Over six million homes are sold across America every single year. A successful home sale runs smoothly and can help you make a nice profit on your property!
However, the condition of your home and property market aren’t the only things that can affect your home sale. The real estate agent that you hire to sell your home can also have a huge impact on the success of your sale. So, with more than 1.5 million realtors working in America at the moment, how do you choose a good one?
Well, knowing how to spot bad real estate agents can help you a lot. This will make it easy to spot red flags and avoid dodgy realtors. So what are the signs of a bad real estate agent?
Read on to find out 10 warning signs of a bad real estate agent and what to do if you hire one.
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1. Poor communication
Selling your home can take months, so you will have to deal with your realtor a lot. They need to provide clear, concise, professional communication.
You need a realtor who is going to keep you up-to-date on home viewings and their marketing plans. You also need to be able to get in touch with them when you have questions.
If you struggle to make an appointment with them or don’t hear back for ages this is a sign of poor communication. In that case, you should look elsewhere.
Of course, you also don’t want to hire a realtor who is going to bombard you with calls and information. If you find that their level of communication is overwhelming then it’s also best to avoid them.
2. Bad real estate agents lack confidence
Your realtor is responsible for selling your home and getting a great price for it. So if they can’t even sell themselves then this is a bad sign.
You don’t want a realtor who is too cocky or arrogant. However, you do want to find someone who feels secure in the knowledge they have and knows how to close a sale.
When you meet them, look out for a realtor with presence who really engages with you. You can also test their knowledge by asking lots of questions. This will show whether or not they can keep their cool.
3. Lacks a professional network
Any realtor with an established professional career will have a great network. They can use this to:
- Negotiate your home selling price
- Organize open house viewings
- Offer referrals for home inspections
A realtor who doesn’t have a strong network is either inexperienced or can’t maintain professional relationships. Neither of these is a good thing!
4. Bad listening skills
Great listening skills are a must-have for any realtor. After all, they can’t represent your needs if they don’t understand what these are!
Listening skills can also help your realtor bond with potential buyers and market your home to suit their interests.
Because of this, you want to avoid a realtor who doesn’t listen or struggles to take information in. If you constantly find yourself answering the same questions or explaining the same things, it is time to look elsewhere.
5. Lacks proper experience
When it comes to marketing a home successfully, experience is key. This means that your realtor will understand your home’s value. They can use this understanding to help you set a realistic asking price.
They’ll also understand how to market your home’s assets and will be confident when talking to potential buyers. This can all help you maximize your profits.
An experienced realtor also has a detailed knowledge of real estate market trends. They can use this to market your property and find the perfect time to sell it.
During your real estate agent interview, make sure you ask the realtor about their professional experience. This can tell you a lot about what they are bringing to the table.
6. Behaves unprofessionally
Your realtor acts as your representative when selling a home, especially if you can’t be at viewings. So you have to trust them.
Because of this, you want a realtor who is going to behave professionally and keep your best interests at heart. This is why unprofessional behavior is such an important red flag to look out for.
Examples of unprofessional behavior from your real estate agent can include:
- Them providing inaccurate or poorly-researched information
- Disclosing personal details about potential buyers
- Poaching clients from other realtors
- Bad-mouthing colleagues or competitors
- Contacting you at anti-social hours
- Being over-familiar or making you uncomfortable in person or when they communicate with you
- Being rude to you or potential buyers
- Showing up late to meetings and house viewings
This behavior shows that your realtor isn’t committed to giving their job 100%. In fact, their energy may be elsewhere.
This doesn’t just make them difficult to work with. It can also mean that they aren’t trying their hardest to get you a good deal on your home sale.
7. Is too pushy and puts pressure on you
A realtor can provide valuable support and expertise, but they are not there to make decisions for you. In fact, it is worth remembering that they have an interest in making a sale on your home and their commission.
A good realtor should provide insights and advice. However, they should never seem pushy or try to force you to make a decision. If you do notice them doing this then it is time to look elsewhere.
8. Doesn’t know how to negotiate
Receiving a home offer can be an exciting time. However, you may find that potential buyers make an offer that is below your asking price.
This is when your realtor can make a huge difference. They will come back to you with the offer and let you decide whether or not you want to accept it.
A good realtor will recognize a good deal when they see one and can advise you on this. However, they cannot accept an offer on your behalf, even if they advise you to.
Instead, you can ask them to negotiate on your behalf. How they handle negotiations can have a huge impact on the success of your sale.
For example, if they aren’t confident or don’t communicate quickly, you could lose a potential buyer. So you want someone who knows what they’re doing and is on top of things.
