Business Etiquette for Realtor

*Courtesy of TREB

Business Etiquette

THREE CS TO REALTOR® PROFESSIONALISM — COURTESY, COMMUNICATION, COMMON SENSE
COURTESY
  • If a Seller has made a final decision to list with someone else, respect and reinforce that decision. A professional attitude will create more business than will making negative comments about the competition.
  • Speak respectfully about your competition. It will enhance your reputation as a professional.
  • Arrive on time — don’t waste anyone’s time. If you are running late or have to cancel an appointment, advise the other party in a polite manner.
  • Be timely when picking-up or dropping-off courtesy keys.
  • Return any key you have to the listing/courtesy office promptly after a showing.
  • Face a problem situation promptly and squarely. Consult management immediately when a problem develops.
  • Leave the house as you found it (i.e.: lights on or off, pets in or out, all doors locked, etc.) Don’t turn switches on or off if you don’t know what they control — it could be the furnace or the air conditioner.
  • Don’t park or block the driveway access to a neighboring property and/or sidewalk when showing a property or conducting an Open House. Remember to pick-up all Open House signs when you leave.
  • Use your Open House and For Sale signs according to municipal by-laws.
  • Use sidewalks and paths. Avoid unnecessary walking on the grass and through flower beds.
  • Refrain from use of tobacco, food or beverages in a home when you are showing it. Encourage your prospects to wait until they are outside.
  • Extend a courteous and positive attitude to your administrative staff/other offices’ administrative staff, clients, colleagues and the public.
  • Ring the bell or knock on the door before entering a home (this also applies to a home that has a lockbox). The owner may still be home. Call out when you enter a home if you were unable to reach someone by knocking on the door. Let them know who you are.
  • Remove shoes or boots upon entering a home and encourage your customers to do so as well.
COMMON SENSE
  • Urge the Buyer to get pre-qualified. Showing homes that Buyers cannot afford, or that do not meet their needs, is an exercise in futility for all parties, including yourself.
  • Learn the facts about a property before showing it. If you do not know, say so. You may be legally responsible for misrepresentation of a property or facts.
  • Exhibit honest, ethical behavior when showing another Firm’s listing.
  • Allow only registered persons to conduct showings on your behalf. Having an unregistered friend or spouse “cover” for you is in violation of the Real Estate and Business Brokers’ Act.
  • Undertake to provide professional services only in the areas of expertise that you are most familiar. If you need assisstance, ask for it.
  • Be clean and neat in your personal appearance. Keep your car clean, as well, to ensure your client’s/customer’s comfort. Drive carefully at all times.
  • Upon cancellation of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, deposit monies must be promptly disbursed in accordance with the Act and any mutual releases.
  • Remember to check with the municipality for Open House and For Sale sign requirements and regulations.
COMMUNICATION
  • Provide the Seller with a well-researched and documented competitive market analysis.
  • Advise the Seller of any need for repairs or improvements to make their home more saleable. But don’t recommend a specific contractor.
  • At the time of listing, provide a copy of the listing agreement forms and estimate of selling costs to the Seller. Be sure the agreement contains complete and accurate information. The listing Firm is responsible for the accuracy of all published MLS® data.
  • Establish security precautions for listings that have a lockbox. As the listing REALTOR®, you are responsible for security.
  • Let the Seller know frequently how the marketing is going and how prospective buyers are reacting to the home and market conditions (good or bad).
  • Make sure your advertising honestly reflects the property and is in good taste.
  • Make sure the Buyer and Seller are aware of the closing costs as well as the payments (including principal, interest, GST, insurance, Land Transfer Tax and any required mortgage insurance).
  • Direct all enquiries regarding terms, conditions or price of a home to the listing REALTOR®. Do not discuss these points directly with the Seller.
  • Be certain all Co-operating Brokers are aware of the compensation they will receive upon successful conclusion of the transaction, before they show your listing. Avoid commission disputes in the presence of Buyers or Sellers.
  • When representing the Seller, don’t suggest an offering price other than the listed price, unless you have the Seller’s permission.
  • Present all offers in an unbiased manner if you are the listing REALTOR®, regardless of who wrote the offer. The choice is the Sellers.
  • Help the Seller evaluate any fair and reasonable offer, but do not act against the best interest of your client, his or her own best judgement, or good conscience.
  • Make sure that the fully signed purchase agreement reflects the terms and conditions to which the principals have agreed. Avoid ambiguity. Oral agreements are meaningless and only create problems.
  • Explain what steps must be taken to complete and effect a successful closing.
  • In any transaction or advertisement in which you are acting as a principal, disclose your status as a registrant in writing to Sellers, Buyers and other registrants.
  • If a REALTOR® becomes aware of any practice which is damaging to the public or which may bring discredit upon the real estate profession, it is his/her obligation to report it to their local real estate board.
  • Accept and recognize cultural differences. Avoid voicing your personal views regarding other cultural, religious or ethnic groups.
  • Return calls from other Sales Representatives promptly. They may have an offer, or may need additional information to enable them to prepare an offer. Speak clearly and slowly when leaving a message on someone else’s voice mail, to ensure the recipient understands your name, message and telephone number (with area code).
  • Receive private calls through your pager to avoid tying up the office telephone or administrative staff.
  • Subscribe to voice mail, this ensures that your callers never encounter a busy signal or are put on hold. This encourages callers to leave a detailed message for faster response.
  • Never use the cellular telephone to return other client’s or customer’s calls or conduct other business while driving a client or customer.
  • Ensure the Vendor has provided a security code or password for his/her alarm system. After use, ensure that a lockbox is secured properly.
  • Ensure that Co-operating Brokers visiting a house with an alarm system know how to turn it off and on again.
  • Remember to leave your business card when viewing a property.
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