Surprises can be fun when it’s a toy jack-in-the-box, but not so pleasant when you’re trying to sell real estate.
When you sign a listing agreement with a full-service professional real estate agent, they are working for you under the same agency rules as a lawyer - including fiduciary duties of confidentiality and working for your best interests. Sound advice from a good agent will be well worth their commission, but only if they know all the facts. A multi-thousand dollar transaction is not a good time to keep secrets from them.
One very important piece of advice I would like to offer is, make sure you tell your agent everything – it is a lot easier to deal with and work through problems when they are known. If there are physical issues with the property such as a leaky basement, your agent may recommend getting quotes from contractors. And if there are other legal or financial concerns, it is usually better to consult your lawyer or other appropriate professional ahead of time rather than in the middle of offer negotiations.
So, again, make sure you tell your real estate agent everything you know about the property so they can give you the appropriate advice. If you’re holding back because you don’t trust the agent, then you have to ask yourself if you’re using the right agent. Make sure at the beginning you are choosing a professional you trust to protect your best interests, and then be open and honest with them.