The public's perception of real estate sales representatives might be better than that of, say, a lawyer - but could the realtor's image use some more polishing?
Ken MacKenzie, one of Canada’s longest-serving executive officers in real estate, thinks so.
The former head of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board recently told REM Magazine what he thinks should be the focus for realtors in the near future: "The emphasis will be on... ethics and professionalism and promoting the image of realtors."
Finding an ethical real estate sale agent - one who willl truly listen to the buyer or seller's needs - isn't that hard... but changing the stereotype of self-serving salesperson might be a bit tougher.
Benefits to using a Realtor
In reality, realtors are hard-working professionals, says Sophie Wagner at Century 21 Immo-Plus in Montreal, in her blog post, "136 Things that a REALTOR Does" for a client.
To be sure your realtor is working for you, when you are buying a home, you are best served by getting a buyer's agent, whose commission is paid by the seller. The buyer's agent helps you find suitable listings, set up showings, offer counsel throughout, and represent your interests.
Vancouver realtor Rob Chipman blogs about buyer agency agreements: "Get educated and understand what you’re doing. Get a buyer agency agreement that sets it out as accurately as possible. Will it be perfect? Likely not, but it will probably be better than the verbal agreement." (More than 120 comments were left at this post - a phenomenal number for the blogosphere!)
The Canadian real estate profession has worked to put its stamp of professionalism out there for you to see easily - such as the trademark REALTOR® that identifies only those real estate professionals who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association. The CREA has established a mandatory federal licensing program for real estate practitioners, who are required to follow a strict code of ethics.
What has been your experience dealing with realtors? Leave your comments here.