If you ask ten people who have recently bought or sold a home in the past 12 months, the chances are that at least a few of these families will tell you a real estate horror story. Which as an industry representative is both sad and frustrating.
It’s possible that it’s only once you’ve hired a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home you start to realise that you may have hired the wrong one. There are many tell-tale signs that can indicate you may have made a mistake!
Below you will find 10 tell-tale signs that you should be on the lookout for. If you’re buying or selling a home and you’re seeing any of the below signs, it’s likely you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent. If that’s the case, there is also some information below on what to do next in the event you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent.
Lack of Communication
All of the reports and studies show that the number one reason why most sellers become disgruntled with their agent is because there is a lack of communication.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that real estate agents often work long hours which are rarely consistent. But, that’s the choice you make when you choose to become part of the industry.
Now, we all know it’s unrealistic for someone to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but you should be able to reach out to your real estate agent when you need to – and hear back from them within a handful of hours.
Your real estate agent should be, at the very least, letting you know that they’ve received your message and they are working towards getting an answer or will be getting back to you in the next couple hours.
A tell-tale sign that you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent is when you reach out to your real estate agent and you don’t hear back from them for 24-48 hours. This is clearly a lack of communication and can be extremely frustrating for a buyer or seller.
One of the key times that as a home seller you need and want to hear from your agent is after the home open. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas that agents fall down on. As a home seller a few years ago with two small children this drove me nuts. After spending 3 hours juggling cleaning and kids on a Saturday morning it was really important to me to know how the home open went – before I went slowly crazy. I have always made this an important part of my client service strategy as I understand how much it means to the people I represent.
Lack of Confidence & Belief
Confidence is a trait that top producing real estate agents will normally possess. If a real estate agent lacks confidence in them self or doesn’t believe they can sell your home, you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent. I am big believer that energy sells property as buyers can feel it – it’s contagious
How can you identify if a real estate agent has a lack of confidence or belief in themselves? If you’re in the market to sell a home, you need to know what interview questions to ask the agents who you’re interviewing. The same can be said if you’re going to be hiring an agent to help you buy a home.
By asking the right interview questions, you should be able to determine whether a real estate agent has confidence and belief in themselves. Don’t hire the real estate agent because you feel bad for them because you will regret this decision in the future.
A great way to test this is to visit the home opens of the agents you have shortlisted and see how they operate. Do they get you excited about the homes they are representing? Are they engaging buyers? Are they positive?
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where it feels like everything you’re saying is going in one ear and out the other? If this is how every conversation is with your real estate agent and you feel they are preoccupied with something else, you’ve hired the wrong one. You’re the most important person at the moment
A very important trait that real estate agents need is strong listening skills. If a real estate agent is unable to identify what a buyer or seller is expecting, they will fail in the business.
Questions that you should expect to be asked if you’ve hired a top real estate agent include;
- What is your time frame to buy/sell a home?
- What are you looking for in a home?
- What do you expect from me?
- How can I best be of service to you?
- What is your preferred method of communication?
- What improvements or upgrades have you made to your home?
- What made you fall in love with the home ?
If you haven’t heard any of these questions, it’s likely you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent. If the conversations you’re having with your real estate agent don’t seem to be going anywhere or feel like a one-way conversation, the agent is probably lacking listening skills.
Lack of Experience
Experience is important in many professions. If you were having a significant medical procedure done, would you prefer to have a doctor with 1 month of experience on the job or a doctor with 15 years of experience? Pretty obvious you’d want the doctor with 15 years of experience and hundreds of successful past procedures. This is no different in real estate.
A sign that you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent is that they are lacking experience. If you hire a real estate agent who is brand new out of REIWA, the chances the transaction will have some bumps along the way will be much greater than if you hire a real estate agent who has sold hundreds of homes in their career.
Hiring a real estate agent who lacks experience is one of the top reasons a real estate deal falls through. A great way to find out if an agent is lacking experience or not is to ask them for a resume or a list of the homes they’ve sold in the past 12 months. If an agent cannot provide a list of homes they’ve sold in the past 12 months, you may want to reconsider hiring them.
