10 Warning Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
April 20, 2022
There is a low bar of entry to become a real estate agent. The requirements vary per state, but virtually anybody can get a real estate license so long as they complete a few classes and pass an exam.
Many people are drawn to becoming real estate agents because of the way real estate TV shows depict them as living glamorous lifestyles without putting in an extensive amount of work. The problem is, the reality of being a real estate agent is very different from what’s shown on TV. Being a real estate agent is a sales job. It requires due diligence, a strong work ethic, and a devotion to fulfill the client’s needs.
Many agents, however, see working in real estate as a means of income and nothing else. These real estate agents rarely have their client’s best interests in mind and will almost always prioritize their own commission. If you’ve just started the process of buying or selling a home, here are 10 warning signs of a bad real estate agent for both buyers and sellers.
Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
10. Poor Communication
The real estate market is fast-moving and unforgiving. If you’re too slow to make an offer on a house you love, somebody else will swoop in and snatch it up in no time. The same goes for selling a house ー if you’re not responsive to potential buyers, they could easily move on to the next listing.
A good real estate agent will be in constant communication with their clients, keeping them updated on new listings, changes in the market, and any progress with finding or selling a home.
Transparency is key when working with a real estate agent, and if your agent is slow to respond to you, that may be a warning sign that you’re working with someone who is bad at their job. A good real estate agent will always get back to you within 24-48hrs.
9. Bad Listener
It is the agent’s job to represent you in the real estate transaction, which means that your needs should be a top priority for them to do their job successfully.
Although, many agents don’t spend a lot of time getting to know what you want. Instead, they focus more on what they want. A warning sign of this behavior can be seen at the start of your relationship with the agent. If the agent doesn’t ask you questions about what you want, it could be because they don’t really care.
A good real estate agent will start off by asking questions to get to know you and your needs for buying or selling a house. Here are a few questions that agents ask:
- Why do you want to sell?
- What are your biggest concerns about selling the house?
- What is your ideal timeframe to buy or sell a house?
- What is a dealbreaker for you when it comes to finding a house?
- Are you working with a lender?
- What price ranges have you been considering?
The professionalism of a real estate agent or lack thereof is one of the most apparent things to look at when determining whether or not you want to work with them. Are they punctual? Dressed appropriately? How do they communicate? These are all things to consider when you’re looking for a professional agent to help with your real estate transaction.
You can get a sense of an agent’s professionalism by the way they present themselves and their business. If you find any of their behavior unprofessional, then consider moving on to the next agent. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
7. They Don’t Put Your Needs First
Real estate agents typically make 3% of the property value in commission which means the more expensive the property involved in a real estate transaction, the more a real estate agent generally makes in commission.
Agents are most likely going to be paid whether they do a good job or not so it’s important to find an agent that actually cares about getting you the best deal possible and not just their commission. Pay attention to how your agent is negotiating on your behalf to see where their interests lie. If they’re not fighting hard enough for what you want or need, it’s a sign that you’re not their top priority.
6. Weak Negotiator
Sometimes a real estate agent does genuinely care about your interests but is simply not knowledgeable enough to be successful in negotiations. Negotiating makes up a huge part of the real estate transaction process and if your agent isn’t fighting on your behalf, then you could be forced to make concessions.
When looking for real estate agents, examine their track record to see what past clients thought of their services. If you find that a high percentage of their clients were not happy with the negotiations, then it may be in your best interest to find someone else.
5. Works As An Agent Part-Time
Nowadays people are looking to have multiple streams of income to make ends meet. It’s a sign of the times. Many people who need a side hustle decide to become real estate agents because of the free schedule and potential for profit.
While there is nothing wrong with working as an agent part-time, it can be difficult to give a real estate transaction the attention it needs when you’re also working another job. When you’re looking for an agent, it may be best to look for someone who is dedicated to working as a real estate agent full-time. This way, you know that they’ll be more available to give your transaction the time and attention it deserves.
On the other hand, if you find yourself drawn to a part-time real estate agent, make sure you establish the expectations for the relationship early on so that there’s no confusion down the line.
4. Bad Marketer
When you are selling your house, you want as many potential buyers as possible to show an interest. The more buyers that show up, the more likely you will find a buyer that gives you an offer that you want. How do you get a lot of buyers to see your home? Good marketing.
A real estate agent that knows how to market a property will know which platforms and methods to use to get your property in front of as many people as possible. On the other hand, bad marketing could leave your house on the market for months, and the longer a property is on the market, the more likely the price will diminish.
One of the ways you can tell if an agent is a bad marketer before working with them is by looking at their online presence. Are they active on social media? Do they have a blog? Is their website up-to-date? The effort they put into marketing themselves may very well reflect in their efforts marketing your house.
As home buyers or sellers, you want to trust the real estate agent you’re working with to negotiate, handle crucial paperwork, and represent your interests throughout the entire transaction. Unfortunately, not all agents are as ethical as you would hope.
Some will try to take advantage of the situation by lying about the other party’s intentions or get you to bid higher than you need to. The best way to guard against dishonest real estate agents is due diligence. Investigate the reputation of the agent you’re thinking of working with to see if there are complaints about them online.
You can also take it a step further and reach out to any past clients to speak to them about their experience with the agent.
2. They Are a Yes-Man
A real estate agent should be an expert in their field and they should be able to lead the way in any real estate transaction. The agent you work with should be able to give you their professional opinion and back it up with experience. You don’t want an agent that just tells you what you want to hear and if they do, it’s a telltale warning sign that they don’t care or aren’t truly an expert.
In many ways, you are trusting the real estate agent’s expertise and experience to get you through the home buying or selling process, so you want to be sure that they are up for the task.
1. Unfamiliar With The Area
Real estate professionals need to understand their market inside and out to be able to help their clients make the best decisions. After all, they’re the experts. If you’re working with an agent that isn’t up to date with the latest trends and market comps in an area, this may be a warning sign.
An agent that doesn’t know their stuff could end up giving you advice that isn’t in your best interest or may even unintentionally mislead you.
Terminating a Relationship With a Bad Agent
When you agree to work with a real estate agent, you sign a contract that is usually active until the end of the real estate transaction. If you find out you’re working with a real estate agent that isn’t meeting your expectations, the first step is to try to be upfront with them about it.
Tell them your concerns to see if they are willing to change or address the behavior in question. If they’re unresponsive or unwilling to work with you to improve the situation, it may be best to look for a new agent.
In most cases, you should be able to break the contract with a letter of termination or cancellation. If the agent refuses to release you from the contract, then you’ll need to contact their broker to see if they can help resolve the situation.
How To Avoid Working With a Bad Real Estate Agent
Finding a real estate agent to work with is easy but finding a good real estate agent to work with can be very difficult. Negotiators are a new type of real estate organization that streamlines your search to find a great real estate agent.
Negotiators are handpicked from amongst the top real estate agents in the country that have all proven their ability to go above and beyond for their clients. By hiring a Negotiator, you’ll have someone on your side who has a wealth of experience, real estate expertise, and an unrivaled work ethic working to get you the best deal possible.
Contact your local Negotiator if you want to work with a great real estate agent.