F&M Bancorp: Signs of a bad real estate agent
Are you looking to buy a house? Your boyfriend says his Aunt Nancy is a real estate agent, so you sign a contract with her. So you don’t hear anything from Nancy-for two weeks. Finally, she calls it with the “perfect” house: a ranch-style house. But you told her you wanted a colonial. Oh, and that’s $ 100,000 more than 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 had a few open houses and posted your house on their website, but no one is coming to see it. You look on Zillow and Trulia, and it’s not on either of the two sites.
Either way, you’ve hired a bad real estate agent. Because some real estate agents are just plain bad at their jobs, it’s important to know what the signs are. We will break them down by both buying agents and selling agents. This way, you will know what to look out for and how to get out of either situation.
Signs you have a bad buyers agent
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you can make, so make sure you have an agent you can count on. Here are five signs you have a bad buyer’s agent:
1. Communication problems
One of the most common complaints homebuyers have about their real estate agents is that they can’t contact them. Buyers are calling. They text. They send emails. And what do they hear in return? Crickets. This is especially troubling in a busy housing market, where it is so important to act quickly when you find a home you like. Bad communication will be make you miss out on 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 arrogance to guide a homebuyer through (which is probably) the most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. But it does not means your real estate agent may forget who the boss is. You. Are. The. Chief. An agent who pushes you to buy a house that you are unsure of or that is out of your budget is more interested in their commission than helping you.
3. Lack of leadership
The flip side of this coin is an agent who is just 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 tasteless agent may not have the experience they need to negotiate a good deal on your new home, or they may simply 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 jerk. No matter how many questions you ask yourself 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 behave professionally on your behalf. It’s simple: you don’t have to put up with an arrogant, condescending or just plain Rude agent.
5. You’re not going anywhere
It’s been months. You are no closer to buying a home than when you started. It’s a big problem. Now if you’re overly critical of the homes your agent shows you, it might be your fault. But if your agent doesn’t show you any houses whatever or, worse yet, keep showing you houses that you have already said are not suitable for you, they are wasting your time.
Find a trusted real estate agent we recommend in your area.
If you read this list of warning signs and nod your head, or little light bulbs light up in your head, it’s probably time to hire someone new.
Signs you have a bad selling agent
A quality selling agent (sometimes referred to as a listing agent) is very important when selling a home. Here are five signs that your listing agent is breaking the brand:
1. Less than two years of full-time experience
It’s a huge deal breaker for a sales agent. An inexperienced agent does not have the industry contacts or (sometimes) the know-how to handle the door-to-door sales process. Poorly filed documents or a missed deadline can easily cause the sale of your home to fail. You need experience negotiator-both for the sale price and for any repairs that may occur after the home inspection. And you can’t fake the experience.
2. Your agent ignores you
You shouldn’t wait to hear from your real estate agent. There are many ways your agent can stay in touch with you. If you find yourself always 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 in the loop, even if nothing new has happened.
3. Bad marketing
Your agent’s job is to attract as many potential customers as possible to visit your home, which means a lot more than putting a sign in your yard and posting a photo 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 places over others. They might have a good reason, but it’s something they need to explain to you.
4. Misplaced priorities
The math is pretty straightforward when it comes to an agent’s commission – the more expensive the house, the higher the commission will be. But this fact should never come into play in the way an agent represents his clients. Does your agent treat you like a “lesser” customer simply because of the price of your house? Here’s what to watch out for: lack of communication, late arrival for appointments, little patience to answer questions and even pressure to reduce the asking price without giving any evidence to support this decision.
5. Nothing happens
Here’s the gist: Real estate is a results-driven business. If it’s been weeks without introductions, calls, and interest, it’s time to have 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 do not do it, 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 have tried to speak with your agent and they not ahead – 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 to 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, maybe it’s time to get a lawyer. But if it’s too expensive or impractical, or if nothing else works, you might just have to wait until the contract ends. If your agent has any integrity at all, it shouldn’t come to that.
Signs of a bad real estate agent