Have you or someone you know ever had a bad experience with a Realtor when selling a home?
Have you ever heard horror stories from friends or relatives who have said “I’ll never use that Realtor again“?
Have you ever wondered if there was a way to hold your Realtor accountable?
I hear it too often. When I meet with new clients I often hear them say they had a terrible experience the last time they worked with a Realtor.
This is why they are now meeting with me instead of hiring the same Realtor that they used the previous time.
Please let me be very clear about something here.
With over 60,000 licensed Realtors in the greater Toronto real estate market I can honestly say that I do know many top notch Realtors.
And I’ve also had the pleasure of working with many of them on deals where I represented either the buyer or seller and they represented the other side of the transaction.
However, just like in any Industry with professional services, there are always the top 5% to 10%.
I’m not just talking about their earnings or productivity.
But I’m referring to the top 5% to 10% in terms of having the highest level of skill and expertise, along with the highest level of service and genuine integrity.
Then there are the middle 80% to 90% who are just average.
They can usually get the job done. But they don’t go above and beyond and they don’t strive for ultimate client satisfaction or customer satisfaction.
They are more transactional. They just want to get the deal done and move on to the next one.
And unfortunately in any industry there is the remaining 5% to 10% who have a bad reputation and you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
As someone (myself) who aims to always remain in the top 5%, I’m always talking to anyone I can, to make sure that I know what would make a real estate client 100% satisfied with their experience working with me.
So I did some investigating and while hearing some of the complaints that people shared with me a light bulb went off.
It suddenly occurred to me why the ball might have been dropped in those other peoples’ prior experiences working with other Realtors in the past.
What occurred to me is the inability for home sellers to hold Their Realtor accountable once they hire him or her.
In my book which I wrote a few years ago I point out a little known fact that many people don’t know.
That fact is that when you hire anyone to do anything, from a Lawyer to a ceramic tile Installer, to a Contractor of any type, if you’re not happy with them you can always fire them and replace them.
In real estate that is not true.
When you sign a Listing Agreement with a Realtor and IF the time comes that you are not happy with them, only the Realtor themselves, or the real estate brokerage they work with can choose to cancel or terminate that Listing Agreement.
They can’t force you to remain on the market with your home. And they can’t force you to sell if you don’t want to.
But they CAN suspend your listing which means that you are not technically on the M.L.S. or on the market while it is suspended, but you are still tied up in an Agreement with that brokerage or agency until the end of that Listing Agreement which could still be many more weeks or even months.
More specifically, what that means is that you cannot hire another Realtor to take over your listing or re-list your property until after your current agreement has expired.
Let’s take a closer look at why it’s difficult for home sellers to hold the Realtor accountable and of course I will share the solution to help you fix the problem.
To illustrate the problem I have printed off a blank listing. This is a sample of the agreement you would sign when you list your house for sale with a Realtor.
If you take a look at it you will notice where I’ve highlighted the first part of every paragraph.
What you’ll notice is that every paragraph starts off with something like:
- The seller hereby acknowledges…
- The seller understands…
- The seller agrees…
- The seller represents and warrants…
- The seller hereby warrants…
So what I see to be the biggest problem is that the listing agreement has all of these criteria and clauses that the seller can be held accountable to.
But what I don’t see anywhere is what the Realtor can be held accountable to.
So, if I want to guarantee a great experience for my own clients then we must remember that this is a legally binding contract and agreement.
There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t add anything we want to our Listing Agreement, as long as it falls within the boundaries of the law.
Furthermore, anything that is manually added to the terms and conditions of the agreement override the pre-printed clauses.
When I sign a Listing Agreement with new clients who may not have worked with me in the past or may be apprehensive about certain things, I’m happy to manually add into the Listing Agreement anything or everything that I have promised to do for them.
In other words everything that I’ve promised to deliver as part of my services. I can now be held accountable to complete and fulfill everything I have promised to do for them.
I have no problem writing that in the listing agreement because now what we have is a written contract that not only holds the seller accountable for what they must do but more importantly it also holds me accountable for everything I’ve promised to do.
If you are thinking of selling and would like to discuss the particulars of the listing agreement with me before you do anything I am more than happy to answer all of your questions.