10 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Selecting the “right” Realtor® for you.

Often this question comes up when I am in consultations with prospective customers looking to purchase and/or sell their home.

Selecting the “right” Realtor® for your home buying or selling needs is not an area that you as a consumer should treat lightly.

All real estate agents who are licensed in the province of Ontario and wish to associate themselves with the Realtor® trademarks have to be associated with a local real estate board, provincial and national associations. Well documented rules and a strict code of ethics follows…but this doesn’t necessarily protect you the consumer upfront from potentially putting your biggest financial decisions into the hands of someone who has less experience than you do in buying or selling a home!

One doesn’t have to look too far to see examples of an unhappy consumer who got shafted by their agent for whatever the reason. I should also make clear that I am not here to defend the actions of unprofessional, inexperienced, or just plain crooked real estate agents. Every industry has their black sheep and I personally have heard countless stories from friends and clients relating their dissatisfaction with an accountant, mortgage broker/bank rep, lawyer etc.

What does bother me though is that I as an experienced real estate agent for 16 years who has successfully helped over 500 individuals and families with their real estate needs, through my associations with my real estate board, get lumped into the same group as the part time agents, non committed agents, and fly-by-nights who have got their license looking to ride the booming real estate market.

I also distinguish between a part time agent and an agent who has years of success and experience behind her who now may be selling selectively on a part time basis. Personally I have sat across the table in many negotiations with agents of this sort and have never been worried about the outcome of the sale once its been accepted.

My main beef is with the “one size fits all” tag that I have to adhere to and the brand-new-never sold a house part time agent gets camouflaged into as well.

My second beef is a simple one. Consumers need to take accountability for a negative experience that they may have been part of based on a decision they made to CHOOSE this part time agent.

Yes your brothers girlfriend just got her license and until she can earn a regular living she will only help family and friends falls under this category. Or your Police office friend or Firefighter who work part time on days off also fall into this category. I would love to be a part time cop. Where can I sign up!

Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware) also applies to stupid decision making on behalf of the consumer looking for the easy way out, the to good to be true deal, or my personal favorite…but my agent offered me a great deal on commission. People wake up! Great deal for who?

Take the time to interview a couple of agents, three at the minimum. And be upfront with each and every one of them. Tell us that your sister-in-laws brother is one of the three that you are considering to assist with your sale. Worst case you might end up learning a few things that could help you out and save you thousands of dollars (and more importantly a relationship!)

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