By: Mark H. Stowers
Buying and/or selling your home are the biggest transactions you’ll probably make in a lifetime. With so much at stake, it’s not a time to trust just anyone with the transaction. Sure, Uncle Kenny may be in the business and that fraternity brother from years ago has a real estate office in your hometown but this is about business and making the best decisions for you and your family. Don’t trust it to just anyone. Find a pro but look for the signs of a “bad agent.” Here’s a few signs of a bad real estate agent.
Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
First, communication. Are they returning calls and emails? Simple things matter and even a “I’m tied up but will call you as soon as I can” message lets you know they want to connect. In today’s world of instant messaging and more, a few seconds to show that you matter, well, matters. And even if they do get right back, make sure you mesh with them. Look for someone who is straight-forward about your situation but is looking for the best way to help.
Also, look for an agent that listens. If they keep asking the same questions you’ve already answered, move on. Look for these types of questions early on:
- What is your time frame to buy/sell a home?
- What are you looking for in a home?
- What do you expect from me?
- What is your preferred method of communication?
- What improvements or upgrades have you made to your home?
Once you’ve got the communication factor settled, make sure your agent has confidence to handle your situation. Whether they are just starting out or are a seasoned agent, confidence is key. Especially in getting your price whether buying or selling. Along with that, look for someone who is professional. Language, dress, showing up on time and more can be key, especially in a first impression and in helping get the job done.
Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
Look for an agent that understands pricing issues and can educate you and doesn’t cut corners legally or illegally. Make sure the agent knows that they work for you and not the other way around. Sure, they are the expert but don’t let an agent push you into a bad deal or anything you’re just not comfortable with.
Is the agent too pushy? Their job is to guide you not influence you to take a low offer just so they can cash out and move on. In addition, look for someone with good negotiation skills with your interests as the top priority.
Another sign of a bad agent could be the amount of offers on your home or just the lack of offers. Maybe they aren’t scheduling many showings. It’s an indication that they’re not doing their job very well. Either they over-priced your home or aren’t getting it in front of enough prospective buyers. Have a talk and try to figure out the issue. It may be time to move on in the relationship.
And backing up a bit, how did you find your agent? Most likely a Google search but how is their web presence? Timely, professional looking, perhaps with a tid bit of humor. Find someone who is savvy with technology and real estate that conveys their message without taking themselves too seriously. And are they showing homes on their social media and web page or just drawing attention to themselves? Look for a client-first, tech savvy agent. And before you sign on that dotted line, check out the fine print of how to get out of a contract should any red flags come up later. You don’t need a stressful situation of buying or selling a home to have additional layers of unneeded stress.
It’s a big decision to buy or sell a home. Don’t get saddled up with a bad real estate agent. Take the time to vet a few and make an informed decision.
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