Do You Really Need a Realtor?

Published on 6th June 2019

I’ve been a licensed Realtor for almost 8 years now, and the longer that I stay as a licensed Realtor, the things that I come across from other Realtors seem to get increasingly more ridiculous. Maybe that’s just the nature of being around enough Realtors and being exposed to the absurd things that some of them pull off. However, with each situation deemed to be ridiculous, the next case after that is usually even more ridiculous!

Realtor Overflow – Perhaps the training is getting further diluted despite the efforts by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) requiring more course completions and charging more money to get licensed. Perhaps everyone getting their license is just unqualified. Or perhaps it’s the fact that passing the exam is literally a joke now because a simple search on Kijiji will show multiple people selling the test, guides, and guarantees of you passing the test for as low as $20. How about that, eh? What a deal! Fun fact – Ontario has the most Realtors-to-population, globally!

I’ve also seen a sign by the OREA office on Don Mills that clearly says, “Become a Realtor, No English required.” I don’t know who their target market is because people who can’t read English, in theory, shouldn’t be able to read that sign either… hmm. Anyways, my point is that being a Realtor really isn’t all that hard right now. If anything, it’s probably gotten easier with the old exams in circulation.

Do You Really Need a Realtor? So this begs the question – If we have so many unqualified Realtors out there, then should you actually hire a Realtor to buy and sell your house?

To be clear, although I am a Realtor, I actually dislike (most) Realtors. In the hierarchy of most despised professions, I’m pretty sure Realtors are only ranked lower than lawyers and used car salesmen.

Bring on the Good! With so many negative connotations associated with Realtors, should you actually hire one? The short answer is maybe, BUT if you do, make sure you hire a GOOD one.

PT vs FT – So let me break down how to spot a good Realtor for you. Some Realtors are part-time and I’m a believer that if you hire someone in the service industry, you should hire them if they are working at it on a full-time basis. You wouldn’t want a contractor to build your house if they only build houses for 10 hours per week. The same applies to Realtors. So right off the bat, you should rule Realtors in this bucket out.

Completed Deals – 62.1% of agents in 2018 did less than 3 transactions. Do you want to hire an agent that hasn’t sold more than 3 houses per year? The answer is probably no. So then what is the point of having a Realtor if 62.1% of them should not be hired?

Kickbacks – Further, there’s also an element of commission kickback incentives from agents who don’t know what they doing, and who are only Realtors because they need to put money on the table to feed their families. These activities result in some pretty ridiculous things.

Common Sense Checkpoint – Allow me to illustrate with an example. Last week, the condo that we listed ultimately ended up with 8 offers. This condo was clearly under priced at $699K and we were expecting offers over that. Any Realtor, actually even non-Realtors, are able to check sold history in the building to see that the last sale of a similar unit was $740K. The condo ultimately ended up selling for $790K, but here are 3 example offers that came in that made me question the common sense of the Realtors who submitted these offers.

Example #1 – An agent submits their offer with conditions (all set up for no conditions on this listing) and asking price. This Realtor called me constantly during the review process to see if he won the bid for their client. This is not that bad, and it’s quite common given the number of bad Realtors out there. The next 2 are ridiculous.

Example #2 – An agent submits their offer 3 hours after the offer date had passed, and significantly under the asking price with multiple conditions. This Realtor called me the next morning telling me their client was awaiting the acceptance and that my Seller was getting a great deal. Really?! Since he came in late, we had already accepted the 790k offer. I politely told this Realtor that he had missed his chance, and good luck with his buyer.

Example #3 – This one is a gem and it’s the most ridiculous I’ve seen… thus far anyways. A buyer represented by 2 different agents came in with 2 offers, and here’s the kicker – they each submitted a different offer price. Oh and here’s the kicker on top of the kicker – this buyer wanted me to show them the property personally, informing me that I could “double end” the deal plus some other unethical things. There are so many things wrong with this request, both ethically and legally, so I told him that I wouldn’t represent both the buy and sell side, and for this buyer to get a Realtor to represent him. Apparently, this buyer took my response way too seriously since they clearly ended up getting 2 Realtors!. Side Note: The offers weren’t even close to what it ended up selling for. The buyer and the 2 Realtors should be automatically docked some common sense points.

The Wrap – So after having read this week’s Insight Article, it probably makes you question whether you should hire a Realtor or not. If you are transacting in real estate, it is a good idea nonetheless to hire a GOOD Realtor who knows what they are doing because they should be able to facilitate the transactions, have the contacts to close the transaction, have access to projects before the public does, market and position your home, navigate multiple offers, and much more. Our PPTO team can do that and so much more!

I would say that 25% of Realtors who I have encountered are generally okay, and of that 25%, 10% are actually GOOD. That means there are 75% BAD Realtors out there, so that’s a ¾ chance that you’d pick a bad one. As with anything else, make sure you do your homework! Lucky for you though, you got yourself on the right mailing list because there are no bad apples here at PPTO!

Until Next Time Happy Real Estate-ing,
Zhen

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