Selling your house is stressful, and so is choosing the right real estate agent for a successful transaction. With so many agents to choose from, it's hard to know who to trust. A bad real estate agent may not get the job done, prioritize other clients, or not have access to the resources you need. You should partner with a professional who gets the job done and with whom you feel comfortable.
To help you determine whether or not it's time for a change, we've compiled a list of signs that your agent may not be the right fit, so you can avoid making a costly mistake. We'll also cover some of the most common red flags. If you're unsure whether your agent fits this description, read on for more information.
Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
Lack of communication
Communication is one of the most essential characteristics of a competent real estate agent. After all, buying or selling a home is a huge transaction, and a delayed response can be the difference between landing or losing a deal. Real estate can also involve a lot of confusing paperwork and jargon.
If your agent tends to sugarcoat things and avoid responding to questions or emails, that's a sign that they may not have your best interests in mind. Your agent should demonstrate strong listening skills and answer all your questions promptly and professionally.
They should also update you on your sale or purchase status and quickly return your calls and emails. A poor real estate agent makes it difficult to contact them or appears angry or indifferent when you speak with them.
Does real estate as a side gig
Real estate agents should dedicate themselves to their work to facilitate the best realtor-client relationship. They should be available during regular business hours and capable of devoting their full attention to their clients. Unfortunately, many real estate agents take on the job as a side gig, often leading to a less-than-full commitment to their clients.
A side gig real estate agent is often less responsive to phone calls and emails and may not know as much about the market or the latest listings. In today's market, properties sell quickly. A side gig agent may not move fast enough to keep up with showings and contract negotiations. As a result, working with a real estate agent that does it as a side job can be a frustrating experience.
Puts you under pressure
A pushy real estate agent or an agent that puts you under pressure is a red flag. A good real estate agent understands that buying or selling a house is a big decision and will give you the time and space you need to decide.
Additionally, if they seem motivated by their potential commission rather than your needs and wants, it's one of the signs of a bad real estate agent. They should also be upfront about any fees associated with the transaction so that there are no surprises later.
Unfamiliar with the market
A good real estate agent should have a thorough knowledge of the local market, including past sales, trends, and current listings in the area. They will have their finger on the pulse of the local real estate market, know what similar homes in your area have sold for, and give you accurate data about current market conditions. A bad agent can tank the sale of your home and cost you a lot of money by not being familiar with the market.
A good agent knows how to negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible price for your home. If your agent seems uncomfortable negotiating or keeps accepting low offers from buyers, it's one of the signs of a bad real estate agent.
They should also understand the various terms and conditions that can be incorporated into a contract. If your agent doesn't understand contracts, it could cost you money in the long run.
Lacks marketing skills
Bad real estate agents may not understand the importance of advertising during a home sale and may not invest in enough marketing resources to capture buyers' attention.
They should also have a solid, professional website, allowing you to look at other homes the agent represents. In today's competitive market, you need an agent willing and able to go the extra mile to sell your property.
What's Not a Realtor Red Flag
Lack of experience
A real estate agent with more than five years of experience has a more successful repertoire, but that does not necessarily make inexperienced agents unreliable.
Working with a new-to-the-industry realtor has numerous advantages. They're more likely to have passion for their profession and go above and beyond to satisfy their clients. They should also be up-to-date on the newest market trends and have access to cutting-edge technology tools.
Furthermore, they will likely be more flexible in their approach and open to new ideas. So, if you're looking for a realtor, don't rule out those new to the industry – they may be the perfect fit.
Busy/lots of clients
When meeting with potential agents, it's natural to want to find out how busy they are. After all, you want someone with the time to focus on your needs and help you find the perfect home.
Remember, though, that being busy is not one of the signs of a bad realtor. It may actually be a good sign! An agent in high demand is likely experienced and successful, and that's the kind of realtor you want. However, if an agent is so busy that they don't have time to answer your questions or discuss options with you, it is a sign of a bad realtor.
How to Avoid Partnering With a 'Bad' Agent
Check the agent's experience in your area and at your price point
Does the agent have experience in the area you want to buy or sell in? Do they specialize in your price range and type of property? Working with an agent who knows the area will help you find a great deal and protect your interests.
Conduct an interview
Setting up an in-person or virtual meeting with the agent will allow you to learn more about their experience, communication style, and marketing strategy. Before signing any paperwork, ask questions and make sure you're comfortable with the agent.
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