Why hiring a REALTOR will make your life easier.
I believe in education and sharing information freely for the benefit of the public. A lot of people seem confused or just don’t understand what we actually do and I would like to shed some light on the topic.
What do real estate agents actually do?
We write contracts, negotiate a price and terms for our clients, advise/ give opinion, we constantly educate ourselves and our clients. We spend nights worrying and re-reading contracts, constantly anticipating what could go wrong and how to protect our clients if it does. We do a lot of free work and are the last ones in a transaction to be paid. The assumptions of big egos, big paycheques and fancy cars often take the centre stage; however, there are a lot of activities happening behind the scenes the public doesn’t see.
Our license is issued by the province of BC titled “Real Estate trading services”. The license needs to be renewed every 2 years upon completion of several mandatory Professional Development courses, be in good standing (no criminal record) and of course pay the fee.
Many people will be surprised, even some agents, that being a real estate agent requires much less sales than most people assume. As agents, we owe our clients a Fiduciary Duty which means that legally we must take our client’s interest as the highest priority, even if that means a loss of our own earnings. When you go to buy a car for example, the sales person owes you NO duty to protect your interest. The sales person will simply match your needs with their inventory.
When you hire an agent, the agent is working for you to make sure you can buy or sell your property in a safe and legal way and that you know as much about the property as possible.
There are 4 basic duties Realtors owe to the public:
Loyalty- a realtor’s duty to their client is to be loyal to them and avoid conflict of interest. If your listing agent tells you he/she already has clients to buy your house, it may sound enticing but it’s a big red flag. You have to wonder who the agent works for. Are they working for you to get the best deal or the buyer? The agent is supposed to be working only for your benefit.
Full Disclosure- your realtor is supposed to always tell you EVERYTHING that he/she knows about the transaction, the property and the market.
Avoid Conflict of Interest- this can be very tricky especially in a small community when an agent knows both the seller and the buyer. The question is always the same- who is the agent working for. Recent rule changes allow agents to represent only one party to the deal. It is easy to get carried away as we naturally want to help people. However, when I am selling a property for a client and a buyer calls me to ask if I can show the property, I will advise them to arrange the showing with their own realtor and I will make sure they understand who I represent OR do what my client advises.
Confidentiality- When we represent a seller or a buyer, same rule applies. We cannot share information about our client’s motivation or anything private unless our client allows us to do so in writing. Even after the transaction is complete, private information should remain confidential.
In our industry there is now more than ever before more emphasis on ethics and protocols to protect the public from predatory behaviours of agents. For example, we are not allowed to ask you any personal questions until we give you 2 forms called “Disclosure of Representation” and “Disclosure of Privacy”. It makes it awkward and unnatural as a conversation starter but in order for us to be fully compliant with the rules we have to do it that way. Both of these forms basically inform you of all the things I have just written in this article.
Any agent these days needs to be also connected and fluent in technology. According to statistics, 90% of buyers find their new home online. The majority of marketing of your home is done online and virtually all the due-diligence is done online as well.
When hiring an agent, think about how busy the agent is and how much time they will dedicate to you. How many clients is the agent working with right now? Do you want to be the 4th client or do you deserve to have the full attention of your agent?
Don’t be afraid of your Realtor! Ask us questions, talk to us. Vast majority of agents are good people that very much care about their clients. I obviously can’t speak for all agents out there but I know a lot of agents and they all show a high degree of morals and caring. What attracted me to this industry is that I can help more people with some of the most important investments of their lives and it is an honour to be part of the process.
Quick Market update:
Vancouver is seeing a market shift already. When a listing is priced well it will show fairly quick but the average days on market has gone closer to 35 days now. In some cases, sellers receive no offers in the first 2-3 weeks. I was convinced that the hot market would continue into the summer and in some regions it's still the case. Locally in the Campbell River area or the North Island things seem to continue to sizzle. Quadra Island listings are mostly over a $1mil these days. Not much is available for less than a million.
If you’re thinking of selling, NOW is probably the best time. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at 250-285-2141. I’m here to serve you better.