1. Realtors don’t sell houses.
We market them. And if when we do a good job, people will buy them. We don’t often get a chance to meet a buyer if we are working for the seller. When we do represent both, we need to be very careful not to be biased. When we are working for the buyer, we don’t want to sell them any particular home. We want to help them buy the house that they want. Our job is more often to point out negatives they may not see, to ensure they love their home for a long time.

2. Open houses don’t work.
They work for Realtors. That’s why we do them. We get to meet your neighbors, and pick up clients that may be in the early stages of considering a move. They don’t cost us anything. For the chance to have a bunch of our signs up around the neighbourhood, we can still get a lot of work done from your place, if not too many of your neighbors show up.

3. Advertising doesn’t work.
Print advertising, that is. The only really effective marketing is through the MLS system. This is where both the consumer and the Realtor will do all of their searching. No one swings by the variety store on Saturday morning to pick up a magazine to see what houses came up for sale that week. By that time, half may be sold. Realtors use paper to advertise themselves.

4. Price doesn’t matter to a realtor.
Once in a while we hear a buyer comment that we may just want them to pay a higher price because then we’ll get a higher commission. The reality is that the difference in commission on the last $5000 is probably around 75 bucks. It’s not worth the trouble. We would rather get you an awesome deal and have you talk well of us to your friends.

5. Most realtors aren’t making piles of money.
Most realtors don’t even make it. Of the 20 or so that were in the course with me, when I did it. I believe only a handful were still in the business two years later. And that Lexus your realtor is driving? Is probably older and has a  lot of kilometers. He bought it that way.

6. Your house isn’t special.
It’s special to you. That’s why you bought it. And I will do my best to link it up to a client that will feel the same way. But thinking your house is special is like thinking you are special. And you are. Just like everyone else.

7. Saving on commission is a bad idea.
When you are hiring a realtor, you are hiring someone that can negotiate a contract for you. That’s where their value is. If he or she can negotiate another $5000 in your favour, and get you the possession date that you want, they are providing value. A Realtor that can’t negotiate their own commission out of a wet paper bag can’t do it for you either.

8. Location isn’t everything.
Cleanliness matters. I’ve walked many buyers out of homes that had all they wanted with respect to size, location and price. Why? Because it stank or because they couldn’t see past the mess.

9. Houses talk to people.
The criteria you started with, when you started looking, will all be thrown out when you find your home. Not to say that none of it will match up, as most of it may. But when you stand in the living room, looking out the front window, and it feels like home, the fact that the basement isn’t finished the way you had hoped, won’t matter.

10. Most realtors really care
I know. It’s shocking. But so true. I’ve been doing this for over thirteen years, and I’ve met many that are genuinely concerned for their clients. Some even fuss over them, scold them, cry with them, even pray for them.

To hear the unvarnished truth about selling your house or finding your home, call me!  I try to give the straight goods.
Pete de Jong. Re/Max iRealty. 403-818-7310.

The opinions expressed here are my own.