The last thing you need when selling or buying a house is a lousy property agent guiding you through it. Let’s be real – some real estate agents are just plain bad at their job. You’ve likely heard the horror stories about properties sitting on the market for years and buyers ending up purchasing a home they hate because of an unqualified real estate agent. That’s why partnering with a great real estate agent is essential. It’s always easy to point out the qualities of an awesome agent, but it pays to be aware of the warning signs to avoid getting let down or worse, scammed. Below, we’ve compiled a list of things to keep an eye out for — and if your real estate agent says or does the following things? Run!
1. Poor communication skills
Real estate is a fast-moving world, so quick and clear communication is key. If you find it challenging to communicate with your property agent and they don’t give you clear updates, you might miss out on good opportunities. This will make your whole experience a lot more stressful than it needs to be. You might defend them by thinking, “real estate agents are busy, so they don’t always have time to respond quickly.” It’s true that real estate agents are busy. Still, professionalism demands answers to questions and complaints within a fair amount of time.
A great agent should give you a response within the hour. If not with a solution, at least let you know that they are working on it. If your questions and concerns are answered with silence, or if you find yourself waiting hours or days for your agent to return calls, texts, or emails, it’s time to look elsewhere. The same is true for agents who respond to you but whose communication style doesn’t suit yours. They’re probably not a good fit if you feel like they lack openness, rush you, or irritate you during your interactions with them or if there’s just no chemistry.
2. Not honest or transparent
Honesty comes into play here too. If you detect dishonesty on their part, you’re working with the incorrect agency. If you have a reason to suspect that your agent has given false information, misrepresented you or a buyer, flat-out lied, sugarcoated a fact or encouraged you to omit facts from a contract, then they’re not someone you want to represent you.
You should still run away from them even when they conceal information “at your best interest.” For instance, an agent may not disclose a problem in your house to a buyer because it’s not noticeable. Or they ask you to make a false claim on an advertisement. Later, when the buyer finds out about the problem, they may file a lawsuit against you. Walk away and don’t look back if your property agent is dishonest to you or wants you to tell lies to potential buyers.
3. Too pushy or not pushy enough
Always remember that a property agent’s role is to guide you through the process of selling or buying a property. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’re under a lot of pressure. And you need an agent who is helping you, not forcing you to buy or sell. Yes, real estate is a competitive business, and you need an agent who is aggressive in representing your interest. However, you don’t want an agent who is trying to strong-arm you to make a decision because of their commission instead of your needs and goals.
Always remember that you are the boss. If your agent is pressuring you to accept a low-ball offer or they force you to buy a house that you don’t like or believe you can’t afford, it’s probably time to say goodbye. You want your agent to present you with a clear-cut goal and a plan. If you feel like they push you to make choices you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s a sign that your real estate agent is bad.
On the other end, bad real estate agents could also be total pushovers, or they aren’t pushy enough when it comes to negotiating. Agents should be able to advocate for your best interest during a deal. If they’re not pushy enough, you will likely have to accept too little for your home or pay too much for a property.
4. Acts as a messenger, not an adviser
It’s true that your real estate agent should be a messenger between you and the buyer or the seller because real estate transactions involve a lot of back-and-forth communication. However, they shouldn’t take the role to an extreme and fail to act as an adviser. Your agent shouldn’t merely pass along information without guiding you. They should be able to advise you to make reasonable decisions that’ll help you make a successful offer and close the deal. Moreover, they must not be afraid to tell you things you don’t want to hear.
5. Lack of confidence
One of the most important traits a great real estate agent possesses is confidence. If your real estate agent doesn’t even believe in themselves, you’re never going to sell your property or buy your dream home. It’s easy to spot an agent who lacks confidence during your interview process. We understand that you might want to hire an agent because you feel bad for them, but if you do, you will regret it later.
6. Not a marketing wiz
As a seller, you need a real estate agent who has strong marketing skills. You need to attract the right buyers, so it’s important to work with an agent who knows their way around marketing tactics. Attracting potential buyers is not as simple as putting a sign in front of the property and posting a photo on their website. Before you hire an agent, ask them what their marketing plan for your home is. They need to have a proven strategy and fine-tuned system in place. Plus, they need to have modern marketing skills.
Some property agents have been in business for a long time but they forget to adapt to the new world, so they can’t compete with the new generations of agents. To find out if your agent is up to the task is to find out about their online presence. Look up their website and social media pages. If they are active on social media and have a large following, it’s a great sign.
7. Doesn’t ask you question
If your property agent never asks you a question, that’s a red flag. Never asking you questions is a sign of lack of interest, which also means they’ll be unhelpful. Imagine going on a showing with an agent who lets you explore the house yourself without saying anything. A real estate agent who genuinely wants to help you will start by asking questions to get to know you and learn what kind of home best suits your needs. They will give advice regarding how closely a property satisfies your needs when recommending properties for viewing and during visits. They’ll be familiar with the fundamentals of construction and ought to be able to tell you a little about the home’s history.
We all want to go through the complicated process of homebuying with a champion by our sides. But not all of us are lucky enough to find the right one quickly. So, if a lot of these signs sound too familiar for you, it’s probably time you break up with your real estate agent.
Now that you know the warning signs of a bad agent, here’s how you can find the best real estate agent for your property.