It isn’t a secret that the real estate industry is not well respected. According to Forbes Magazine, real estate agents rank 23rd on the list of most admired professionals below actors, stockbrokers and politicians.
Why is this so? Research reveals that ‘home’ comes second only to ‘mother’ as the word in the English language that is closest to our hearts. Therefore, buying or selling a home is a major emotional event. Yet some real estate agents treat it as a financial transaction involving lucrative commissions and nothing more. This makes it enticing for greedy real estate agents to place their interest above yours and prey on the naive, uninformed or simply trusting. Although real estate agents have a disciplinary board through RECO, no industry can fully legislate ethics: this means the onus is on you to do your homework before choosing an agent.
I believe educating the public about the potential problems that can arise is critical in order to protect consumers from dishonest and unethical practices. The following are some of the most egregious problems I have encountered. Hopefully this awareness will provide you the knowledge to protect yourself:
The majority of real estate agents are professional, abide by the rules and provide the consumer with enormous benefit. But unfortunately the misdeeds echo louder than the good deeds which gives us all a bad name.
The bottom line is the consumer must exercise due diligence before hiring an agent because ethics cannot be legislated. But, although the industry can’t force agents to be ethical, we can make you aware of the pitfalls so you can protect yourself. The more educated you are, the less likely you will hire an unethical agent which will hopefully run some of the bad agents out of town.