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The real estate boom has seen many people want to venture into it. The industry is not only lucrative in terms of revenues, but it is also a profession that has earned its place among the most respected the world over. It has attracted not just the average person as agents, as you are likely to meet the elites of the society in this industry.
And as more and more people move to the real estate industry, it is likely to meet someone who will make your experience of buying a home unpleasant. Just as it is in every market where you can’t miss to find a mad person, so is in the real estate industry.
But how do you tell the signs of a bad real estate agent?
There are obvious signs that one can look for to know that the agent they are dealing with will not bring them some good home buying experience. This article looks at some of these signs to help you avoid such agents.
In this article, we shall look at the following signs of a bad real estate agent:
- Lack of Communication
- Lack of Leadership
- Unused Resources
- Too Much Pressure
- Lack of Follow-Up
- Unfamiliarity with the market
- Lack of negotiation skills
Lack of Communication
One of the first signs that an agent is bad is if they are not communicative. An agent should be in constant communication with their clients, sending them updates on what is happening in the market and what to expect.
If you find that your agent is not communicating with you, it can be a sign that they are not doing anything or are not interested in helping you.
Communication is not just when the agent finds a buyer of your home or a good home that you might be interested in as a home buyer.
A good real estate agent will communicate, giving you updates of what they have done or are doing to meet your expectations.
And even if they are communicating, how they communicate should matter to you. If you have a client who seems rushed with their communication, telling you half-baked truths laced with sweeteners, perhaps you should think of moving on to another agent.
This is a clear indication that you have a real estate agent doing so little to help you meet your goals.
According to Monica Campell, a top real estate agent in Los Angeles, your real estate agent should be comfortable with delivering uncomfortable news to you.
This implies that when you notice that your real estate agent is only enthusiastic and forthcoming with some pleasant information, those that they think you will love to hear, then that might be a clear indication that they are not right for you.
The unpleasant information from your agent will help you decide on the next course of action.
Lack of Leadership
Think of a situation where your real estate agent agrees with everything you say without questioning and providing alternatives. This can sound good to some home buyers and home sellers, but it’s from this that you will get the worst experience.
A good real estate agent is not a yes-man. Rather, they have the courage not to agree on some things that they believe are not good for you as a client.
But how will a client stand their ground and provide alternative views if they have not done any research regarding the property in question?
This is where a lack of leadership comes in. If an agent cannot do any market research and provide you with the right information, then they are not worth your time.
An agent should be able to lead you to make the best decisions in your home buying or selling experience. They should also be able to direct you on what to do when things go wrong, instead of leaving you alone like a ship without a rudder.
For example, imagine a situation where a real estate agent asks you what you think your house is worth and then proceeds to list it at that price.
This clearly shows a lack of the agent’s expertise. It should prompt you to seek another agent to act on your behalf for your best interests.
If you find that your agent is not using their resources, it can be a sign that they are bad. A good agent will use all the resources at their disposal to help you get the best home.
They will use their network of professionals, such as lenders and title companies, to help you get the best deal. If your agent is not doing this, it can signify that they are not interested in helping you.
The person you want to pay a commission should earn it. They should not sit pretty and wait for a client to come and then claim a percentage of the money you sold your house for.
If a house is for sale, a good real estate agent will go out of their way to market it to the public. They will put up a sign, take pictures and post it on different websites, and write proper descriptions of the house to be sold.
However, if you find that your agent is not doing any of this, then they are clearly not interested in helping you sell your house. The only thing they might be interested in is getting a commission check at the end of the month.
Too Much Pressure
Yes, as a client, you want a real estate agent that is a professional. One with enough knowledge about the market to give you well-reasoned and educated opinions regarding the kind of property you should go for or how much you should sell your house.
But is having a well-thought-out opinion the same as being pressured into accepting some form of agreement even if you clearly disagree with it? Perhaps there must be a line that a real estate agent should never cross when trying to impress you.
There are cases where an agent will steer a home buyer towards buying a certain house, even If this buyer is not really interested in buying that particular house.
