Signs That You Need To Break Up With Your Estate Agent
It’s unfortunate when buyers and sellers get saddled with an estate agent who comes off as too busy to care, too arrogant to listen or too eager to coerce you into a purchase that you are not totally comfortable with. Choosing an estate agent to help you sell your property is a critical part of the process and it is made all the more difficult because buying and selling property is for most people a rare business activity. The average seller and buyer is therefore inexperienced in this field and in today’s depressed market, it isn’t enough for an agent to be well-qualified but he or she has to be a creative problem-solver and be resourceful to boot. Buyers and sellers are spending real money on this investment, and anything that falls through the cracks, including the all-important loan, can cost them dearly. If your agent seems disorganized, unprofessional or just makes you queasy, read on. Here are eight suggestions to help indicate if it’s time to put your house selling on hold and shop for a new estate agent instead.
You agent is unresponsive
While you cannot expect your agent to be on call 24/7, he or she should respond to your voicemail and texts in a timely fashion. Especially at the beginning of the relationship, the agent should want to be in touch every single day to make sure the seller has seen the listing and approved it. If the agent gets something wrong with the listing, the seller could be held liable, and he or she should want to be in touch to find out if there’s anything the seller needs to tweak. Having an ongoing conversation with your agent could mean the difference between selling within the ideal time frame of five to seven months, or leaving it to languish on the market. Another sign you might have a dud of an agent on your hands is when he or she signs up for business, then immediately goes on vacation and does not introduce another agent to stand in for that period. An extended vacation, or not sharing vacation plans with the client and how they plan to stay on top of your listing while they’re away is just out of line.
Your agent does not listen
Your agent is inexperienced
Finding a full-time agent is a must in today’s difficult market. Think twice before hiring someone who is working a different day job. You want it to be their career. Ensure your agent is up to scratch by making sure he or she has at least two years’ experience. Ask to look at the agents’ resume. Are the agencies he or she has worked for reputable? Get in touch with the last five or 10 people your agent sold property for and ask how it went. Would they hire this agent again? Check the agent’s Fidelity Fund Certificate to see if it is still valid by verifying that he or she is registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). You also want someone who’s well-educated, up to date on current issues and who has a solid idea of professional conduct and ethics. On top of all this, don’t be tempted to hire the mega-star “top producer” estate agent. A lot of times they are just machines snapping up every listing they can get and overpricing them so they can get the sole mandate.
Your agent is unprofessional
Acting disorganized or canceling and showing up late to appointments is unprofessional and sends the wrong message to everyone involved. If an agent has broken the professional trust then, when he or she approaches the seller with advice or feedback about something, the seller’s going to be too upset to listen. The agent should clearly lay out for you, the seller what the expectations should be otherwise it is just not good business behavior.
Your agent makes you uncomfortable
If your agent’s latest pitch has you feeling uncomfortable then move on. Any seller [or buyer] who is working with an agent should feel very comfortable with that agent. A good agent will prepare you for the process and pay attention to details. Watch out for these signs: The agent is trying to convince you that a house could work for you even if you told him or her otherwise. Lingering too long at showings, or viewing homes you don’t even like. A good agent should take that as a sign to make a quick, gracious exit. Your agent does not suggest that you try something different when things aren’t working. The agent has to observe you and take a chance, even if that means looking at something you [initially] didn’t want. Your agent tries to talk you out of what you do want, making critical comments that you ought to aim lower. He or she makes you feel bad for spending less, or pushes you to make an offer before you’re ready. He or she puts down your home before showings.
Your agent makes a bad impression
With most buyers going online to shop for a property, making a great first impression is crucial. A good agent will help the seller prepare a house for for a showings. A good agent will also ensure that the photographs help promote the offering and will also creating an appealing well-written and honest Web listing. Over promising can also a problem. People will come look and be disappointed, and then they won’t buy.
Your agent does not do the homework
When you’re preparing to sell your home, if your agent fails to do a Comparative Market Analysis (a process in which the agent tours your home, looks at homes similar to yours that have sold in the past three to six months, then suggests an asking price) do not engage him or her. He or she needs to get a realistic, solid picture of value in your neighborhood so you know what your home is truly worth. On the buyer side if your credit record in poor, an agent should refer you to a bond originator, or tell you what you can do to improve your chances of getting a loan. If you’re simply not ready to shop for a home, a good agent will wait things out and stay in touch by emailing you updates to show your business still matters.
Your agent is shady
Chopping and changing on commission or disclosing personal issues are significant signs of trouble. Have zero tolerance for this kind of fraudulent behavior not only because it puts the sale of your home at risk, but because it puts your reputation on the line as well. Among other shady moves watch out for poorly written offers which cost time and energy to be rewritten, a lack of professional due diligence, like not recommending a home inspection be made by a reputable inspector and making outrageous claims they cannot back up. Lying about offers or withholding information about a known defect, for example, are examples of unethical behaviors.