The following is an opinion piece written by Hillary Robert of Quinte Living, REALTOR® with RE/MAX Hallmark First Group Realty Ltd.

Look, I get it… Realtors want to make themselves sound like big shots by advertising their listings as “sold over asking” in the hottest seller’s market anyone has experienced in the Quinte area (across most of Canada actually) hoping this verbiage entices more homeowners to call them up to sell their home.

Admittedly at the beginning of this craziness, I did it on a few of my listings, but I will not anymore.

It’s not unique. It’s overdone. And quite frankly, it’s insulting.

In the last two years, not a single one of my listings sold under the asking price. Very few homes for sale in the Quinte area have.

Those that don’t get the ticket price of their home are often listed far over the market value trying to capitalize on city folk headed our way and entirely miss the mark or they’re listed for sale without the help of a local real estate agent who understands the market and how to drive traffic to a local property.

As a realtor whose clients are both buyers and sellers, I can safely tell you this:

Sellers know they’re going to get a great price for their properties. They know that even if we price at “market value” based on nearby sales, there’s a good chance they’re going to sell for significantly more.

And the buyers know they are going to spend more money than they ever imagined spending to own a home in our neck of the woods.

Do we really need to rub that in their faces?

Every day I receive a flyer, see an advertisement on social media, or hear a radio jingle bragging about how much money the sellers received over their asking prices. It’s disgusting and it makes every realtor look bad.

There’s a negative stigma about real estate agents that we are all greedy, money-hungry, scam artists who are driving these crazy bidding wars… Though it really is beyond our control.

Even before the market spike, realtors were consistently ranked in the lists of “Top ten most hated professionals in Canada” and “Top ten least trusted industries.” Do we really need to add fuel to that fire?

It makes me sick to my stomach when my buyers finally win a home in a bidding war, after placing offers on a few homes, only to get a postcard in the mail that says “SOLD OVER ASKING” with a picture of their new home and someone’s smug grin in their headshot bragging about selling a home without putting even an ounce of effort into marketing. You know the type… No professional photos, no communication, and only care about the bottom line.

Unfortunately, this is what drives the masses into hating all of us, evil bloodsucking realtors. And even more unfortunately, beyond respectfully marketing my own listings, there isn’t much I can do to change that perception.

There is no solution in this post. No “Ten ways to feel better about buying over asking.” No magic formula to getting a home for less than the listing price (though I do have a few strategies to focus on listings where you may not have to compete).

It just is.

I will make a suggestion though…

If you are a realtor and made it this far into my opinion piece, consider the buyers when making your next social media post, radio ad, television commercial, flyer, or whatever else you do. Consider the people who have been priced out of our market because they were waiting for a crash or took their time deciding whether it was worth it to buy. Empathy goes a long way.

Everyone knows listings are likely to sell over asking. We don’t need to hurt anyone’s feelings to make ourselves feel like we’re sales superstars.

To my sellers, I promise you a great price. My listing sales numbers are better than many of the “top” teams in our market and I promise to showcase your home, in a way that no one else can, to get you those results. But I promise to do it ethically, without ripping the hearts out of buyers who tried so hard to buy your home. It’s a tough market. We don’t need to make it any more stressful or add insult to injury for those who have yet to find the one.

To my buyers, you know I’m in your corner. I’ve managed to get you wins without you being the highest offer on the table and, in some situations, I’ve even gotten fully conditional offers accepted in this crazy market. There is a way for you to succeed but brace yourself for the worst. It’s tough out there.

A realtor with, hopefully, more dignity than ego.

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