Forgive me Readers, for it has been one year since my last confession. As a Toronto real estate agent:
- Sometimes, I fall in love with other people’s houses. It’s a professional hazard, really. I fall in love with people’s decor, the size of their kitchen, their storage space, their landscaping. Sometimes, I fall so in love that I come home and hate my own house. Truth: most of the renos we’ve done to our house have been motivated by someone else’s house.
- Sometimes, I’m grossed out by the way people live. As agents, we always tell our clients to look past the bad decor/mess/outdated kitchen/mould on the walls, etc. But you know what? The way some people live is gross. I’ve perfected mouth-breathing to deal with bad smells. I can usually spot a hoarder from the street. And I’ve been known to run directly to the shower after some particularly nasty showings.
- I have a love-hate relationship with Toronto agents I work with some amazing people and have formed some great relationships with agents in and out of my brokerage. But the quality of real estate agents in Toronto is far from consistent. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably read some of my rants: Dear Realtor, What Were You Thinking? And Dear Realtor, Have You Heard of Something Called Communication? And of course, the ever-popular Realtor Rant: Toronto Realtors.
- Sometimes I’m shocked by how much a house sells for too. I can talk about comparables and an imbalanced market as much as the next REALTOR, but sometimes, I can’t believe the final sale price either. What were those Buyers thinking?
- I watch HGTV too. A lot. And once I even e-mailed the Property Virgin host to thank her for entertaining me.
- Bidding wars aren’t actually fun for REALTORS either. I know the media likes to play up the theory that real estate agents manipulate the system to inflate prices, but taking a client through the home search and offer process multiple times is: 1) Painful. We deal with a lot of tears and broken dreams; and 2) Time-consuming: three searches, three home inspections, three offers = me working three times harder for the same income.
- Sometimes we’re not the best person for the job and we say so. Buying or selling a house is an intimate process – we’ll spend tons of hours together (much of that inside a car) and we’ll probably find out more about each other than either of us ever expected. Meeting a new potential client is kind of like dating – and before we end up in a relationship, we both need to like AND respect each other. Sometimes we walk away from the first date. We know what we know and we’re good at what we do, but sometimes we’re out of our area of expertise. If we don’t think we’re the best people for the job, we’ll say so. No amount of commission will ever be worth sacrificing our principles for. Or driving to Ajax.