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b-LOG: The Real Estate (non)Salesperson

b-LOG: The Real Estate (non)Salesperson
Date Posted: 23/07/2012

When you go shopping for a car, are you really, genuinely sold on a car by the salesperson or are you shown around, educated and guided through the possibilities. When you make your ultimate buying decision, was it based on being sold on something by the salesperson or based on you taking into account all the facts and making the decision that is best for your needs.

The idea of making a major investment based on being sold or coerced or steered towards one versus the other seems odd. Perhaps it happens but I would think when the dust settles and a consumer has given enough time and thought to what they are considering that they are able to make the proper choice for them.

One variable in the equation though is whether they have been introduced to all the options that are out there. Back to the car lot, if the buyer is only shown 3 types of cars from one particular car company, you could argue that they haven’t seen all that’s available. Even TV shopping could be compared. If you only looked at 3 different size of LG, then are sold on one of them, you haven’t made a decision for yourself, but rather a decision based on the limited options you were sold on.

Over to the land of real estate, the term real estate salesperson is really an unfortunate one. It implies we are somehow walking someone into a home and then proceeding to sell them on it. As we guide a buyer through a home, are we ‘ooohing’ and ‘aaahing’ our way through? I would argue a good, competent REALTOR is more of a guide, translator and advisor than a salesperson. The idea that I could bring someone into a home and ‘sell’ them on it seems ludicrous. Does it happen? I’m not sure but I would expect the majority of time, the REALTOR is not selling but rather guiding.

Yes, it may just be semantics, but the ‘salesperson’ term doesn’t always translate well for the general public!

The process of a home search is an evolving one. The needs list and wants list changes. Areas focussed on change, sometimes the acceptable area is expanded or contracted. The desired layout of home often changes as well as the buyer focusses in on a few different layouts rather than all available. Sometimes backsplit and sidesplit homes are eliminated in favour of 2 storeys.

Once inside the home, the experience of the REALTOR plays a role as well. What age of home is it? If I’m the buyer, I would like to know up front before I get too far what type of wiring is likely in the home. Things like insulation issues, construction methods, foundation issues, leaky basements, plumbing and other big issue items all form part of the value in a REALTOR. Not being a salesperson (or selling you) on the home. If I have 3 kids, is the day-to-day liveability of the home going to be different if it is a backsplit versus a 2 storey? For example, do I want a kitchen that looks into the backyards so I can keep an eye on the kids while I make their lunch and tend to their every need(!).

When the time comes that the buyer has seen enough homes to be able to make an informed decision, that buyer is making an educated, rational choice. They haven’t been sold on the home but rather the previous days or weeks (or months) spent were all a lead up to knowing exactly what they wanted/needed. Not us standing in the rec room selling them on the space.

So maybe it is time to re-classify the Real Estate Salesperson. Maybe real estate sherpa? Real estate advisor? Real estate make-sense-of-it-all-person? Not sure.

But I think the salesperson concept should perhaps be re-considered.

If you would like to discuss your home search with us, please feel free to contact THEbTEAM at your convenience.

We would be happy to meet with you anytime.


Thank-you to Dan Gold for the great photo.