You are surfing the web, or driving by your favorite neighborhood and there you see it, a house you want to know about! It’s so exciting to see the opportunities!
So, you pick up the phone or email the broker and ask about the property. You might even click on the link that says “request a showing“.
When the Realtor® responds, one of the questions they are going to ask you is “Are you working with a broker?” Why do we ask this question? Can’t we just show you the house?
Many times the home you have called on is not our personal listing. If you see it on the Internet, you might be seeing it via our IDX feed, which is a service we provide to show you all of the listings in MLS on the websites. If you call on a sign, it might not be the listing broker that is taking the call personally – it might be someone in the company who is on duty to take inquiries on properties. Only a licensed real estate professional can answer questions about a property, so offices will have licensed brokers on duty just for these types of inquiries.
If you call and speak directly to the listing broker, he/she might also ask you the same question – “are you working with a broker?”
Let me try and paint you a picture of why this question is asked.
The client/customer/broker relationship is a very important one. Once you have started the relationship (whether formal or informal) with a real estate professional, you have also told them personal and confidential things about yourself and your situation. You have shared what you are looking for, and probably also told them why you are buying or selling a property. They have confidential information about you and your unique situation that should not be shared with anyone else.
Also, that broker has started the process of setting up your file and creating a client profile in their system. The broker you have spoken to and started this process with is doing work behind the scenes already to find you a great property. This real estate professional has already ‘gone to work’ for you.
In last week’s Blog I spoke to the process of setting up a showing for a home. It’s really not just getting in the car, running over and opening the door. When you call so see a property, everyone in the process takes the event quite seriously. There are qualifying events that need to take place, including preparation of paperwork and research. A great real estate professional will prepare information about the property and gather neighborhood information for that meeting. If the property is occupied, the seller is preparing the home and their day for your arrival.
The other thing to remember with this relationship is our Realtor® Code of Ethics. In this code we are held to a standard, one of which is to not tread on another Realtor®’s client relationships. It is very unethical to ‘steal’ another Realtor’s client. It would also be unethical to use information that is learned about another Realtor®’s client. We want to make sure that we are not speaking to another Realtor’s client and creating a new relationship.
We will sometimes get calls from customers saying ‘my Realtor® is out of town but I need to see this property right away’. We understand your enthusiasm, but if you are working with a great professional, that real estate professional will have plans in place to cover their business should they not be available. I think you can see why from the above information that this be an essential part of the real estate team you decide to work with.
Confidentiality, ethics, time value – these are all very important elements of the real estate process.
If you have a relationship with a Realtor®, value this relationship. We value you!