The guys and gals that fix your things are probably pretty good at it, or you might not return to them to fix whatever broke. The people who wait on you when you are dining out are probably attentive and courteous and provide excellent service (someone else does the cooking, not the wait staff) and that might be a large reason you go back to that place on a regular basis. Real estate has its ups and downs, along with a host of top-notch people mixed in with those that can barely explain the necessity of a survey. Who do you like to work with? Is it safe to assume you have a true professional at your side when you wheel and deal in real estate? Lets hope so.
What is the purpose of negotiating one of the most important financial moves of your life (buying a home) if you are going to throw caution to the wind and hire the rookie with little or no seasoning or the broker that cuts their fees to get your business, only to forget to tell you about some important deadlines during escrow. Yes, rookies can be great at their first few deals as a Realtor, or they can learn at your expense. Helping your Realtor understand the entire process might make you feel better and you quite likely will not end up in a lawsuit or in a pickle that you cannot escape from. But should you take that chance?
How about the role of ethical behavior in your dealings with that salesperson you hired? Does it even matter? Well, it might not matter in many deals. It’s possible there will not be an instance when your Realtor had a choice to make and sadly chose the unethical path. But what if they did make the wrong choice (I am equating unethical with wrong, by the way) and it affected you in a problematic way, or even cost you money? If you cannot think of an example of how this might affect you, the customer, in a negative way, ask your Realtor if they can describe an example. If they cannot, then you also might have reason for concern.
Every four years the national Realtor organization (NAR) requires all Realtors to have taken a two-hour course on Ethics. The four-year deadline is this year. Almost all of them have taken the course by now or are scheduled in the next week or two. If you fail to take the course, your Realtor status is suspended. If your favorite Realtor is suspended, what does that tell you? That they are a procrastinator or are not paying attention to requirements? What would that say about their ability to help you execute the terms of a purchase agreement with deadlines and contingencies on many items?
Simply failing to take an Ethics course does not make one unethical, of course! Some have taken the course and remained a bad actor in our industry, doing unethical things time after time; saying the wrong thing, failing to disclose material facts, forgetting to tell you about the new sewage treatment plant going in across the street from your retirement home. Lack of disclosure is one of the most frequent mistakes a Realtor can make. If you are a home buyer, rely on that person, but please take responsibility and do as much research as you feel is necessary to allow you to feel comfortable with the property you are buying.
Tweedle Dumber is licensed and practicing real estate sales every day. And I am calling them Dumber because they do not have the brains to figure out how to do business ethically and professionally. They may think that classes they are required to take are a waste of their time. They may think they already know everything. Hey, if I have been in and around real estate for nearly 35 years by now and am still learning every day, it might be because there is more to learn and the rules are always changing and market trends dictate learning new things every year. Find out if your chosen professional is in the good column or in the “bad” column. Then you can sleep at night.
“You learn something every day if you pay attention” Ray LeBlond
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Albert Einstein
PS- Newly updated real estate market stats will be published here by the 10th of this and every month.