Realtor, client must work for success

Saturday, March 13th, 2004

Sherry Noik-Bent

It is a long-held adage that buying or selling a home is one of life’s biggest stressors.

“It’s one of the largest investments people ever make,” says Gerry DeClute of Re/Max Hallmark Realty in the Beach area of Toronto. “It’s got a huge impact on their family and their future. It is emotional, and emotions enter into the equation with sellers as well as buyers.”

During the process the relationship between client and agent can begin to feel friendly, even downright intimate. An agent is charged with paving a path to domestic bliss, and clients entrust them with the keys to their homes and private financial details.

Agents must strike the right balance between personal service and professional distance. “In the process of helping choose a new home, you can’t help but get involved on a more personal level,” says Forest Hill Realty’s Sharon Bobkin, an agent of 23 years.

Current clients can be very demanding, with persistent telephone calls and requests for updates, Bobkin says, adding, “They have the right to do that. I can’t tell them what not to do because this is a big investment.”

There are steps clients can take to ensure the transaction, and the relationship, go smoothly. For Bobkin, the clients’ responsibilities come down to a few things: “They should be accessible for showings and to respond to quick offers, make sure their home is always ready. It’s so simple on the client’s part.”

Elli Davis, Royal LePage’s top agent in Canada, describes her dream client as a person who is organized, has a wish list and is pre-qualified for a mortgage. She also cautions would-be browsers: “If you’re going to be ready to look, you should be ready to buy, because there’s not a lot of thinking time sometimes in this market.”

© The Vancouver Sun 2004

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