Another tell-tale sign that you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent is that they are unprofessional. There are many things that scream unprofessional when it comes to real estate agents. One of the biggest signs that an agent is unprofessional is whether or not they value your time. Is your real estate agent showing up late to appointments? Are they late to the home open or worse, leave it early? Are they not showing up at all? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent.
Another way to gauge whether your real estate agent is unprofessional or not is by their appearance. If your real estate agent is showing up to appointments with ripped sweatpants, a baseball cap, thongs, and it looks like they haven’t groomed themselves in a week, you’ve hired a real estate agent who is unprofessional.
At some point in life you’re likely to encounter a salesperson who is extremely pushy if you already haven’t. Buying or selling a home is a big deal and a big event. A sign that you’ve hired the wrong person is when you feel like you’re being pushed by your real estate agent.
If you’re selling your home and received an offer on your home and you believe the offer is a low-ball offer but yet your real estate agent is pressuring you to take the offer, you may need to reconsider your agent.
Bottom line, if you feel like you’re being pushed to make decisions that you aren’t comfortable making, it’s a sign you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent.
You Feel Uncomfortable
When buying or selling a home, you need to feel comfortable with your real estate agent. During the home buying or home selling process you should feel comfortable enough to share financial and personal information with your agent. It’s also extremely important you feel that your agent is looking out for your best interests, not their own bank accounts.
A real estate agent who seems like they are desperate should be avoided at all costs. If you’re selling a home and a real estate agent suggests they can sell your home for $100,000 more than any other real estate agent indicated, you need to proceed with caution with this agent.
A desperate real estate agent will tell a home seller anything they need in order to “buy” the listing. This is one of the most common real estate pricing mistakes that homeowners make. If your real estate agent seems desperate to secure your listing or says anything to make a sale, this is a sign you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent!
Having a real estate agent who has strong negotiation skills is critical. Since buying or selling a home is one of the largest transactions you will experience, it’s important you don’t pay too much for a home or accept too little for your home.
Negotiation skills are not only important when determining how much to offer for a home or negotiating the highest price for your home, but it’s also important when negotiating after a home inspection.
If you’re selling your home and the real estate agent you’ve hired is a weak negotiator, it’s possible that you will end up either fixing many “nit-picky items” after a home inspection.
Lack of Marketing Skills & Web Presence
If you’re selling a home, having a real estate agent with a lack of marketing skills and web presence can kill your home sale before it even begins. Top producing agents understand the importance of a digital strategy in real estate as well as the importance of having a strong marketing plan.
A great way to tell if your real estate agent has a strong digital footprint is by performing a simple search of your real estate agents name. If a real estate agent has a strong web presence you should find not only a well-constructed website but also several highly engaging social media profiles and pages.
If you’re unable to find a webpage or any social media profiles for your real estate agent, you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent. You should expect from your agent when selling your home that they will give your home maximum exposure. Having a top performing real estate website and engaging social media profiles and pages are a great way to give exposure to your home!
What to Do When You’ve Hired the Wrong Real Estate Agent?
If you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent when selling a home, what should you do next? If you’ve signed an agreement with the agent, you need to review the agreement. How long of an agreement did you sign? If you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent you should express to them your dissatisfaction. In some cases, the real estate agent will release you from the agreement that you’ve signed…but some may not !
If you’re selling a home and signed an exclusive right to sell contract, you need to review the agreement as well. Some real estate agents will allow a seller to break a contract prior to the expiration with certain conditions and others will not. It’s possible some real estate agents will allow a contract to be broken if the marketing and advertising costs are reimbursed by the seller.
Ultimately, breaking a real estate contract is a case by case scenario. If you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent and you’re looking to find a new one, you need to discuss with the agent you’re working with or their principal.
Hiring the wrong real estate agent can make buying or selling a home even more stressful than it can be in the first place. Since there are so many pieces involved in a real estate transaction, it’s vital that you have a top producing real estate agent in your corner. If you’ve hired the wrong real estate agent, it’s important to address the concerns right away!
A great way to vet your short list of agents is to review their client testimonials. Good agents will also be happy for you to contact previous clients and speak to them personally.
Ratemyagent is the industry’s leading collection point for testimonials and is a great starting point: https://www.ratemyagent.com.au/real-estate-agent/michelle-kerr-bi486/sales/reviews