Looking to buy a house? Your friend says his uncle Dorothy is a rockstar real estate agent so you sign a contract with him.
Then boom! Things begin to take a rather interesting twist.
Dorothy starts ignoring your calls. And when he reaches out, he recommends a Craftsman bungalow worth $450,000. But you clearly told him you want a Ranch-style home, and your budget is $200,000. It soon dawns on you that you hired a bad real estate agent.
Uncle Dorothy can’t find the right house because he is either incompetent or has no time for you. And now you’ll have to do the one thing that every home buyer hates: Firing an agent who has already done some legwork for you.
The good news: All these can be avoided if you exercise diligence when choosing a real estate agent. If you’ve started interviewing (or have already signed with) someone and are concerned that you may have made the wrong choice, look for these warning signs of a bad realtor.
1. They Are Not Organized
The very nature of real estate transactions requires agents to be highly organized.
Keep in mind that real estate agents have to deal with a lot of paperwork daily. As such, if your agent is not organized, you could end up dealing with issues of lost paperwork, contracts missing important documents, and critical tasks falling through the cracks.
But it’s easy to spot agents who are not organized.
If they are still using paper folders to store files or notebooks to keep contacts, they are certainly not a good fit. Good real estate agents are tech-savvy. It’s the 21st century, right?
Look for a realtor who uses transaction management software like Paperless Pipeline. Such systems allow agents to not only streamline workflow but also see everything in a central place. This way, agents can stay organized and keep a tab on upcoming tasks and deadlines.
2. They Have Poor Communication
Poor communication is one of the top complaints about real estate agents.
A good agent will keep constant communication with you. They will keep you updated on every little detail either via text, email, or call.
A poor agent, on the other hand, will have communication issues. This could be marked by delayed responses or no communication at all. Also, if you feel that he or she is rude, agitated during calls, or not forthcoming during conversations, that agent is likely not a good fit.
3. They Work Part-Time
Availability is one of the key things you’d expect to get from your real estate agent when buying a home. The last thing you want is to hire an agent who can only work for you on weekends.
That said, avoid working with anyone who isn’t fully committed to real estate. A part-time real estate agent will likely lack the time, experience, and patience to provide the full service you deserve. They may also not have enough contacts to close the deal within the stipulated time.
4. They Don’t Know the Area
Even if you hire a reputable and experienced realtor, they won’t do you any good if they are new to the neighborhood.
A good real estate agent is well versed with the positive attributes of the area in which they serve. They should be able to talk to prospective buyers about the best nearby shops, amenities, restaurants, grocery stores, and any upcoming projects/developments in the area.
Also, having a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the local market will ensure that the house you are selling quickly or purchasing is priced right, judging by the sale of similar properties in the area.
Got more warning signs of a bad real estate agent? Be sure to share with us in the comments section below.