This could be because the agent is interested in the brokerage that listed the house and thus will earn some commissions from the brokerage firm once you buy the house.
Such conflict of interest is a common feature in the world of interests, and while some states have laws that require agents to disclose the conflict of interest, not all agents will do so.
Lack of Follow-Up
It is not uncommon for clients to complain that even after agreeing with an agent on a price for their property and signing all documents before moving out of their old home, the realtor never bothered to contact them again or provide any support.
In some cases, buyers have reported that their agents never showed up during the entire process of closing, leaving them to deal with lawyers and other professionals on their own.
This lack of customer service is inexcusable, and it is one of the major reasons people tend to switch agents midway through a transaction.
A good agent should always be available to their clients even after the sale has been completed, providing assistance where needed until they are fully settled in their new home.
Lack of Real Estate Marketing Skills
The real estate industry is a competitive one, one that needs some form of aggression in marketing for you to win.
Unlike many years ago, when all you needed to do was list a house for sale and prospective clients start trooping in, today’s real estate industry has changed.
Your real estate agent should demonstrate that they understand the dynamics of the real estate market and utilize all the resources available to ensure that the listing reaches as many people as possible.
A good real estate agent will write descriptions of the house, take pictures and videos of the property, and share on real estate websites and social media platforms.
This will not only ensure that your house is sold in a record time, but it will also help create competition among buyers, increasing the value of the house, thus allowing you to earn more.
Unfamiliarity with the market
An experienced real estate agent should have a good understanding of the market, what buyers are looking for, and how to reach them.
A good real estate agent will know how to advertise your house and what kind of information potential buyers are looking for.
If the agent you hired is not familiar with how to market the property, then they might just be using tricks that worked years ago.
For example, some agents will still put up “For Sale” signs in front of a house months after it has been listed on the market. This is often done without informing the owners of the house about their intentions.
Not only does this make buyers think that there is something wrong with your home, but it also shows inexperience on the part of your real estate agent, who failed to understand their buyer’s mindset.
While some realtors continue doing this, others have resorted to using new methods such as door-knocking, where the agent walks around the neighborhood and knocks on the doors of prospective buyers.
Different approaches can be used to market a house, depending on the location where it is situated. If the house is located in an upmarket area with many luxury homes, then most realtors would use flyers and direct marketing where they reach out to people through email or phone calls.
If a property is valued at a lower price point, then sending advertisements via print media, including magazines and newspapers, might attract more interest from potential buyers.
Lack of knowledge about negotiations
Negotiations are typical in real estate transactions as opposed to dealing with normal commodities such as cars or appliances for sale, where prices are fixed. Since almost all properties that go on sale are already overpriced, prospective buyers will always negotiate the price of the house down.
A good real estate agent should know when to stop negotiating and accept the buyer’s offer while also knowing how far they can push the deal without leaving their client short-changed or discouraged by low offers.
The lack of knowledge about negotiations can leave your pockets empty at the end of a transaction, compromising the investment you put into finding your new home.
How to Avoid Dealing with Bad Agents
The best way to deal with a bad real estate agent is to avoid them in the first place. This can be done by conducting extensive research about the person you plan to hire.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media websites are good resources for gathering information about local real estate professionals.
Look out for feedback from people who have worked with them before, find out if they charge reasonable prices, their availability during emergencies or after office hours, etc.
Once you have established that your potential realtor is a good fit for your needs, then you can proceed in signing the contract.
Ask for references from people who they have helped in the past to determine if they are truly capable of helping clients find their dream homes.
Ask for rates and payments upfront to avoid any surprises in the future when it comes time to pay up. If possible, go with an agent who will work on a commission basis rather than one charging flat fees since these professionals will be more eager to close deals quickly, which can help speed up the process.
A good real estate agent is essential in getting the most out of a property sale or purchase. However, not all agents are created equal, and some can pose as a hindrance to a successful transaction. By being aware of the signs of a bad real estate agent, you can take steps to avoid these professionals and protect yourself from possible financial losses.