When buying or selling a home, many of us are debating from the start whether to work with an agent or not. While having a realtor represent you can significantly streamline the process, working with the wrong one can be a major drawback. Here are some of the signs that you might have chosen the wrong real estate agent for the job.
They don’t have a license
An agent without a license should be the first sign that something is off. Just because an agent has a LinkedIn page that says they’re a realtor doesn’t mean they are, and the fact that they’re active on the market doesn’t necessarily mean that their license is still active. Screening your realtors is just as important as screening a seller or a buyer, and it’s the main step to take in order to avoid a scam.
They represent both parties
Also known as ‘dual agency’, these are cases in which a realtor represents both seller and buyer, and, while not uncommon, it is never a good sign. Such realtors aim to make the most out of the sale by cashing in commission fees from both parties, and you will find that the agent is less inclined to negotiate the price of the property, or even rush to close the deal, instead of helping you find a suitable home.
They lack experience in your property type
Realtors have different portfolios, often specializing in certain types of property sales. For example, an agent that spends most of their time selling houses in the suburbs might not be the best choice for finding a condo apartment. Before hiring an agent, always check the properties in their portfolio, and go with the one that is the best match for the type of home you’re after.
They’re constantly late
Time is money, and you and your agent should both be on the same page in this regard. Showing up on time to a viewing indicates commitment, while having to constantly wait around for your agent to arrive will disrupt not just your schedule, but also theirs, resulting in a rushed viewing, or failure to address your questions and concerns properly.
They’re poor negotiators
One of the reasons to hire a realtor is negotiating the price of the property, yet you may come across some who are not worth their cost. They might not pick up on the fact that a home is overpriced, or they might not be able to guide a viewing to ensure a sale closure. Hiring a realtor with no negotiating skills is detrimental to both seller and buyer, and can see you get too little, or pay too much, for the property in question.
They’re too pushy
Always remember that you’re the one paying the realtor, so they should be working for you. If your agent is pushing you to accept an offer, or rushing you into buying a home that you’re not too keen on, that’s a sign that they’re more interested in closing the deal, instead of helping you make the best decision.
They’re difficult to contact
If you find yourself constantly struggling to get a hold of your realtor, or waiting for days for an answer, then that’s a red flag. You should be able to contact your agent through the entire process, preferably by phone. Text and email are also viable alternatives, however, it’s best to bear in mind that most real estate scams happen via email, so make sure that you and your agent are in direct contact as much as possible.
They don’t know the area
Obviously, having your agent get lost on the way to the viewing is never a good sign. Yet it’s not just about getting your bearings. A good realtor should be able to talk to you about the amenities of the neighborhood, whether it’s schools, shops, or local employers and even the crime rates. If your agent is unfamiliar with the area, they might also be unfamiliar with the market value of the property, leading to you potentially buying an overpriced home.
They don’t listen to your needs
A realtor should be able to help you find the best home for your needs. If you’re looking for a family home and they organize viewings for properties in bad school districts, then that’s a sign that they haven’t actually paid attention to what you’ve asked of them.
You just have a bad feeling about them
Sometimes, you just have a gut feeling that your agent is not right for you. They could make comments that make you uncomfortable, they can get too familiar, or they simply don’t inspire you any trust. Buying or selling a home is a lengthy, stressful process, and the last thing you need is a realtor who doesn’t put you at ease.