Double ending, the CBC and You the Consumer.
With our love/hate relationship with journalists, the CBC has again brought real estate sales representative (AKA agents) to the fore. In a recent news magazine story of 10 agents who have earned 20-40% of their income from the practice of representing the seller and the buyer in a real estate transaction The reporter(s) made some broad (and likely incorrect) assumptions via a cause and effect strategy. I am not saying that the public doesn’t have the right the know: not at all. But to take agents who are known for this practice or had been questioned about their practices and use them as a template for all real estate representatives – isn’t good journalism. It fits in the realm of sensationalizing – gets people to watch or buy the paper. It really gives a narrow perspective.
Are there bad agents? Absolutely. Are there some that need to be heavily fined or barred from the business? – Absolutely. Are there some others refuse to work with? Absolutely. It’s a live-and-learn business.
My business is about educating the public. Some of those I interact with will become clients, others will not. I have learned that I am not the best fit for every buyer or seller. Some want to be told their home is worth much more then they can possibly expect, in order to list with that representative. They soon find out that they were “scammed” by “the agent of at the area” to get their listing and then are forced into a price reduction to a more realistic price range.
Buyers and sellers need to do their homework. Find a full-time professional. How can you tell? Look at their personal website (not their brokerage site). If they don’t have one – warning one. How many properties have they transacted in the last year? Three, four? If under six – they are what is considered “part-time”. Warning two. What do others say about them – those who have actually worked with them (not friends or relatives – never do business with relatives – first rule of business)? Get feedback, ask for referrals, do your homework. Then choose.
When selling, understand the limitations of the listing agreement. Ask you sale representative interviewee, what those limitations are. If they don’t know or give you a BS answer, don’t choose them. Limitations are around marketing. What does the agreement say about that? Again, clear and concise vs BS. It’s simple – ask me. Get “promises” or “plans” in writing, signed by both the representative and you.
Back to the top. Is double ending good or bad? When done openly and with full disclosure – both parties benefit. Have I done this? Yes, on a few occasions, with good outcomes, full disclosures and signed agreements to proceed. It takes time, patience and a great understanding of Real Estate rules and regulations – and full disclosure. Anything less can get you in trouble. Just ask those CBC interviewees – the licensing board is going after them for sure.