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Letters: I am a very annoyed Realtor

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I thought I’d take this opportunity to state my grievances about our current real estate industry.

I’ve read some of the REM articles and felt compelled to send this to you. I have forwarded my ideas to CREA, OREA and to the real estate brokers and business ministry, whenever there is an invite to “give us your feedback” but I never ever hear anything back. So I’m picking on you.

Lately I have read some your articles regarding our current market and of course how unfair it is to buyers. I felt even REM misses the point.

We need to do the following:

1. All offers should be disclosed to all buyers just like a real auction. 

That’s transparency and it works for everybody. Also, why can the listing agent see all offers when he has a buyer who is offering? That’s not right at all. Why does the rule even exist that terms of another offer can not be disclosed to other agents/buyers? This should be wide open. Transparency.

2. Home inspections.

This is another annoying thing. We cry that buyers are unprotected when purchasing a home in a competitive multiple-offer scenario. Why don’t we just make it a rule that all sellers must have a home inspection report made available?

What’s so hard about that? It solves a lot of problems. It’s total rubbish that home inspectors will not assign their report to another person without consent. Once a buyer pays for it, why can’t they share it? I’ve heard all the reasons when engaged with home inspectors. Final question is always, why would the report be any different?

These two simple changes would make a world of difference for both buyers and sellers. Without them, we will continue to under-list homes and reward our buyer with multiple offers with no conditions and place the buyer at great risk, which can so easily be avoided.

It’s not us, the Realtors, who are making it easy for ourselves to sell a home – it’s the lack of meaningful rules.

There are many other things we need to change. I have a list of things that would make this industry a much better and fairer place for buyers and sellers. For example, Realtors who cut commissions but take the reduced portion away from the selling agent without disclosing the consequences to their vendor. And Realtors who win a listing by overstating a realistic selling price and signing the vendor to a long-term listing, from which they can not escape even though the listing has no chance of performing at that price.

Our industry can easily change for the better for everyone. It’s not that hard. We just need sensible people making sensible rules.

Chris Staeger
Royal LePage Triland Realty
London, Ont.

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