Mitch Canin, the Canin Group

(520) 907-6526

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Mitch Canin

35 Years Experience – Over 1500 Transactions

  • Dedicated
  • Exacting
  • Compassionate
  • Innovative


(520) 907-6526


  • 7423 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
  • Tucson, AZ 85715


Choosing the Right Realtor

“The 15 Hallmarks of Professionalism”

By: Mitch Canin

Webster defines the word “transformation” as “that which involves fundamental or complete change.” Most of us instinctively resist major change, and yet few events in our lives are more life transforming than selling a home.

Because our homes symbolize physical, emotional, and financial security, it is only natural that changing homes affects us physically, emotionally, and financially.

With few exceptions, the decision to sell one’s home is often a response to any number of life’s personal challenges (the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, declining health, financial problems, career change, etc.). On their own, each of these events triggers stress, however the stress is compounded when the event necessitates changing homes.

When forced to endure the challenges presented by physical, legal, or emotional hardship, we form professional relationships with physicians, attorneys, and counselors. When a specific challenge necessitates the sale of our home, we are called upon to form a professional relationship with a Realtor.

The Realtor with whom you align yourself during this inherently stressful time is often pivotal in determining whether your level of stress is minimized or maximized.

Make no mistake about it; you and your Realtor will have a relationship. The question is, “how will that relationship be defined?” Will the level of stress inherent in the process be minimized or maximized? Will you achieve the desired result or not?

As a consumer, you must be diligent, conscientious, and methodical in your search for the right Realtor. Inevitably, you will find that a positive relationship with your Realtor will translate to a positive outcome.

The best Realtors bring to their client relationships a unique and essential blend of 15 business and social skills. I refer to them as “The 15 Hallmarks of Professionalism.”

An examination and understanding of “The 15 Hallmarks of Professionalism” will serve as a guide as you begin the process that will culminate in one of the most important relationships you will ever form, the relationship between you and your Realtor.

Of the “15 Hallmarks of Professionalism,” seven are business related and eight are of the social realm.

Let’s begin our examination of “The 15 Hallmarks of Professionalism” with the 7 which are business related:

  1. Ability to isolate and interpret statistical data
  2. Property analysis
  3. Marketing skills
  4. Ability to negotiate
  5. Finance
  6. Proficiency in real estate law and contract law
  7. Management skills

Ability to Isolate and Interpret Statistical Data

When searching for the right Realtor, always remember; it’s your home, your life, and your equity. Never hire a Realtor who attempts to dictate the value of your home. The Realtor’s job is to “educate and advise” so that you intelligently price your own property.

In order to educate and advise, the Realtor must isolate all comparable homes in your subdivision or immediate area. Additionally, it is essential to isolate similar homes that did not sell.

In isolating comparable properties, the Realtor seeks to identify statistical patterns, which can be utilized as a barometer for pricing the subject property.

The most relevant statistics address average price per square foot, average market times, percentage of homes that went on the market and sold versus those that did not sell. What was the disparity between the most and least expensive sale? These statistical patterns must be analyzed by the Realtor and presented to the seller and a clear and concise manner.

Property Analysis

Though essential in helping you price your home, statistical data is merely a starting point.

Average market times and price per square foot do not speak to those non-statistical aspects of a home with effect value. Non-statistical aspects include:

  1. Overall condition
  2. Lot size
  3. Mountain or city views
  4. Existence or absence of a pool
  5. Degree of upgrading or remodeling
  6. Personal circumstances that drive the decision to sell

A true and reliable assessment of market value will emerge only by combining statistical and non-statistical data.

Marketing Skills

Once you and your Realtor have determined market value, there must be a comprehensive marketing plan designed to generate traffic through your home.

Marketing plans should be customized for the uniqueness of the property, while at the same time respecting the seller’s personal circumstances, i.e. health or privacy issues.

Monies to be spent on advertising should be pinpointed for the seller and demographically targeted to those consumers most likely to be viable candidates to buy it.

Your Realtor should also have a flare for the written word because he or she will be writing the copy of all print advertising.

Ability to Negotiate

The fate of many a real estate transaction rests on the ability of the Realtors to successfully negotiate on behalf of their clients.

The goal of a successful negotiation is not for one party to gain an advantage over the other, but rather to search for a win/win situation in hope that both parties can reach a “meeting of the minds.”

All real estate negotiations should emanate from the following premise: “Party A wants to sell a piece of real estate and Party B wants to own it.”

In most cases, each party has their own advocate (the Realtor) whose goal and responsibility is to devise options for each party to consider, the ultimate goal being the elimination of whatever impasses initially exist between them. In other words, to create opportunities so that desired “meeting of the minds” can take place.

In order to best accomplish this, a climate of openness and trust must exist between the client and the Realtor. If either the Realtor or client withholds information from one another, the Realtor cannot possibly present any and all options which may be necessary to bring about the desired “meeting of the minds.” In such a case, negotiations are likely to break down and transactions that could be salvaged fall apart.

In addition to guiding the buyer and sellers toward initial agreement on price and terms, here are some of the various stages of a real estate transaction where successful negotiations are essential:

  1. Resolving issues that evolve from a buyer’s home inspections.
  2. When the sales price and appraised value differ.
  3. When the buyer’s loan commitment expires and the points exceed the limits contained in the original contract.
  4. When closing dates are not adhered to.

When interviewing Realtors, ask them to share their philosophy about negotiation and its role in the process of buying or selling real estate.


Webster defines “finance” as “issues relating to money.” First and foremost, a Realtor must seek to understand the client’s “financial personality.” A financial personality speaks of the unique relationship each of us has with money. Some of us are risk oriented, while others are more conservative. Your financial personality will drive the decisions you make regarding the sale of your home. For some of us, the equity in our home represents most, if not all, of our liquidity, while for others it is but a percentage of our holdings. Through thoughtful dialogue, good Realtors not only seek to understand the financial personalities of the client, they also utilize that understanding when dispensing advice.

A Realtor’s knowledge of the multitude of different loan products in today’s mortgage market can be pivotal in generating a buyer for your home.

Realtors must be able to dissect offers so that sellers are aware of what a specific offer will net them at the close of escrow.

Whether it’s determining an asking price, a sales price, whether or not to perform repairs or absorb various closing costs, “it’s about the money.”

Hire a Realtor who understands the important role money plays in the process of selling your home.

Proficiency in Real Estate Law and Contract Law

In 20 years of transacting real estate, I never cease to be amazed at how little most Realtors understand about the legal documents that bind buyers, sellers, and Realtors.

There will be as many as 4 different legal documents that you’ll execute when you contract with your Realtor. The Tucson Board of Realtors approved real estate contract consists of 9 pages of fine print. Additionally, there are likely to be counter offers and addendums, as well as several other legal documents prepared by the escrow officer.

The best Realtors both understand and are able to interpret these complex documents for their clients.

As a seller, your grasp of the documents that define the terms and conditions of the transaction are pivotal in making the right decisions. If your Realtor can’t (or won’t) interpret these documents, you are vulnerable.

Management Skills

Realtors must be proficient in time and people management. In the course of representing your home, your Realtor will interact with:

  1. Realtors who show the property.
  2. Realtors who generate offers.
  3. His or her support staff.
  4. Advertisers.
  5. Appraisers.
  6. Lenders and their support staff.
  7. Home inspectors.
  8. Termite inspectors.
  9. Escrow officers and their assistants.
  10. Contractors and repairmen.

Your Realtor must interact with these people clearly and concisely, often coordinating each of their various functions on your behalf.

Seek to align yourself with a Realtor who is focused and always in control.

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