Denise Hogue, communications manager for the Victoria Real Estate Board, admits that she doesn’t often get asked for positive stories about real estate agents.
Although knowledgeable professionals characterize the profession, the personal stories are often lost. But it didn’t take Hogue long to offer examples of agents who have gone above and beyond what’s expected.
When Royal LePage agent Sandy Sauve met an elderly and frail couple while on a walk, she struck up a conversation with them and discovered the couple was contemplating a necessary move to a condo It seemed they had received a purchase offer from a neighbour that was well below the current market value for their long-time family home.
Sauve stepped in to help.
“The poor folks really didn’t have a clue what to do to sell their house and make a move, so I sat down with them and explained the process and how they would have to get their home ready for sale,” she said.
That task turned out to be more challenging than anticipated. The couple’s health was not good; the husband was suffering from early dementia and the wife had heart problems. As well, the home was stocked with a lifetime of possessions and, to top it off, the backyard had an aviary with more than 150 tropical birds.
“They even had a parrot in the house, but I managed to find homes for all the birds, hired contractors to help with clean up and gardening, and pitched in to help give the home a good cleaning,” said Sauve.
The couple sold their home for significantly more than the neighbour’s offer and their move to Calgary was made smoother by virtue of Sauve’s frequent contact with her client’s family there.
Josh Ray with DFH Realty is another Realtor who believes in giving his clients more than just his expertise in real estate.
“In this market, with all the construction going on, it’s very hard for someone selling their homes to find a tradesman to do the repairs that they need to get their home ready for sale,” he said.
That’s where his previous training as a Red Seal qualified carpenter has come in handy, as he frequently volunteers his services to help clients repair their homes in order to get the best purchase price.
“There was a case recently where a client needed to get her baseboards and some other work done, but ended up with an infection following surgery that landed her in the hospital. There were no tradesmen available and no way she was going to get the work done, so I did it.” said Ray.
“Where I was raised on Haida Gwaii, you helped people. It’s just what you did and what I do.”
Ray did the renovations, sold the house, and has now been invited to his client’s wedding. “It’s more than just selling houses. In our business it should be about helping and making friends,” he said with a chuckle.
“There are tons of stories like that out there. It’s part of why I’m proud to represent this industry,” she said.