You dial your real estate agent’s number, and the phone rings and rings… as well as rings
Your house has been on the market for far longer than you believe it should, and you haven’t even seen your agent mention it on social media.
When the open house arrives, they are late and unprepared.
These are just a few warning signs of a bad real estate agent. We’re here to help you figure out what to do about the remaining signs that your agent isn’t working for you.
If you’ve begun talking with (or have already signed with) an agent and believe you’ve made the wrong decision, it may be time to reconsider.
We understand that firing someone and starting over is never convenient, especially if they’ve already put in the effort of listing your home and possibly doing a few showings, but this is highly probable one of the largest financial transactions you’ll make in your life.
That means you should indeed be teamed up with a specialist who gets it done and with whom you feel at ease working. None of the following categories apply to you!
Look for these signs to identify a bad real estate agent
If you notice any of these red flags, it could mean that an agent will provide poor service or is simply not the right fit:
1) Fails to communicate effectively
Fast and effective communication is essential in the fast-paced world of real estate. A delayed response can make all the difference between landing and losing a deal. If you’re waiting hours or days for your agent to return your calls, texts, or emails, or if your questions and concerns are met with resistance, it’s time to move on.
The same is true for the agent who responds but has a style of communication that does not link up well with yours. If you feel rushed, irritated, or untrustworthy during your conversations, or if the chemistry just isn’t there, it’s probably not a good fit.
Another communication red flag is if the agent sugarcoats situations and only tells you what you want to hear. “As the seller, you need to know exactly what’s going on, for better or worse,”
Take into account whether the agent uses the communication channels you prefer. Effective agents ask their clients how they prefer to receive information and updates, whether by phone, text message, or email.
Many young folks find phone conversations to be bothersome and almost disrespectful, so texting is preferable.”
If your agent consistently contacts you through a channel with which you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar, or disregards your requests for a different mode of communication, it’s time to find someone who will respect your wishes.
2) Does real estate as a side business
Everybody has to start someplace, and some agents may dabble in real estate while working another job or juggling other responsibilities. However, as a seller, collaborating with a part-time agent who is overburdened can lead to disappointment on multiple levels.
In today’s market, where properties sell in about 19 days on average, a part-time real estate agent trying to juggle another job and normal daily life responsibilities simply won’t be able to keep up with showings and contract talks, putting you at a costly disadvantage.
3) Has their own action plan — and is adamant about it
Your agent should be as eager to sell your home as you are. After all, that is how they earn their profits. A listing agent’s role, on the other hand, is to guide you through the selling process rather than to push you through it. If you have the impression that your agent is attempting to coerce you into making a decision based on their promising commission instead of your goals and needs, this is a major red flag.
4) Unacquainted with the market
This is frequently associated with part-time or unfamiliar agents. If your agent isn’t up to date on local comps (comparable home sales) and neglects to provide authentic and precise data, you’ll need to find someone with more market knowledge in your area.
5) Is late or fails to show up for appointments
Selling a home entails a series of planned activities, and missing even one can stymie or derail the process. If your agent is constantly late or manages to miss viewings, open houses, inspections, appraisals, or other situations, this is a red flag.
6) I’m not a good negotiator
Your agent should be familiar with contracts and should know what to ask for during bargaining. They should be able to tell when and how to consider giving a little and when to force the issue. (This is related to understanding what you want as a seller.
Effective agents also screen lenders, ensures the winning bidder has pre-approval, and examines the buyer’s agent to ensure everything is in order for each offer.
If you’ve had offers on your home but haven’t been able to reach an agreement on a price, your agent may be letting us down during negotiations.
7) Lacks marketing abilities
This day and age, online presence in real estate is a must. While an agent does not need to tweet throughout the day, people do need to have a strong, website design and demonstrate that they are actively marketing their properties.
You can look at other properties that the agent is going to sell to see how they are marketing the listing. If they have an unprofessional website or no social media presence, they may not be able to behave correctly and successfully market your house.
8) Isn’t Completely Honest But Doesn’t Outright Lie
One of the most important quality to look for in a real estate agent is honesty. If you believe that the agent you hired has provided misleading information has given you wrong info, misrepresented you or a buyer, lied repeatedly, or implored you to conceal information in a contract, he then she’s not the one you want working for you.
A Realtor is a part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is also bound by the Realtor Code of Ethics. You can decide to file a case with your local Realtor® association if you believe a Realtor® has been deceitful or breached the code.
9) Is a people-pleaser
A good agent should be open and honest, offering professional advice on the best course of action, even if it is not what you expected or hoped to hear. If a seller wants to ignore the comps and data and list their home at a price that makes no sense, there is always an agent that will list their home. Part of being a real estate agent is not taking orders, but offering fair and relevant advice.
You want an agent who is on your side, not a yes person who agrees to things that are ultimately not in your best interests.
10) Doesn’t bother to ask you any questions
Throughout the process, you will most likely have a lot of questions for your agent, but the agent must also fully comprehend well enough to know which questions to ask you. This way, they’ll know precisely what you need and can assist you in providing accurate information, such as on the seller’s disclosure. If they aren’t asking you questions and appear to be a passive participant in the process, you may need to find someone else.
What should you do if you are under agreement with a bad agent?
If you’ve already agreed to sign a formal contract with an agent and now realize it’s not a good fit, or they’re simply a bad agent, we can help you determine out what to do next. The agreement you signed is a legally binding agreement that grants the agent preferential rights to sell the property for a set period of time, so you have a few options at this point.
Request that the agreement be released in writing
A simple email will suffice. Include your reasons for wanting to end the relationship, such as poor communication, poor results, or another fail to achieve expectations. Seasoned agents may include a clause in their agreements that allows the seller to cancel at any time. There should be no problem if the agreement includes a cancellation clause. If there is no “out” clause in the agreement, the agent may still be happy to divulge you for a fee.
Request the removal of your home from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
If there is no termination clause and the agent refuses to release you from the contract, you can ask that they remove your home from the MLS system and stop marketing it. If this strategy works for you, wait patiently for the sales contract to expire, which usually takes two to six months, before hiring a new agent.
Request a different agent from the same firm
Another option is to ask the brokerage to assign a new agent to your estate, as contracts are usually between the seller and the brokers rather than through an individual agent.
Parting ways with an agent becomes more difficult if your residence is under contract with a buyer. If you violate an original sales contract, you could be held liable for commission fees. In that case, unless stuff are really bad and you don’t think you’ll get what you need out of the deal, you might want to just go ahead with the deal and find a better agent the next time you sell.