Let’s be real for a moment when it comes to jokes about professionals, Realtors are right up there with lawyers on the list of jobs people like to crack funnies about. We know. I have a sense of humour and I’ve heard all the jokes at least three times over the years. Truthfully.
The funny thing is (see what I did there?) the truth is actually quite different. Yes, there are some bad apples out there (a quick Google search will give you some examples), just as in any industry, but I deal with fantastic Realtors who put their client’s needs first on a daily basis. A good Realtor is worth his or her weight in gold, but unfortunately, the transactions that run smoothly and leave everyone happy rarely make the headlines.
Our industry is actually much more reputable than many jokes would have you believe.
For example, many consumers are unaware of a Realtor’s fiduciary duties, but they’re massively important and work as a true guideline for our industry.
A fiduciary is a person or organization who enters into a legal agreement to put another person’s needs first - even ahead of their own. In a real estate context, this means your Realtor is ethically required to put your best interests first. There are also a number of other responsibilities that come along with a fiduciary relationship:
● Care – your real estate agent must give you their best at all times. They must use their skills, experience and expertise to help further your best interests, even ahead of their own.
● Loyalty at all times – no matter the situation, your Realtor must put your best interests ahead of everyone else’s during your transaction - that includes their own interests. There are no exceptions. Loyalty is a must.
● Confidentiality – Realtors are negotiation experts and you hire them, in part, to handle the tricky business of negotiations for you. Any private info that you reveal to your agent, should remain exactly that - private and confidential. This is especially so if it concerns info that could hamper your negotiating position.
● Full obedience – your real estate agent has an obligation to do as you wish - they must execute all ethical and legal requests you make with regard to your transaction.
● Accounting – any money that you give to your real estate agent must be accounted for properly. A Realtor must not, accidentally or otherwise, commingle your money with their business or personal funds.
● Total disclosure – remember; your agent has a responsibility to disclose anything of importance to you. If they gain information that could assist you in negotiations, they have a duty to tell you, even if it makes their life more difficult. You're number one.
At the Kelowna Condos team, one of the things that bring us the greatest satisfaction is education. We love making sure our clients are ‘in the know’.