Who is Working For YOU?

Business | October 15, 2008

I often find that the definition of exactly who is working for whom can get a little blurry.

When you hire somebody, you call the shots….right?

There are several professions interrelated with mine that often confuse my clients into thinking these professionals are actually doing my clients a favor, and not the other way around…


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my friend Wadi and his experience dealing with another Realtor.  This Realtor sent him several threatening emails after he politely thanked her for her time and informed her that he wouldn’t require her services any longer.

Wadi seems to be having terrible luck lately, since a mortgage broker he was speaking with has also sent him a similar email, however it should be noted that the Realtor referred the mortgage broker so perhaps the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

When it comes to real estate and buying or selling a property, there are three other professions that are intertwined:

-Mortgage Broker
-Real Estate Lawyer

It is important to remember that these people work for YOU!  You are the person that hired them, you are the person that is paying them, and you are the person that should benefit from their services and expertice.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like that.

Here are three examples with my own clients:

Mortgage Broker
My friend Wadi had spoken to a mortgage broker about getting a pre-approval, and everything was going well.  But Wadi went over his finances and realized that he couldn’t afford the monthly payments with a 25-year amortization.  So he called up the mortgage broker and informed her that he’d need a pre-approval for a 35-year, and she said, “Oh don’t worry hunny, the 25-year is fine.”

Wadi is a very smart young man who works in the financial services industry.  He is the last person who should be told what is “fine.”

Wadi asked her again if she would please get him pre-approved for the 35-year amortization, and she actually sat on the phone and argued with him for a half hour!  She told him her own thoughts and opinions on the subject, and told him that he didn’t “need” a 35-year, and that it wasn’t “right” for him.  Who was she to tell him what mortgage package he required?

There was more back-and-forth, and it got heated since this broker flat-out refused to do what Wadi asked!  Eventually, Wadi told her that he would no longer require her services, and she sent him a nasty email just like the infamous Realtor did a couple weeks earlier.  It ultimately seemed that she was either too lazy to change his pre-approval, or she was set up to benefit more from the other mortgage package, ie. she would make a larger commission on the 25-year amortization.

Real Estate Lawyer
A client of mine named Kurt recently purchased a loft in Kensington Market, and went through a real estate lawyer recommended by his mother.  It was a complete mess from the start.

The lawyer never answered his phone, and took several days to return phone calls.  On my end of the equation, it seemed that his office administrators were never in sync with those persons at my office in order to exchange and ready the paperwork.  My administrator actually told me she didn’t think the deal would close since they had never even asked for the Agreement of Purchase & Sale until a couple of days before the closing date!

Two days before the deal was scheduled to close, Kurt received a phone call from the secretary at his lawyers office instructing him to come in to sign papers at 4PM on Thursday.  Kurt explained that he was unable to meet on that day and time, and that he had requested Friday morning several times with no response.  I listened to them argue for several minutes as I told Kurt, “They work for you!  Don’t stand for this!”

The secretary then told Kurt, “Please procure a cheque for $44,890.”  Kurt asked what this was for, and she replied, “It’s for fees and disbursements.”  Kurt asked what fees and disbursements were, since he was a real-estate-buying novice, and she simply replied, “Fees and disbursements!  Fees and disbursements!”  Kurt began to argue with her and demand an explanation, but she simply refused and told him to bring the cheque when he comes to sign the papers.

Kurt hired this real estate lawyer, and he was never available to speak with directly.  His staff was rude, unappreciative of the business, and refused to do anything but order Kurt around.

What the heck was Kurt paying these people for?

We have all heard horror stories about shady contractors or renovations that take twice as long as they’re expected.  But in the end, this is probably worse than any problems you could combine with lawyers and mortgage brokers.

Just as with these lawyers and mortgage brokers, you must remember that these people work for you, and it is your needs and requirements that must be met!

Most of these contractors ask for partial payment up front, but in my experience it’s best to ensure you don’t pay a single penny until they’ve at least started the work.  Jobs always take longer than expected, and as soon as these people think they can get away with working another job site while you calmly wait for them to return, they’ll take advantage as they see fit.

I’m sure we could think of other examples.

Home Inspectors?

Stagers and Fluffers?

Or how about Realtors themselves?

If you’re not getting the level of service you require from one of these professionals that you hired, then go somewhere else!  I find that people are always afraid to switch mortgage brokers or Realtors because they’ve already interracted with that person and they don’t want to start all over from scratch.

This is pure laziness, in my opinion, and there is nobody to blame but yourself.

If Donald Trump can make a living out of saying, “You’re Fired,” then maybe we should all try it.

Just like there are thousands of Realtors in this city, there are thousands of mortgage brokers, lawyers, home inspectors, contractors, and stagers.  If you’re not getting the service that you bargained for, then cut bait, and move on.

If you don’t, you’ll end up regretting it in the end…

Back To Top

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Comments