It is unfortunate when buyers and sellers get saddled with a self-involved agent who comes off as too busy to care, too arrogant to listen or too eager to coerce you into purchasing a home that you’re just not that into. Buyers and sellers often depend on their real estate agents to carry them along, help them reap the investment they are after and or put their hard-earned cash toward starting the home of their dreams.
In today’s market, it is not enough for an agent to be well-qualified. He or she has to be a creative problem-solver and resourceful. Buyers and sellers are spending real money on this investment, and anything that falls through the cracks can cost them dearly. If your agent seems disorganized, unprofessional or just makes you queasy, it might be time to ditch them.
Here are five ways to tell if it is time to put your house hunt on hold and shop for a new realtor instead.
- Your real estate agent is unresponsive
While you shouldn’t expect your agent to be on call 24/7, he or she should respond to your calls and texts in a timely fashion especially at the beginning. Having an ongoing conversation with your agent could mean the difference between selling within the ideal timeframe of five to seven months, or leaving it to languish on the market.
- Your Agent Doesn’t Listen
The very first meeting with your agent should feel like a counseling session. You should feel confident your agent is along for the ride and has your best interests at heart. You’ll know your agents on the right track when he or she asks these thoughtful questions like:
- What is your timeframe to buy or sell?
- Tell me about your dream house/the house you’re selling. What improvements have you made to your home?
- What are your expectations for me?
- How often should we be in touch?
- Have you worked with a realtor before? What was the experience like?
- What kind of neighborhoods are you interested in? Etc.
Selling real estate isn’t just a sales job, it is much more of a management-customer service job. You want someone with the heart of an adviser, not someone who acts like just a salesperson. With this in mind, dump any agent who feels he knows all and wouldn’t listen to you. Discussing work processes and the market are important, but patiently assessing your wants and needs will help your agent determine whether you’re on the same page and can work well together.
- Your Agent Is Inexperienced
Finding a real agent is a must in today’s market. Ensure your agent is up to the task by making sure he or she has at least two year’s experience and by doing your homework, Google the realtor’s name with the word “complaint” next to it. Bad reviews should send up red flags. You want someone who is well-educated, up to date on current issues and who has a solid idea of professional conduct and ethics. Check for additional training; Search Engine Optimization training, E-listings and other fancy add-ons might sound nice to have. In one word, check out your agent properly.
- Your Agent Acts Unprofessional
Acting disorganized, canceling and showing up late to appointments is unprofessional and sends the wrong message to everyone involved. Another tip-off that it is time to ditch your agent is when you find yourself working a little too closely with the agent’s colleague or partner, instead of the agents. The agent himself should be present and participate in the work to be sure you are on the same page all through the transactions.