Of course, you don’t want to wait until crunch time to find out if your realtor can negotiate. Ask about their negotiation strategy when you first meet with them. This will give you a good idea of how they will handle negotiations further down the line.
9. Has no marketing skills
The key to getting a great offer on your home is good marketing. This helps the right buyers find your property.
Because of this, you should check out a realtor’s marketing skills before you hire them. Take a look at the properties on their website and search for them online. The more visible they are, the better their marketing strategy.
Of course, you also want to see a marketing strategy in place. A consistent brand and content show great marketing skills. In comparison, marketing that is all over the place will make it harder for buyers to find your realtor and their services.
Digital marketing skills
Digital marketing, in particular, is a must-have. After all, we spend hours every day on our phones and computers. So why not make the most of this captive audience?
You can check out a realtor’s digital marketing skills easily by looking at their website or social media pages. The more they use these, the better their engagement will be.
Because of this, you should be wary of any realtor without an online presence or with an empty social media feed.
10. Shows questionable ethics
Bad ethics go beyond the limit of unprofessional behavior and can make it very difficult for you to sell your home. In fact, you could even report a realtor for unethical behavior, such as:
- Discriminating against you or potential buyers
- Charging referral and unearned fees
- Practicing without a valid real estate license
- Giving you unqualified legal advice while you are selling your home
- Misrepresenting you, either by accident or intentionally
- Representing both you and your buyer (this is also known as “dual agency”)
Some of this behavior isn’t just unethical; it is also illegal. Fortunately, you can report your realtor or make a complaint against them. To do this, reach out to the local Association of Realtors or the Department of Justice in your state.
What can you do if you notice the signs of a bad real estate agent?
Ideally, you should look out for the signs of a bad realtor before you hire them. However, this doesn’t always happen.
If you are concerned about your realtor’s behavior, it is important to address this as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to spend months dealing with a bad realtor.
Start by raising your complaints with them and see how they respond. They may hold their hands up and clean up their act. This isn’t ideal, but it can save you a lot of admin.
If not, then you should get rid of your realtor as soon as possible.
Have you signed the listing agreement?
When a hire a real estate agent, you sign a written listing agreement. This gives them permission to market your property and represent you during your home sale.
This agreement includes your terms for hiring a realtor, such as:
- The listing price you have agreed to
- Their duties in representing you
- Any duties you have to fulfill (such as making the property available for viewings)
- The agent’s commission rate
- Terms for mediation
- An automatic termination date if your property does not sell
It can also include a clause for broker’s compensation. You owe this to the realtor if you fail to fulfill your duties. If you choose to dismiss them, then you may also owe them compensation.
There are different types of listing agreements that you can sign. For example, you may have signed an exclusive agency listing agreement or open listing agreement. These let you market and sell your property without help from the realtor.
In comparison, an exclusive right-to-sell listing agreement makes this more difficult. Even if you do sell your property without their help, you will still have to pay their commission.
If you have signed the listing agreement already, then you will need to discuss this with your realtor. Depending on the type of agreement you have, you may be able to sell your property without them releasing you from your listing.
Will your realtor release you from your listing agreement?
You can terminate your listing agreement according to the terms in the agreement itself. This might include cancelation fees.
Some realtors may try to convince you to stay or make it difficult for you to leave. After all, they want to get their commission on your home sale.
It is best to approach this calmly and with plenty of evidence. Explain why you want to terminate the agreement and list examples of their behavior. Put this in an email so you have a record of the exchange.
While you may still have to pay the cancelation fees, most reasonable realtors will accept this, especially if you have evidence. This means you can be rid of them and start looking for other ways to sell your home.
Try selling with an iBuyer
Hiring a realtor isn’t your only option if you are selling a home. Using an iBuyer company (or instant buyer) is a great way to save money and cut out the hassle of trying to find a realtor.
To sell your home to an iBuyer you simply:
- Upload your property details and photos onto a secure online portal
- Wait to receive all-cash offers on your home
- Arrange a home inspection for your potential buyer
- Accept their offer and complete the sale
This process is incredibly quick, and iBuyers offer great value for properties. So you don’t have to sell your home below market value.
On top of this, you won’t have to pay an agent commission for the sale. This means that you can maximize your profits!
Keep the 10 warning signs of a bad real estate agent in mind
As you can see, when it comes to spotting bad real estate agents, there are plenty of things to look out for.
Keeping these 10 warning signs of a bad real estate agent in mind will help you avoid choosing a bad realtor. So you won’t waste valuable time when selling your home!
Of course, you don’t have to worry about this when selling with an iBuyer. In that case, head over to iBuyer now to get a cash offer on your home today!