If you have never bought or sold a house before, chances are you have never hired a real estate agent. There is a learning curve to most things and hiring a real estate agent is one of them. You can be so eager an excited buy your first house or sell your current home that you fail to put in the necessary effort to hire an excellent Realtor.
Picking a bad Realtor can cause serious problems as you move through the buying or selling process – so much so that it may be worthwhile to ditch a bad agent to hire a better one.
So how do you know for sure that you hired the wrong real estate agent? The following are things you should consider before taking a leap of faith and hiring your next real estate agent! If the Realtor you have selected exhibits any of the traits below, it is a pretty good sign you hired the wrong real estate agent!
Common Signs You Hired the Wrong Realtor
- Lack of confidence – When you go to hire an agent you should have a list of real estate interview questions in hand to ask the person. You want to know that this individual is a top performer and that he or she has what it takes to get you the things you want. If you started asking questions and the agent appeared uncomfortable or nervous, you should have become immediately suspicious. A fast talker with nothing to back up what they are saying is a sure sign the Realtor doesn’t do the business they claim to. Yet some clients will feel bad for the person and hire him or her out of pity. Big mistake. It’s not hard to understand why so many people are dissatisfied with the Realtor they have hired. So many people do not take the process seriously enough.
- No communication – Your agent works for you. Yes, you. That means that he or she should remain in regular communication with you throughout the buying or selling process. If the agent fails to do this there could be a problem. It could mean that he or she is not actually doing any work for you, or it could mean that the work he or she is doing is not accomplishing anything. At the least, a lack of communication is a sign of inexperience or incompetence. Do you want to know what buyers are saying about your home after a showing? Of course the answer is yes! A good real estate agent will have a communication system in place. For example, when I am selling a clients home they will receive an email from me generally within 48 hours of the showing that will explain what the buyer liked, disliked and often times how the home is priced compared to others in the price point. This allows a seller to have a pulse of what is going on. Who wants to be left in the dark after every time a showing takes place?
- Failure to use all resources – There are a lot of channels that a good Realtor has access to when trying to buy or sell a home. An experienced agent will take advantage of all of them to get you want you want. On the other hand, an incompetent agent will often only use one or two resources, thinking this is enough. If you are trying to sell your home and the agent only puts a sign up in the yard and into the multiple listing service, you have a problem.
- Folds easily during negotiations – If you started off your relationship with this Realtor by demanding a reduction in his or her fees, you may have just been trying to get a good deal. But if the Realtor conceded to your demands without much of a fight, there is a solid chance that he or she will do the same when negotiating for you. If the agent is not willing to stand up for his or her own income, how likely is it that the agent will exercise courage to protect your interests? This is obviously really important when it comes to negotiating the offer on your home. Having someone in your corner who will fight for your interests is important. One area where a seller needs a good negotiator in their corner is after the buyers home inspection. This is a place in most real estate transactions where further negotiations can occur. When negotiating home inspection problems you want a tiger not a lame ass! A good real estate agent knows what’s reasonable and what isn’t when it comes to requests from an inspection. The best Realtors don’t need a sale! Real Estate agents who are worried about where their next sale is coming from is not the person you want negotiating for you!
- Disorganized – There is an incredible amount of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction. In just a single transaction. But an agent is dealing with multiple transactions, including yours. If your agent seems unorganized, misses deadlines, fails to deliver paperwork on time – these are risky behaviors that you should scrutinize closely. If the agent can’t make appointments on time and remember your paperwork, where else is he or she messing up? You need an organized agent, not a basket-case. Recently, I was hired to sell a home in Framingham Massachusetts. During the interview process the owner shared with me the fact she was interviewing multiple agents. The owner was smart for doing this and I would highly recommend you do the same. What was unbelievable was the fact that one of the agents she asked for an interview never showed. No call, no I’m sorry, no nothing! Obviously the choice of who to hire became a lot easier.
