Chris Clarke’s in-depth knowledge on buying, selling, and renting homes in Oakville and surrounding areas is outstanding. As the Broker of Record for Trafalgar Real Estate Services, he is proud to be a part of an agency that is synonymous with the dynamic and charming qualities that make Oakville a wonderful place to call home.
When did you make your first real estate sale?
I was 25 years old when I sold my first house. That was in Oakville, back in 1995. It was an estate sale, and a very educating experience. There were some difficult issues I had to contend with – namely a distraught overseas seller in New Zealand and an old home in very poor condition with a basement prone to heavy flooding. A perfect chance to, literally, “get my feet wet” in Oakville real estate.
What do you find most rewarding about working in real estate?
At the heart of what I do is help people. And, that’s what I find most rewarding. Buying or selling a home can be a stressful time for many, depending on their personal circumstances. I find it satisfying when my client says I was a huge help to them… that I simplified a difficult process for them. In return, my clients have often opened my mind to unique and different perspectives that I might never have been exposed to. And for that, I am grateful.
What do you believe home buyers and/or sellers should look for when selecting an agent?
Many people are referred to an agent by a friend or family member. And that’s great. But that isn’t enough to base a decision on something this important. You need to ask yourself whether you feel comfortable with him or her. Can you have a frank conversation with the agent? Will you be comfortable asking him or her tough questions? Can you have that type of dialogue if need be? Unfortunately, the process of buying or selling a home is a stressful one, and sometimes things don’t go as everyone planned. If that happens, you may wish you hadn’t hired your brother-in-law’s younger sister, after all. That’s when experience counts.
The promotional aspects of selling a home have evolved a lot over the past few years. How do you address a home’s promotional needs?
Marketing and promotion has certainly transformed. The online presence of a home is extremely important to ensure your property is not only appealing, but accurately portrayed, to ensure it attracts the target buyers. I carefully customize a print and online marketing campaign for each property and modify as needed. But you cannot rely solely on the internet. It is the real estate industry as a whole, the thousands of very hard working men and women that sells houses. Beyond that, we do look at the particular market we are selling in and the type of buyer we are seeking. We are prepared to use whatever means necessary to get our listings in front of these target buyers.
As a long-time resident of Oakville, what do you like best about this town?
I may not be able to pinpoint exactly what I enjoy most about living in this great town, but I feel a strong sense of pride in living here. I think, overall, Oakville offers a superior quality of life.
What is the biggest mistake you see buyers and/or sellers make?
It’s so important to pick the right agent. I believe the biggest error buyers or sellers make is choosing an agent who lacks the breadth of knowledge and experience to properly represent their interests. Setting the price and listing the house is just one, albeit important, part of the process. You also need an agent who has the expertise to properly assess legal contracts to determine the appropriateness of each clause, or in some instances, a particular word. Less obvious skills, such as contract negotiation, are developed over years and years of real estate experience. Lastly, having an agent that is an effective and consistent communicator is essential.
Can you share your credentials from your years as a real estate agent?
I have been a resident of Oakville and immediate surrounding area for 36 years, and during that time I have acquired the following credentials:
- Licensed Realtor for 18 years
- Broker of Record for Trafalgar Real Estate Services since 2005
- Ranked consistent Top Producer since 1997
- Relocation Professional
- Access to a tried, tested, and experienced network of industry-related professionals available for every client, that includes: Mortgage Brokers, Lawyers and Notaries, Accountants, Home & Building Inspectors, Staging Consultants, and all manner of Trades and Professional Contractors
- Served on Professional Standards Committee for Oakville, Milton & District Real Estate Board
- Served on Disciplinary Committee for Oakville, Milton & District Real Estate Board
- Extensive knowledge of the Residential Tenancies Act governing Landlords and Tenants in the Province of Ontario
- Member of Oakville, Milton & District Real Estate Board, as well the Toronto Real Estate Board
- Access Member of REALTORS Association of Hamilton-Burlington
- Member of OREA, Ontario Real Estate Association
- Member of CREA, Canadian Real Estate Association
After so many years in the industry, what has been your greatest lesson?
I’ve learned to never lose sight of the fact that behind every sale there are real personal circumstances that you need to be mindful of. People are often selling or buying a home during a critical point in their lives. As a result, you can end up developing a strong bond with them, and must always be sensitive to their needs.