When did it become common practice to cut corners or not fulfill your Realtor® duties?
I have been in this business long enough that I have started to see that not all Realtors® are equal. Everyday I am amazed at how many people end up listing or buying with agents who I believe are not working in the fullest capacity for their clients. Ultimately, our clients are the reason we have a business and in most cases we work
with them to the highest form of representation possible. When did it become common practice to cut corners or not fulfill your Realtor® duties?
Now I will be the first to say that it is against the Realtor® code of ethics to come between a brokerage and their client or property; so this post will not be like the “Ashley Madison” incident currently in the news and I will not be naming names or telling people who NOT to work with. (that’s just mean).
I do, however, want to educate people on what they should expect from their agent and questions they should consider asking potential Realtors® when interviewing (yes, interviewing!) them prior to listing their home.
“The National Association of Realtors® states that 88% of all homebuyers used a
professional Realtor® for their purchase and sellers working with a REALTOR® received
an average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000. Comparatively, the
average FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales price was $174,900 a difference of $40,100”
Realtors® are professionals who spend their life learning & becoming experts in their area of real estate and can help you market & sell your home for more money. Many people believe that Realtors are “sales people” who take some photos, negotiate an offer and get paid lots of money. Is that what you think? I did, until I became a Realtor and worked with my first clients.
Realtors® actually go through an intense education program to get their license and then must complete a series of articling courses in the first two years, followed by mandatory continuing education for the remainder of our career. We deal with a multitude of situations each day to help our clients buy & sell real estate and utilize technology more than ever to gain an edge.
Realtors® are professionals providing “services” to people in the real estate market. We do take photos and negotiate offers but we do everything in between as well. We write the advertising for your property geared to the appropriate market. We help stage & prepare your home so it shows in the best possible way. We take all inquiries regarding your property, keep you well informed on any progress in the transaction as well as answer questions from potential buyers, to name but a few. Good Realtors® work very hard for their clients and spend a great amount of time each day thinking of ways to sell your property; our work isn’t finished until we have sold your house for the best price. We provide guidance and expertise to ensure you make the right decision and help you through the closing process and beyond. Realtors® are a wealth of knowledge and will give clients complete information to make the
best decision. Are you starting to see we have mislabelled Realtors® as sales people instead of service professionals?
Selling your home is going to be one of the biggest transactions in your life and you want to surround yourself with people who you trust and who you know will work in your best interests through it all. This is a stressful time for everyone and knowing that my Realtor® understands my personality will make sure you have support if something goes awry. Now if I were planning to sell the biggest asset I own, I would not pick the first real estate person I found online, I would want to find out which ones might work well with my personality and who was going to work the hardest for me. I would want to see how they work in comparison to other Realtors® and discuss their strategies for success.
My first question at our “interview” would be to discuss your Realtors® “previous successes” and “ways in which you specialize in marketing”. The reality is that all Realtors® have access to the same information & listings; what makes us different is the manner in which we dissect the information and how we work with our clients & potential buyers.
A Realtor® who offers an immediate reduction in commission isn’t always the best fit either; especially if you want to get top dollar for your home. Realtors® services vary but in many cases a full service Realtor® will include items like a pre-listing inspection, home staging consultation, detailed floor plans of the property & even more services like closing insurance and more. Reduced commission Realtors® usually have an “à la carte” pricing model that doesn’t come cheap.
I once was told in university that when in the market for something you have 3 things to consider: cost, quality & time, but that you can only ever get 2 of these 3 things. So if you want it cheap & made well it is going to take a long time to produce or find results. If you want it well made in the shortest time, you are going to pay a lot of money for it, and if you want it cheap and made/found quickly the quality of your product is going to be lacking.
The same applies to the services your Realtor® will provide you. If you want someone who will give you their time & energy you will find that the cost will certainly pay for itself in reduced stress & a quick sale.
Other great questions for your potential Realtor® include:
1. How long have you been in the business?
2. What geographic areas do you work in and types or properties do handle?
3. Do you have any references?
4. How do you communicate with clients?
5. Why are you a Realtor®?
By: Jason McGregor, ABR®, BFA, SRS®
Real Estate Sales Representative