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Odd Things Real Estate Agents Do, Explained:


Insisting on using their vendors, not yours:
A real estate broker is a project manager when it comes to selling your home, and they are responsible for the final outcome.  They trust their photographers, stagers, handy-people and landscapers to be on time, effective and trustworthy.  YOU may want to give YOUR friend who is learning how to be a stager a chance, but if your home doesn’t sell – you won’t blame your friend, you will blame your realtor.

Pulling out your furnace filter, or the furnace filter of any homes you like:

Changing a furnace filter is one of the easiest home maintenance tasks out there, and negligence in this task is usually a hint about negligence in other areas.  If your broker has concerns about a filter at a house you like, you know to ask more questions of the sellers.  If your broker has concerns about YOUR filter, expect them to ask more questions of you.

When you say “we are in no rush” but your realtor wants to show you houses anyway:
Buying real estate is a tactile experience, and your realtor knows that *most* people buy homes like they buy fresh produce.  When people engage with the rooms, with the yard and with the community – THAT is when decisions are made.  Anything else is just window shopping.

Avoid the news, specifically real estate news:
Everyday the newspapers are calling for the end of the real estate market, and yet despite the noise – the market trudges on.  Good realtors keep up with data, not with news.

Politely passing on the celebratory drink:
A lot happens on the night of an offer.  And some of it happens after you have gone home and continued the celebration.  If your realtor has a drink and then keeps working, and heaven forbid something goes wrong – you will ALWAYS wonder if that drink they had affected the deal.

Ask you if you are working with a bank or a broker:
A bank is likely to “prequalify” you.  A broker is likely to ”preapprove” you.  The weight of the difference is felt on the shoulders of the buyers the day of a multiple offer, or on the last day of their financing condition.

Insist on meeting both partners:
Schedules are tough to coordinate these days.  And while it may be inconvenient if your realtor INSISTS that you meet all together, it is most likely to save you time.  It may be the case that you and your partner are not on board with some of the search criteria, and it is best to get everything straight early on.  The alternative, of course is going out five times and learning that one of you will only live on the West side of any street you buy on.

Flush the toilets, turn on the stove and try the dishwasher while you are on your purchaser’s visit:
If it breaks between going firm and closing, we need to know about it.  And your broker does NOT want that call two days after closing that something isn’t working.

Ask uncomfortable questions about your house (ie do you have permits for renovations, fires, floods etc):
Without putting too fine a point on it, think of your broker as your criminal defence attorney.  They can only help you if they know everything there is to know about your house.  If you had a leak in the spring of 2014 and you didn’t tell them, they will have zero negotiating power when the home inspection uncovers moisture.  And this dirty brush will paint EVERY inquiry about your house until it sells.

Insist on you using a Toronto real estate lawyer, and not a friend who practices criminal law in Smith Falls:
There is nothing more frustrating for a broker (and terrifying for a buyer) than when a real estate lawyer does not know how to read a condo status certificate, interpret a survey or properly submit a title insurance application.

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