Are you looking to buy a house? Your buddy says his Aunt Nancy is a real estate agent, so you sign a contract with her. Then you hear nothing from Nancy-for two weeks. Finally, she calls with the “perfect” house: a ranch-style house. But you told him you wanted one colonial. Oh, and that’s $100,000 over your budget!
Where are you sale your house? A friend from work told you that his cousin Vernon just got his real estate license, so you decide to give old Vern a try. Fast forward a few months. Vernon has held a few open houses and posted your home on their website, but no one comes to see it. You look on Zillow and Trulia, and it’s not on either site.
Either way, you’ve hired a bad real estate agent. Because some real estate agents are just plain bad at their job, it’s important to know what the signs are. We will break them down into both buying agents and selling agents. This way you will know what to watch out for and how to get out of either bad situation.
Signs you have a bad buyer’s agent
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you can make, so make sure you have an agent you can rely on. Here are five signs you have a bad buyer’s agent:
1. Communication issues
One of the most common complaints home buyers have about their realtors is that they can’t contact them. Buyers call. They send text messages. They send emails. And what do they hear in return? Crickets. This is especially troubling in a hot housing market, where it’s so important to move quickly when you find a home you like. Bad communication will be cause you to miss opportunities to buy the home you really want. Don’t settle for an agent who ignores you.
2. Power struggles
We’ll admit that it takes a certain level of bluster to guide a homebuyer through (what is probably) the most expensive purchase they’ve ever made. But it does not means your realtor can forget who’s boss. You. Are. The. Chief. An agent pushing you to buy a home you’re unsure of or over budget is more interested in their commission than your help.
3. Lack of leadership
The other side of the coin is an agent who is only one Yes man and offers no guidance. You want an agent who will give you honest advice based on their research and experience, even though they know you might not like what they have to say. A bland agent may not have the experience they need to negotiate a good deal on your new home, or they may not be right for the job.
4. Abundance of attitude
As we mentioned, you want your agent to be confident in their abilities. But that doesn’t give them the right to be a fool. No matter how many questions you have or how simple they are, your agent needs to be patient enough to answer each one without throwing a ton of jargon at you. And you must be able to trust your agent to act professionally on your behalf. It’s simple: you don’t have to put up with someone who is arrogant, condescending or just plain Rude agent.
5. You’re not going anywhere
It’s been months. You are no closer to buying a house than when you started. It’s a big problem. Now, if you are too critical of the houses your agent shows you, it could be your fault. But if your agent doesn’t show you any houses whatever or, even worse, keep showing you houses you’ve already said aren’t right for you, they’re wasting your time.
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If you’re reading this list of warning signs and nodding your head, or little light bulbs going on in your head, it’s probably time to hire someone new.
Signs you have a bad salesperson
A quality selling agent (sometimes called a listing agent) is so important when you’re selling a home. Here are five signs that your listing agent is not hitting the mark:
1. Less than two years of full-time experience
It’s a huge deal-breaker for a sales agent. An inexperienced agent doesn’t have the industry contacts or (sometimes) the know-how to handle the process of selling a home. Misfiled paperwork or a missed deadline can easily derail your home sale. You need someone with experience negotiator-both for the sale price and any repairs that may arise after the home inspection. And you can’t fake an experiment.
2. Your agent is ignoring you
You shouldn’t wait to hear from your real estate agent. There are many ways for your agent to stay in touch with you. If you find yourself constantly asking your agent for updates or getting no response, that’s a massive red flag. Your agent should make it a priority to keep you updated, even if nothing new has happened.
3. Bad Marketing
Your agent’s job is to attract as many potential clients as possible to visit your home, and that means much more than putting up a sign in your yard and posting a picture on their website. In the industry, this is called “Post and Pray”. It’s when you put up a sign in front of a house and pray that someone will buy it. We strongly believe in the power of prayer, but we also believe in marketing and hard work.
Ask to see your agent’s marketing plan for your home. Make sure you understand why they choose certain locations over others. They may have a good reason, but it’s something they need to explain to you.
4. Misplaced Priorities
The math is quite simple when it comes to an agent’s commission: the more expensive the house, the higher the commission will be. But this fact should never affect how an agent represents their clients. Is your agent treating you as an “inferior” client simply because of the price of your home? Here’s what to watch out for: lack of communication, showing up late for appointments, little patience to answer questions, and even pressure to lower the asking price without giving any evidence to support this decision.
5. Nothing Happens
Here’s the bottom line: real estate is a results-driven business. If it’s been weeks without visits, calls and interest, it’s time for a “come to Jesus” meeting with your agent. At this meeting, your agent had better have new ideas to attract buyers, and they better be able to explain how these ideas will help you sell your home. If they no, or if they to say they will but the problem persists, stop wasting your time with the wrong agent.
What to do if you have a bad real estate agent
If you’ve tried talking to your agent and they’re fair not come – or if your agent completely ignores you – then it’s time to let them go. But you have to be careful and read your contract. Usually they will have you sign an exclusive buyer or seller agreement that has a set expiration date.
The first thing you should do is speak with the agent’s broker and ask them to let you out of the deal. Brokers don’t want to be known as “terrible” in their communities.
If that doesn’t work, it might be time to get a lawyer. But if it’s too expensive or inconvenient, or if nothing else works, you may just have to wait until the end of the contract. If your agent has any integrity at all, it shouldn’t come to that.
Signs of a Bad Realtor