- Lack of web presence – In today’s real estate world, there is no getting around the need for technology. The internet is the main avenue for real estate information and your agent should be right on top of it. He or she should have a website and enough tech savvy to get your information out there to interested parties. There are tons of real estate agents out there who believe putting a sign in the yard and dumping your home into the multiple listing service (MLS) is good marketing. Folks I like to refer this kind of real estate agent as a post and pray Realtor. They do very little for you and are looking for a big pay day without taking any money out of their own pocket. This is the very definition of a bad real estate agent. Never under estimate the importance of good online marketing for your home. This is where buyers spend all of their time! The average home buyer today will spend hours looking on popular real estate portals like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. They will also use Google as a tool to find property as well searching by address. You want a Realtor who will take the necessary time to “enhance” how your home is presented to the public. Great photography, detailed descriptions and video tours of your home are a must.
- Offers little advice – People who are good at their jobs are not afraid to offer sound advice and observations to those in need of help. Why else would you work so hard to become skilled at something if not to use those abilities? If your agent is not offering you advice and guidance in the transaction then something is not right. Either he or she is too inexperienced to know what is going on or the agent is not particularly helpful by nature. Regardless, you need someone who is helpful and can exercise leadership in this process. Why else are you paying him or her? For example if you have had numerous showings on your home and it has been on the market for months there is no doubt some kind of problem. More than likely your homes asking price needs an adjustment before it creates damaging effects and you end up selling for less than you should. A good agent will never be afraid to give sound advice. If you have hired a “yes man or woman” then you are going to suffer the consequences. Agents should explain their marketing plan and what to do if things in the market change that dictate a new course of action.
- Too pushy – On the other hand, the agent may be way more pushy than you are comfortable with. He or she may try to make you do things you are not comfortable with – which is a big no-no in this industry. This is your money and it is your purchase or sale. The agent is there to guide you and is working to get you what you want – as long as it is within reason. If your agent is trying to shove you into a deal you are not comfortable with, walk away immediately.
- Desperate behavior – Some agents are so desperate to get work that they will do or say anything to keep a client or to make a deal. If you hired the agent and he or she told you your house was worth 20% more than any other Realtor did, or he or she concedes to all of your demands when you are negotiating the agent’s rates, it may be a sign of desperation. The last thing you want is a desperate agent. Aim for someone with the confidence to walk away from a bad deal and someone willing to tell you things you don’t want to hear. There are plenty of real estate agents who mislead sellers on market value just to get your business. This is NOT what you want!
Selecting the right real estate agent to work with takes time and patience. If you are not willing to take this task seriously then you are more than likely going to be disappointed in your choice. Real Estate agents are a dime a dozen. Getting a real estate license is easy. This creates an environment where people who have no business representing someones largest asset get chosen to do so. What most consumers fail to understand is the fact that practicing real estate should be a full time job. Many agents are not as invested as they should be. The above reasons are all good signs you hired the wrong real estate agent!
Can You Terminate a Real Estate Listing Contract?
One of the questions real estate agents get asked quite a bit from sellers who are unhappy with the agent they have chosen is can I cancel the contract. The answer depends on exactly what you have signed with the Realtor. Most real estate contracts will spell out specific terms including a start date and end date of the contract. There are times where sellers may want to terminate with an agent before the end date of the contract.
Whether or not the agent will agree to terminate before the conclusion of the contract is another story. Each agency treats situations like these differently. When a relationship goes sour a smart real estate broker will allow and unhappy client to terminate. Unfortunately there are some owners who do not think that way. Their mantra is a contract is a contract and I am not going to let you out.
This usually ends with the client feeling even worse and having nothing good to say about the agency to all of their family and friends. If you ask me this is really short sighted thinking. If you find you have made a mistake with the agent you hired the best thing to do would be to ask to speak to the owner or manager and ask to be released from the contract. At the very least you may be able to get assigned to another Realtor in the company.
Additional Resources For Hiring a Real Estate Agent
- What are the qualities to look for in a real estate agent? via RIS Media.
- Here are some more must ask real estate interview questions for Realtors via Huliq.
- How to choose a real estate agent via Bankrate.com.
- What to expect from a real estate agent when selling a home via Rochester Real Estate Blog.
- The mistakes sellers should avoid when choosing a real estate agent via Maximum Real Estate Exposure.
Use these additional helpful resources to increase the odds you will not make a bad choice when hiring a real estate agent!
About the author: The above Real Estate information on signs you hired the wrong real estate agent was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 29+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.