Practice Safe Real Estate For Buyers, Sellers and Ourselves
Last week I read a story about an agent in the U.S. who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for robbing homes. In fact, he admitted that he actually lost count of how many homes he robbed. Being an agent allowed him to get lock box codes and then just take his time to look for the good stuff. The article made me think about safety in our “workplace”, not just physical safety (although that should be a real concern) but safety for our sellers and buyers. So, at this week’s meeting my office endeavoured to develop areas of concern for buyers, sellers and ourselves and other agents. Have a look at our lists. Do you have anything to add?
What stood out from the lengthy discussion that evolved from our meeting was that all the points we mentioned were mere reminders of our duties as professional Realtors. We have a responsibility to protect our clients, to coach them in the selling process and offer timely and accurate advice. Our duty to buyer clients is not substantially different. We need to have knowledge in our market, explain the forms and procedures and act as trusted negotiators. To our colleagues we need to communicate truthfully and accurately, keep pristine records and work within established time limits. Interestingly, I find tremendous similarities between these points and our code of ethics. Finally, for ourselves, we need to be aware that there are opportunities for others to take advantage of us. We should always be prepared for the worst.
Finish off with a story told by an agent in our office. She got a call one night, many years ago, from a man who wanted to look at a vacant house late at night. The agent said she wasn’t able to arrange it. The gentleman asked why and the agent, jokingly replied “well it’s dark out, the house is vacant and for all I know you could be an axe murderer”. They set up a meeting for the following morning and in the end the man bought the house. They have a great relationship and whenever he calls her he says “hi, its me, Mr. Axemurderer”. All’s well that ends well in this scenario.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.