I called a real estate agent 13 days ago, I’m still waiting to hear back…

I have always questioned from the very beginning, why don’t Realtors get interviewed considering the role they play and the remuneration they receive to get the job done. Thirteen days ago, I had a Realtor paged to call me about a property they had for sale. I am not a practicing Realtor yet, as I wait for accreditation from the Province. I did not represent myself as a Realtor (because I’m not) when I had the agent paged to call me. So, as far as that Realtor knew I am a prospective buyer/seller.

I will not disclose the name of the Realtor or even the gender. It’s not really important. But, there is little wonder as to why this person’s book of business is as thin as it is (that statement was on the advice of two other Realtors I had asked regarding the one in question). The person has not called me back, this is day thirteen. The person also has a second job, a problem that I suffered from terminally when I was a Realtor ten years ago (but that’s another story coming soon to a device near you). Clearly you must be so busy with your other job that you can’t call me back (for full disclosure, I did call the Brokerage back to ask if the Realtor had received the page – they told me they would resend my request for call back).

There is little wonder that Realtors, in general, have the reputation they have. This is the statement that generally riles the feathers of good Realtors and that’s okay. If you run your business the right way you have nothing to worry about. I found this poll online that shows the trustworthiness of those in particular professions with Realtors in the bottom third – and by the poll administrators own admission, has not changed much in the last 40 years! If you read the media provided on the site, they ask a question of “the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields.” This study is American so in Canada are we judged any differently? Not likely. The Gallup poll article does raise some valid points on the bottom of the bar graph shown like: “Do ethics and honesty necessarily mean the customer is unhappy.” Not likely to have an unhappy customer if it was you who came out on the “winning” end of getting a deal done. But any profession where negotiation and money are involved is bound to create hard feelings along the lines.

But back to the un-returned call – I want to understand why. Let’s play through the scenarios ok?

1. The property is sold or conditionally sold. If it’s sold, you would have a sign on the property saying so and it wouldn’t be on the public realtor.ca website. If it is conditionally sold, that means the property has an offer on it that the buyer is working their way through to satisfy the conditions (like getting financing, securing insurance on the home and getting a home inspection, as most common examples). Not having access to the local real estate board MLS service I can’t tell if it is conditionally sold – it would tell me. But, at the end of the day, any sales job is about getting calls. If the property is conditionally sold, perhaps the Realtor figures the deal is going to go through so no need to call me back. Deals do go south and don’t always go through. The un-returned phone call may have burned an opportunity now to get a sale on it. By the way, the property is not sold and has been on the market a while.

2. You are “too busy” to take on another customer. There are a lot of Realtors that have and run a great book of business and are professionals. There are a few Realtors that are complete slime bags personally, professionally and/or historically (through story telling) but for whatever reason continue to get calls. (Did that statement surprise you as someone soon to be working in the field? It shouldn’t, many of you have always known and thus treated – or been treated by – Realtors accordingly). On what planet would you ever say that you can’t take another customer request to see a property – keeping in mind that according to the Web search I did to see how many active listings the Realtor had, only two came up. Two. How would you like to be the one being represented by a Realtor who didn’t call back?

3. You have another job and couldn’t call me back OR too much time has elapsed and now you can’t call me back out of shame. Even though you could probably have created some excuse as to why it has taken thirteen days for you to call me (I’ve been sick, had surgery, have been trying to get Timmy out of the well…..) you didn’t. I checked this morning, the listing is still on the market. Someone I know had lived around the corner from the property for years that I called about, it has been for sale “forever” they tell me – it’s no secret why.

So please remember, interview your Realtor. I’ve not written this to beg you for your business. I’ve not written this to show any superiority to anyone else. If you need help on what questions you should ask, send me an e-mail or call. I will get back to you within 12 days.

Mark Million is a soon-to-be Realtor with Bowes and Cocks Limited, Brokerage in Peterborough. If you would like a free opinion of value or ways to market your home differently contact me. If you want free advice on any real estate question or scenario you may have, by all means contact me. All information or conversation disseminated through WordPress or any other means of correspondence between myself and you is not intended to solicit those currently under contract.

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