Real Estate Team

Stop giving REALTORS® a bad rap!

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I think REALTORS® get a bad rap.  I don't think the public understands how hard we work to make it in this industry.  It's a job that requires your attention every day, every waking hour and minute.  I don't get regular days or weekends off.  I haven't had a summer vacation in 7 years.

I also don't get sick days.  In 2008, I had a severe case of Bell's palsy and had to work through it.  I was slurring my words and in significant facial pain but I remember selling a house during the worst week of it.  The first call I had from the buying agent, I had to state that I wasn't drunk in the afternoon, my lips just weren't cooperating.

Two and a half weeks ago, I came down with my first ear infection - ever!  It was a weird thing as I have never had them as a child either.  I just woke up with it on a Saturday.  I couldn't understand why I was deaf and in so much pain.  I went to a walk in clinic and got started on antibiotics.  Days later it was worse.  I wasn't sleeping.  The pain was immense and barely controlled by over the counter pain relief.  My ear was throbbing and ringing.  And then I got the symptoms I experienced pre-Bell's palsy in 2008 - my hair on the right side felt like it was on fire and my jaw was aching like I had a horrible tooth infection.  My doctor put me on stronger antibiotics and steroids and antivirals, the cocktail all Bell's palsy patients get.  Luckily, this time the palsy didn't happen but I think I just dodged a bullet.

Now I'm on my third course of antibiotics and my ear is still plugged, but far less painful.  During this time I have worked on 3 very demanding offers and started a new listing.   Two of the offers tanked and that work was for nothing.  

REALTORS® do a ton of work for nothing!  That's right, for free.  We only get paid if the deal completes.  An agent called me yesterday, to book a viewing on my listing, and was venting about a buyer that she was working with for two years.  The buyer just wouldn't get off the fence and commit to a purchase.  I didn't tell her that I had her beat.  I've been working with a couple for six years now.  I'm a patient guy.   I don't like to rush my sellers or buyers into the biggest decision they may ever make.  Financial motivation doesn't play into the equation.

I'm losing a listing in a condo complex.  I've worked incredibly hard  to sell this condo but the complex has issues with water ingress and substantial special assessments over the next 5 years.  Nothing has sold there since 2011.  Five condos are listed and I was the only one having any sort of luck at all.  When I mentioned to the seller that I had $1000 invested already, he said, "that's why you get paid so well when things sell".  I was aghast.  Why are people so hard on this profession?  In addition to the financial burden, I have put over 100 hours of work on this listing.  I had open houses once or twice each weekend.  I would drop everything to show it to a prospective buyer on a moment's notice.  I'd come close to offers three times, but this potential was thwarted by other issues (no pets, no rentals, and an antiquated flooring bylaw not allowing laminate being the biggest).  

What makes the public so quick to throw away our time, money, and effort?   I don't get it.   Allow me to let you in on a little industry secret - if it is priced right, it will sell.  Assuming that you have decent photos, accurate representation, and an agent that answers all calls and queries quickly, it boils down to price.  

Last month, I interviewed for a listing in Strawberry Vale and the seller had been on and off the market since 2004.  She's had 12 LISTINGS AND 11 AGENTS!  Can you believe it?  And, more often than not, she relists it is for a higher price each time!  I told her what price the house should be listed at to sell and she said: "Oh, no, it's worth much more than that.  I can't list with you."  I didn't want it anyway.  Assuming the other agents advertise like I do, she has already wasted $12,000 of someone else's money to try and sell her overpriced house.  

So next time you are giving real estate agents a bad rap, remember that we do a lot of work for no pay at all.  We spend our dollars, not yours, with hopes that you will sell or buy your property while working with us.  We work every day with no regular days off. We are slaves to our phones and computers in this time sensitive industry.  So give us a break won't you?  And if your agent is doing everything they can to sell your listing but it isn't happening - relist at a better price with the same agent.  They deserve that basic amount of respect.