Homes For Sale (BHHS - Ambassador Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Brian:  This is absolutely priceless.  With your permission, I would like to use this list with some of the other agents in my office... to help them with their sellers.  Thanks so much for sharing.  A great list !  You have the right to be congratulated !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 9 years ago


Terrific list!  To piggyback others would be interested in sharing this with some others (agents and sellers) Simple but so very true.  Well done.




Posted by David Holden, Broker/Owner RE/MAX Preferred (RE/MAX Preferred ABR, CDPE,GREEN,GRI,SFR) about 9 years ago

This is hilarious but Oh, so true! Thanks for putting it in a comical way that can be easily presented to sellers without objection. This is going to be a "print out and save" for me!

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 9 years ago

Fabulous thoughts!  Thanks I'm going to start sending them to all my sellers now!

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 9 years ago

Brian-I think this is great, I would print it out and give it to any seller.

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) about 9 years ago

Lol Brian, We do tend to have the gift of gab and unfortunately for a seller that tends to translate into loss of opportunity.

Posted by Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant (Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision) about 9 years ago

Brian, You should print this up as a big poster and tape it tp the regerator door of every house you list. Better yet staple it to the seller's forehead :) Very funny.

And thanks for the link love!!!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 9 years ago

Brian - you forgot:  "And don't follow the home inspector around when he comes..."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago


What a great way to say it. Seller's never believe you when you tellthem to shut up and get out of the way. Let the realtor do his or her job. Thanks for a great post.

Posted by Steve Parker (Re/Max Advantage Realty Ltd. Brokerage) about 9 years ago

they are my famous words! i can not  agree with you more..let us do our job.


thank you brian

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 9 years ago

Brian:  I have shared your "tactic" with several agents in my office, and they all agreed your ideas are extremely helpful.  Again, thanks for sharing...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 9 years ago

I have read these rights, both to my sellers and buyers.  Good words to follow.

Posted by Brien Berard, Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate (Remax Professionals Laurel MD) about 9 years ago

This is great work.  Miranda rights.  Excellent.  I always tell my sellers they must leave so there is absolutely no temptation to engage in conversation.  Funny but true.....

Posted by Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. (Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc.) about 9 years ago

That was a great post and so true!  If sellers would just abide by them!

Posted by Mary PAUL, ABR, CRS,GRI, e-PRO, (RE/MAX Advantage Realtors, Searcy, AR) about 9 years ago

Brian- Out of the mouth of a lawyer. LOL. This needs to be included in every listing agreement and signed by all parties. Great list!

Posted by Martha Brown, Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403) about 9 years ago

Thats great.  I always tell buyers : Anything you say in front of the Sellers or their agents; Can and WILL be used against you in negotiations !

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) about 9 years ago