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The REALTOR®/Client Relationship

By Alaina Burnett

To be a REALTOR® is to be in a serviced-based industry. Ultimately, it is a REALTOR’S® job to represent you, and to look out for your best interests, walking you through one of the most important processes of your life. Whether the realtor is a heavy-hitter with 100 listings, or one whose business is obtained predominantly through friends, family and referrals, every realtor SHOULD do certain things for you.

When you’re purchasing a property, a Buyer’s Agent should save you time by finding you great homes that suit your needs and budget, taking you out on tour, negotiating on your behalf, drawing up legal and binding contracts, and assisting in the smooth conveyance of title. When you’re selling your home, a Seller’s Agent (“Listing Agent”) will research recent listings and sales in your neighbourhood to ascertain the best price for your home, take GOOD photos and measurements, post your home to MLS, obtain pertinent documents and information that Buyers will want in order to make an informed decision, hold Open Houses and advertise your home to get the best exposure and price for your asset. These are simplified duties—we also serve as Marriage Counselors, Interior Decorators, Teachers, Professional Drivers, Mind Readers, PR Experts, and more.

So if we all do the same thing (or should), what should you look for in a REALTOR®?

Ultimately, your REALTOR® should be someone you get along with and trust. You may be spending countless hours in a car touring homes, or giving him or her keys to your most expensive asset, so you should be comfortable communicating with your REALTOR®—your likes, dislikes, budget and motivations. REALTOR’S® have the same fiduciary duty as a physician/patient, priest/parishioner, parent/child or solicitor/client relationship, to name a few. As such, they are required to look after the best interests of their clients with the highest duty of care.

Obviously, a realtor should be knowledgeable, professional and prepared when he or she meets you. Whether they are giving you a market evaluation of your home, vying for your listing or giving you a tour of current listings that suit your criteria, they should know about the neighbourhoods you are interested in, what the current market values are, where you would shop, or your kids would go to school.

A good REALTOR® is not just interested in a pay cheque. Yes, your REALTOR® only gets paid when you buy or sell with them. It is not an easy job—it requires a lot of patience and hard work. But the risks of selling you into a property that doesn’t suit your needs, is overpriced, or may have future problems, shouldn’t be worth the commission to an honest realtor. He or she, at the very least, should advise you of any concerns or misgivings they have about a property that you may be interested in that could have issues, then allow you to make your own decision about purchasing.

Finally, your REALTOR® should try to make the home buying or selling experience as stress-free as possible. After all, this is yet another important milestone in your life, your story. The REALTOR® that you choose can bring humor, professionalism, and a sense of calm to the transaction that will make everything go as smoothly as possible.

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