Every once in a while I’m asked the question, What is the difference between a real estate agent and other sales professionals?

I say a huge difference, but that’s my opinion and I guess it really depends on how you view the world, so let me explain.

Last month my wife’s Toyota Venza mysteriously disappeared out of the driveway, never to be found again. At first we were shocked because we live in a safe, quiet neighbourhood so we never expected something like this to happen. I even did research to see if living in Mississauga made us a target, but you’ll be happy to know that you have just as much a chance of having you car stolen whether you live in Mississauga, Oakville or any other area around here. So having been satisfied that we were a statistical victim of owning a highly stolen car, we proceeded to navigate through the claims process and buy a new car.

This is when my eyes were open. I looked at a number of different vehicles and spent many wasted hours in dealerships going through the “dog and pony” show as I call it. Every sales person would ask me the same standard questions, in an attempt so see how much I knew. Not how to help me best, but rather to get a sense of how much they could make off of me. You see, a car salesman works for the dealership. The dealership has the right to sell a manufacturers cars, and to mark up what they can extra on a vehicle before you drive it away. The best way to do this is high pressure sales tactics, and overwhelming a buyer with mounds of paperwork and foggy explanation of fees and services. There is no such thing as full disclosure, I have never had one sales person explain what I was signing, ever.

Now I am not here to pick on car sales per se, but just like houses, this is one industry that most people will deal with in their life that involves a big dollar purchase. I find buying a car frustrating, and it’s designed that way.

Now unlike car sales, I think real estate is completely different. Sure there is sales involved, however because of the competitive nature of our business and high amount of choice available to consumers, the selling is about showing you how we can be the best partner in your home buying and selling. A realtor acts as a broker, and when you hire one they should be working for you- not the seller if you are a buyer and not the buyer of they are listing your home. Our job is to find the best home for you, and negotiate the best possible deal. When you sell a home, our job is to make the process as painless as possible, guide you, and help you make the most money possible.

Our job as realtors is to act as a guide, a trusted advisor and professional, and that is the Difference Between Real Estate Agents and Other Sales Professionals. Comments, questions? I’d love to hear them.