Are your instincts telling you that you have the wrong Realtor? Trust those instincts and watch out for these telltale signs you’re working with the wrong person
There are many wonderful REALTORS® out there who work hard for their clients and help them with every detail of their transaction, but this type of service isn't always guaranteed.
Perhaps you’re preparing to list your home or currently searching for a new one. Either way, it’s absolutely essential that you hire the right Realtor for the job. The home purchase and sale process can stress out buyers and sellers, including their agents and brokers. This stress can be caused or amplified when personalities clash or when the real estate transaction does not go as planned.
Your agent will be a guide, a coach, a cheerleader, a negotiator and a closer and when it comes to the biggest purchase of your life the relationship between you should be 100%.
In addition, to closing a deal, a good Realtor should be able to meet your individual real estate needs. Do they keep showing you houses you’d never be interested in? Do they never call you back promptly? Read on for some signs that it might be time to change.
They make a bad first impression
When it comes to real estate agents, the first impression is always telling.
They aren’t responsive
Does your agent keep missing your call? The most commonly heard complaint that clients voice about their agents is dissatisfaction with communication. It can be irritating to work with an agent who does not promptly respond to voicemails, text messages, or e-mails. If that happens to you, it might be time to fire the agent and hire somebody else.
It’s a 24/7 world. Properties can sell within hours, and everyone has a phone in their pocket. Your agent should be prompt and attentive — responses within the same business day (or early next) are standard.
On the other side it’s important to understand that real estate agents often work long hours which are rarely consistent. There are some buyers and sellers who believe a real estate agent should be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a belief that is maybe a bit selfish seeing as real estate agents have families and personal lives, however, you should expect that if you reach out to your real estate agent you should hear back from them within a reasonable time.
A good practice is to tell your agent what you expect and ask whether it is possible for him or her to perform in that manner. One of the most important characteristics of a great real estate agent is someone that is very responsive by phone, text, or email, why is that so important you ask? In hot markets (like kelowna), great houses go quickly and when something comes up that you want to see, you need someone that is going to be near their phone to make the appointment or has a showing assistant that can help you when they are not available. If an agent doesn’t return your call/email promptly, that’s an automatic thumbs down.
They don’t listen to your needs and wants
Real estate agents are there to give their clients advice, but they are also there to listen. This ensures they can give the best customer service possible and meet the expectations that the customer has set. In the most basic sense that you know you’re working with the wrong realtor when their focus of conversation is not based on the client’s wants and needs but is focused more on the agent’s résumé or a specific home. It is a good idea to make a list of your non-negotiable wants and needs in a home to keep you and your agent focused.
They don’t have experience in your price range
If you’re looking to purchase a $3 million dollar house, don’t work with an agent that primarily sells $200,000 condos, that's as important for the opposite, if your agent does sell the $3 million dollar homes and you want a $200,000 condo that can be as adverse. The agent needs to be experienced at buying and selling homes in your price range. A good way to find that out is to tell the agent, “I am looking for a $500,000 home, how many houses in that price point did you buy or sell this year?”
They are too pushy
The last thing you want is a Realtor desperate for a deal (any deal!). Buying or selling a home is a big deal and a big event. A sign that you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent is when you feel like you’re being pushed by your real estate agent. If you’re listing a home, and the listing agent pushes you to accept an offer or make a counter offer that you’re not comfortable with, then this Realtor isn’t for you. If you’re buying a home, and the agent pushes you to make an offer on a home when you’re not quite ready, this is a red flag that they are desperate for a deal. Do they like all the houses you see with them?
Bottom line, if you feel like you’re being pushed to make decisions that you aren’t comfortable making, it’s a sign you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent. A good Realtor will never push you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. They should have your best interest at heart – not their own. After all, they work for you.
They aren’t proactive
Even if this isn’t your first home purchase or sale, your agent should be proactive in keeping you on course. Does your Realtor send you houses that you have not seen from the new listings? A good agent will be sure you don’t miss out on opportunities due to lack of preparation (new listings, open houses etc.) , everything from quick updates to ensuing your financing is pre-approved and that you have a home inspector lined up.
