by Heino Molls
As a long-time observer of the real estate industry, it continues to be glaring to me that the real estate agent in North America is the focal point of a real estate purchase or sale. I have written this over and over in all the years that I have watched this business.
Spare me all the mean-spirited comments about REALTORS® self-promoting and marketing their own pictures and names in advertising. They are the business! They have to advertise themselves to get more business. What business do you know that does not advertise itself?
A REALTOR® in the process of selling a home creates business for others. Home inspectors, mortgage brokers and agents, home stagers, lawyers, appraisers, loan officers at banks and trust companies, surveyors, legal clerks, movers, renovators, window blind makers and everybody you can think of is in the blast of business that is set off when a real estate agent pulls the trigger on the sale of a home.
I have even talked to automobile salespeople who have told me that cars are often purchased once a home is sold, because that’s when people tend to review their financial resources and decide this is also the time to get a new vehicle for the growing family or the empty-nesters. They claim it is common that these purchases go hand-in-hand. I am told an astute car dealer watches the real estate market.
Everything begins with a REALTOR® who lists a home and gets maximum value for their client as they guide them through the process of selling or buying their property, or both. It is a non-starter for the do-it-yourselfers who do not know their way down this road.
I rarely hear real estate agents brag about the impact they have on the small army of people that they call upon and provide work for. They should. The fence builders, the painters, the roofers and the landscape people who are often called in to build up curb appeal, as well as indoor improvement specialists who make a property shine inside and out before it is put up for sale. The same people are called by the same REALTOR® when new people buy a home and add the touches they want. Who do you think they ask for advice on who they should call for good service and renovation? They ask their real estate agent.
In over 30 years of working for this industry, I have never once come upon a REALTOR® who claimed to be an expert on any of the work they create by marketing or buying a home. Every agent I have known talks about the importance of calling upon expertise for a particular service.
The great irony to me is that sometimes I hear people in the service field claim that they are more knowledgeable about buying and selling homes than the very REALTOR® who provided the work they were hired to do. I am agog when I hear about a painter who will be well paid for his expert painting say to the homeowner that the next time she or he wants to sell or buy a home they should call on him instead of the REALTOR®. What gall!
In the hurly-burly of buying or marketing a home, the swirl of activity spins around the real estate agent, who efficiently organizes the steps, outlines the service needs and acts as a buffer for the shills that come out of the woodwork ready to take advantage of the homeowner seller or buyer. More often than not, REALTORS® provide their calm, reassuring advice and direction to their customers in the evening hours when most of the service providers to a real estate deal are at home with their families.
How is it that some people in our communities, whose work and expertise in their field are promoted by REALTORS®, turn on the very REALTORS® who help them? Why do some people come to REALTORS® for advice on the market and guidance on how to buy or sell a home, and then claim that this is all stuff they know when they repeat the very same advice to others?
Why do some people walk around clapping themselves on the back for the terrific marketing and wise decisions they made with no acknowledgement to the REALTOR® who guided them?
Think about it. I understand that REALTORS® guide more property sales and purchases in Canada by almost nine times more than private sellers. I think more people have made more money in real estate transactions working with REALTORS® than all other money-making ventures in Canada combined.
So if you are buying or selling real estate without a REALTOR®, like, what are you thinking?
(Heino Molls is publisher of REM. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)