The Real Estate Academy Award goes to

Oscar Award

And the award goes to….

The Real Estate Academy Award goes to which listing agent? Lots of Academy Award Buzz going on this week and I began to wonder how the Academy chooses the finalists for best film of the year, and then how they choose the best motion picture out of all.

That got me thinking about the process Sellers go through when choosing their Realtor®. Sometimes, I think the Academy Board puts more emphasis and importance on choosing the right film than Sellers do when making one of the most important decisions they can make – that of choosing the right Realtor® to market their property. If the Academy chooses the wrong film it really doesn’t have severe repercussions – the public may still decide to see all the other films.  Unfortunately, when a homeowner makes a poor Realtor® selection, it is a problem they are stuck with for a few months: precious days on market time wasted, when they needed the best realtor for the job.

Regrettably, there is no designated degree or required experience needed to enable one to jump in and sell waterfront or luxury properties. As long as one is licensed with RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario) one can sell any type of property, anywhere in the province. Part timers jump in as the lure of the luxury or waterfront listing commission is irresistible to many. Those in real estate who sashay into the waterfront field often have no background and little knowledge of the expertise required, connections needed, and the overall experience that is vital in servicing these exceptional properties. One must be versed in such issues as shore road allowances, septic systems, wells, township and waterfront site plans, etc.

Working as a Muskoka, Lake of Bays waterfront specialist for over a decade, I find it interesting to examine how Sellers make the decision as to whom to hire for this most important process. Some choose based on a connection through a service or fitness club, some choose because the agent is a friend, and some choose solely on the fact that the agent has told them exactly what they want to hear. The agent has nodded and agreed when the Seller says, “Well, my cottage is worth more than anyone else’s ….” This is known as “buying the listing”. Despite all the knowledge that Sellers have in so many avenues of their lives, and despite hard facts presented to them, they allow emotional attachment to their home or cottage to get in the way. The competitive nature of the real estate business combined with an agent that sees the dollars at the end of the deal and not the client’s needs unfortunately combine to accept the Seller’s misconception of value.

Believe it or not, there are some real estate agents that have no hesitation in taking an overpriced listing because they will use the property as an opportunity to advertise themselves and spin the calls that come in to get the clients to look at another listing.

Another factor that has recently been raising its head is a lowered commission on the deal. Sellers are mistaken when they think that a lower commission is money in their pocket. There are new low cost brokerages and part time agents muscling for the commission; in desperation they will cut their fees. As a Seller, you need to know that successful agents make up any perceived savings with honed negotiation skills, knowledge of rural and waterfront issues, and their overall years of experience. An agent who writes many offers is skilled in what they are doing; An agent inexperienced with top-end listings doesn’t know where to start when an offer is received. If you were choosing a surgeon for your heart bypass, would you want the doctor who performs many or the doctor that did one last year and hopes they can remember how it’s done? If it were a lawyer and you were going to trial, would you choose the one with the outstanding record of wins or the one that nervously stutters, “ I can do it for less”.

A great Realtor® goes an extra mile for their clients. They are passionate about their trade. They work exceptionally hard. They are awarded the top designations because they earned them! They are constantly updating their knowledge. They are there to open and close the properties, to help stage, to do what it takes to help their Sellers achieve a successful sale.

 In my day-to-day business I have the pleasure of working with many top agents from various firms. It is not so much the brand that matters as the passion, knowledge and experience the individual exhibits for our industry and for doing the right thing for their Sellers. As a Seller make sure that the agent you choose would be given the academy award for the service they provide to you.

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