Don’t choose family or friends
A big mistake people make is going with a realtor who is a friend or relative, your home is a big investment. There’s absolutely a possibility that you’re related to an excellent full-time agent who works in your neighbourhood, in your price range, and can name a handful of similar properties nearby and what they sold for off the top of their head. Sure, it’s possible. Even if your friend or family member is an experienced agent, you might feel more comfortable bossing around someone you don’t know on a personal level.
They don’t have a flexible schedule
Sure, your agent might be busy, but they shouldn’t be too busy to make you a priority. Do they seem to always be out of town – especially on weekends when showings are most common? Are they only available on days that don’t work for you? Whether you are on the buyer’s side or seller’s side, if you find you ae being restricted to certain days and times that dont work this is a red flag.
They can’t answer your questions
Nothing’s wrong with hiring a new Realtor. If the new real estate agent is hardworking, dedicated and knowledgeable of the market, then you probably won’t have any issues and they will get you the answers you require promptly – especially if they work for a reputable broker, on the other side of this an unknowledgeable agent deflects questions, says they will get back to you, or make up an answer. When hiring a Realtor, who also happens to be new to the job, make sure they are capable of handling the task.
However, if the Realtor doesn’t have a particularly good understanding of the local housing market and lacks critical negotiation and paperwork skills, you have a problem.
They don’t add valuable perspective
One of the important factors of a good Realtor is to add value and a fresh perspective for a client. Using their experience, good agents should be advising buyers on how they can modify the home to meet all their needs. It’s the realtor’s job to make sure that the buyer doesn’t overlook a home when the negative drawback is easily overcome with a creative idea. There is a big difference to adding value and being creative as opposed to being pushy!
They don’t know the area
A good real estate agent is well-versed on the positive attributes of the homes they list and the neighborhoods they serve, an agent should be able to talk to potential buyers about the best nearby schools, shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. If the agent lives and resides in the community, even better. There are many experts in real estate, but an expert in your specific area will help you obtain your dream home.
They want you to overpay or list too high
It’s no secret that agents make a decent commission on the sale of a home but their priority and duty is to you. By raising what you are comfortable spending or overpricing your home for sale they are causing you problems and ultimately losing you money.
If an agent wants to seduce you with high selling-figures, they’re trying to buy you—not work for you. They’re appealing to your wildest dreams; maybe you’ll get $700,000+ for your bungalow while other agents are suggesting low-$600s. When your property is overpriced, you’re making the competition look better. All those other reasonably priced homes in the area will get hotter, and buyers will get emotionally attached to those ‘rare gems’. The bidding wars ensue.
An agent should not be motivated by the size of the commission, but instead what is best for their client. “If your agent is pushing you to spend more than you’re comfortable with, find a new agent.
They don’t get to know YOU
Your agent doesn’t need to know your favorite sushi dish, but they should have a general idea of whom you are and what your interests are with regard to home buying. For example, you want a safe home near schools or you want to be in an up and coming neighborhood rich with city life. A Realtor should be wholeheartedly invested in their client’s buying or selling experience, an agent who doesn’t want to know more about you and your general interests may not be your best bet.
Just remember that your expectations should be reasonable, and the agent you work with should be up-front about what you can expect from them. This will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and that you avoid any disappointment down the road. There are great REALTORS® out there to help you, and once you find one, you'll be able to rely on them for all of the real estate services you need!
It would be nice if every transaction in real estate was smooth sailing, but that's very rarely the case. Negotiation skills are key when it comes to buying and selling a home. After all, your Realtor represents you and should therefore be able to represent your needs and desires clearly and accurately when handling this very important transaction.
Negotiation skills are not only important when determining how much to offer for a home or negotiating the highest price for your home, but it’s also important when negotiating after a home inspection. From major structural issues to trivial cosmetic problems, these inspections always inevitably find something wrong with a home. It’s up to the listing agent and the buyer’s agent to decide who pays for what (if anything) when there’s a problem with the listing. A good Realtor should be able to negotiate the best deal possible for their clients. If you’re selling your home and the real estate agent you’ve hired is a weak negotiator, it’s possible that you will end up either fixing many “nit-picky items” after a home inspection.