Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent (7 Red Flags)

By Andrew Te

|10 min read

Selling your home or buying a new one means you have to get involved in the real estate market, which can be very confusing if you are new to the process. It’s natural to be wary of the signs of a bad real estate agent.

Since the success of buying or selling property heavily relies on your real estate agent, it is important that you choose a reliable and competent real estate agent. Their job is to guide you in the whole process and provide you with suggestions and advice on your transaction.

Every agent works differently, and you will get along with some better than others. However, there are some alarming traits common across all bad real estate agents that you should make sure to avoid.

signs of a bad real estate agent

Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent

Most real estate agents are excellent at their job, having spent many years training and such. However, there is always going to be the odd ‘bad apple’, so it is important to make sure that the agent you get is a good fit for you. Here are seven red flags indicating that your real estate agent is not the right one for you.

1. Recommends you the highest price

When selling your home, you obviously want the highest possible price. However, it is best to check first with at least three different agents to know the prices of comparable homes in the area. This way, you will know which price range is realistic. If your agent sets a price significantly higher than the others, your house is unlikely to sell as quickly as you want it to (if at all). You’ll only end up lowering the price of your house, something you could’ve done from the get-go.

2. Has poor communication skills

If your agent does not communicate well with you over important details, you will end up unsatisfied and your goals unmet. It is important that your real estate agent contacts you, especially during crucial times throughout the buying or selling transaction. They should also be available regularly and get back to you within reasonable time frames. The housing market is a fast-paced industry, and poor communication can quickly lead to missed opportunities.

3. Does not know your market

The real estate industry is a localized industry. In selling property, you should choose an agent who knows the area like the back of their hand. If you are buying, you should choose an agent who has knowledge in all the areas of your preference as well as the surrounding areas. This way, you can rest assured that your agent knows exactly what they are talking about.

Since different types of properties have different price ranges, you should choose an agent who specializes in your property’s market. Or, if you are buying or selling at a specific location, properties in that location may have a specific price range. Always ask your realtor if they have specific experience in your market or location.

4. Charges a low commission

Most real estate agents charge a commission of between 5 to 7 percent. The amount is split between the selling agent and the buying agent. So, if a real estate agent offers you a commission lower than the average for your sale, it means that the buying agents will only get only 2% or lower. This will lead to few agents considering the offer, taking a longer time to sell.

5. Sets unrealistic expectations

Although many agents give ‘promises’ based on their analysis of the market, some outcomes are just too good to be true. Be wary of agents who promise unbelievable deals; you need an agent who is optimistic but still sets realistic expectations. That way, you can be confident that they will deliver on their modest guarantees.

6. Doesn’t deal with certain properties

Whether you are buying or selling, you want to have a real estate agent who is familiar with the type of property you are looking at. If your agent specializes only in family homes, for example, they won’t be much help if you are looking for a one-person flat or a condo. Real estate agents who are versatile will be able to give you better recommendations and make you aware of other homes you might not have considered.

7. Doesn’t know the process

The most important thing in buying or selling property is closing the deal. A great agent makes sure that no detail falls under the radar.

Finding a buyer or seller is one thing, but closing the deal is a whole other challenge. When it comes to dealing property, there are details you shouldn’t miss, such as getting the buyer to obtain a pre-approved mortgage or following up with your property’s appraisal. A good real estate agent makes sure that all details regarding the sale or purchase of the property are dealt with accordingly, even before closing the deal.

If your real estate agent exhibits these characteristics, it is a telling sign that they are not a good fit for you. It may be time for you to look for another agent.

Signs of a Great Real Estate Agent

Now that you know the bad, it’s time for you to discover what makes a real estate agent great. Here are some characteristics you should look for in your next real estate agent.

1. Proactive, not reactive

A great real estate agent knows how to be proactive in finding the right solutions for you. They will come to you with a prospective buyers or sellers list and communicate with existing and potential customers. In short, an ideal agent is constantly on the hunt for new leads and opportunities for you.

2. Great attention to detail

In addition to punctuality and being organized, another clear sign of competency and reliability in agents for buyers is the agent’s attention to detail. Great agents continuously and actively watch the market, and they understand even the slightest details that can affect the success rate of your transaction. The best agents also make sure that everything about your transaction, from the presentation to the advertising copy, has accurate information and is in its best form.

3. Great knowledge of the area

When an agent knows the area like the back of their hand, you can be assured that your property is going to be well-taken care of. Agents who are knowledgeable in your area will know the prices of comparable properties, and can appraise your property accurately. These agents will also know how the local market works, and will therefore guide you more accurately.

4. Honest

Since buying or selling property counts as a business transaction, it is important that your agent is honest in all aspects and stages of the transaction, even if the outcome is bad news for you. They must provide you with accurate and true information, and should be totally upfront with you. Remember that a great agent would not wash his integrity down the drain for the sake of making money.

5. Experienced

There is nothing wrong with going for relatively new real estate agents. However, experienced agents usually lead to a closed deal in a shorter period of time. A great real estate agent should have experience and knowledge in property management and other related fields, including local sales experience. It doesn’t hurt to ask how many years of experience your agent has in the field.

6. Great communication skills

A great real estate agent must possess good communication skills. They should respond in a reasonable amount of time whenever you contact them and should ideally contact and update you at all stages of the buying/selling process. A great agent knows how to use their communication skills to promote your property or reach out to potential sellers.

7. Prioritizes your relationship

Real estate is also about building a relationship with your agent, even after closing the deal. A great agent won’t just treat your transaction as a paycheck – they will want to stay in touch and present themselves as a constant source of information and opportunities. In short, a great agent will build a long-lasting relationship with you that you can turn to for all your real estate needs.

When an agent prioritizes you, you will know that your goals and needs are taken into account. A great agent makes sure that you are feeling satisfied and happy. When they prioritize you, you will be updated and well-informed on every detail of the buying or selling process.

8. Resourceful

Problems are inevitable when it comes to buying or selling any property. A great real estate agent finds solutions to these problems by being resourceful. They utilize their available tools to formulate and implement solutions. Before you choose a real estate agent, be sure to ask questions that reveals their resourcefulness and knowledge of the field, as these two come hand-in-hand.

9. Objective and evidence-based

Information, just like in any other industry, gets passed down from agent to agent. However, a great real estate agent knows how to evaluate information and choose what is most relevant for your needs and goals as a buyer or seller. Agents gather evidence to prove and substantiate their proposals and statements. They do not pick their statements from thin air; they do research and base their statements on both quantitative and qualitative sources, such as statistics from government agencies and even user feedback.

Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent (Final Thoughts)

There are tangible characteristics that classify real estate agents as good or bad. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with the signs of a bad real estate agent so that your real estate transactions will not be troublesome. After all, the success of your deals rely on how reliable and competent your real estate agent is.

For a sure and guaranteed hassle-free real estate transaction, you can go to trusted agencies such as FastExpert. Having the biggest database of real estate professionals, FastExpert guarantees you the best and effortless transaction for your next real estate buy/sell.

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