8 Characteristics of Real Estate Agents to Avoid
Recently I wrote a post about 7 traits of a great listing agent. I recently realized that Kinsey and I have run across some pretty terrible agents in the real estate business, and I thought it would be good to post some things to watch out for.
Desperate Agents: An agent who is desperate for business or money is one who will have a very hard time putting your best interest in front of their own interests. For example, imagine you are working with a buyer’s agent who is really desperate to make a sale. Do you think they are going to advise you appropriately on value, negotiation, or the best house? Or do you think they are going to go for the easiest deal to get done?
Agents with the Highest List Price: Imagine you interviewed several agents and one suggested a significantly higher listing price than the others. You get excited thinking you can get more for your home and you hire them. Well, maybe it turns out that agent just didn’t know your market well. Or maybe they were just trying to win your listing. Now you are faced with a home that will get stale on the market and you’ll sell for less than it would have if it were priced right.
Agents with the Lowest Commission: The lowest commission doesn’t always mean the best deal. Often lower commissions equate to a lower level of service, less training, less knowledge, and weaker negotiation skills. Agents who undercut commissions do so, because they are having a hard time getting business (this should make you wonder why).
Agents That Don’t Work Nights or Weekends: A little bit of night and weekend work is essential in this business. Most buyers and sellers are busy working during the day and they want to go look at houses in the evening; or they want to be able to negotiate that offer that came in Friday over the weekend.
Occasional Agents: This truly is a business where 20% of the agents do 80% of the work. Avoid an agent who has done very few transactions unless they are being mentored by someone who has a lot more experience. Agents who do 1 or 2 deals a year may mean the best, but often fail to write contracts properly or negotiate the best deal.
Agents without a Website: Your agent can’t take the time to post some simple information about themselves and their business on the web? How well do you expect they will promote your property listing? Maybe they are a great buyers agent, but don’t expect them to be great at marketing your listing.
Agents Who Don’t Use Professional Photography: Photography is incredibly important for listings. A majority of consumers these days start their property search on the internet, so your home needs to look its best in photos or buyers will never look at it in person. Professional photographers have the equipment and knowledge to make a small room look bigger or to shoot that funky angle that gets the best view. Don’t leave your listing to an agent snapping pictures on their I-phone.
Poor Communicators: This is the #1 most important thing to avoid. If an agent doesn’t respond to you in a timely manner or communicate well with you, chances are they have the same problem with other agents. This could make you lose the deal that needs quick action, or at the very least frustrate the heck out of all parties involved.