Not all real estate relationships are a good match. Sometimes there are compelling reasons for parting ways with your agent. Here are our top 10:
- The Yes Man (or Woman). Some agents “buy” listings, meaning they will take a listing at any price just to win it. They figure they can always lower the price down the road when it doesn’t sell. It’s a silly business plan. We don’t get paid until your house sells, so it’s in our best interest to provide you with the best pricing advice, period. If an agent comes in with an inflated price, or agrees to your own ludicrous one (no disrespect, Seller), make sure they have the chops to prove it. Pricing a home isn’t a science. That said, demand to see recent comps and ask a lot of questions.
- Length of Service. This one might surprise you. Experience counts. But so does attention to detail, enthusiasm, and follow through. We’ve had dealings with some very “experienced” agents that were nightmarish, and delightful transactions with some agents in the green category. So, you shouldn’t necessarily shy away from a newer agent. We were all new, once.
- The Know-it-all. Don’t you just hate being with people who claim to have all the answers. Real estate is an evolving, ever-changing practice. Cati and I have been in the business for almost 30-years combined, and trust me, we don’t have answers to everything. Occasionally we have to ask… and we’ll let you know if that’s the case.
- Do you click? Sometimes people just don’t mesh well. Real estate transactions can last a long time. Be honest with yourself (and your agent). If it’s not working out, cut the cord and move on.
- Can you find your agent? Quite often we get calls from buyers wanting to see our listings. Sometimes, with a little digging, we learn that they already have an agent, but said agent is vacationing in Bimini for the next 2-weeks, and can we let them in? For goodness sake! Make sure your vacationing agent has a back up plan. For that matter, make sure your agent returns your phone calls and e-mails in a timely manner. Things are competitive out there, folks. You need someone who can react quickly.
- Market Updates. Anyone can send them. Heck, you can set them up yourself now with all of the Search Engines out there. What you really need is someone to cull through the batch and pick out the ones on which you should focus. We do this obsessively. Our goal is to let you know when to JUMP TO IT.
- Location, Location, Location… and we don’t mean this in the traditional way. Where does your agent live? Where do they typically practice? If they live over in Fairfax County, VA, chances are they can’t point you the way to the nearest coffee shop, let alone elementary school, if your search is focused in on Bethesda, Maryland. Hire a local agent and soon you’ll know the ins and outs of the town.
- It’s a rather Zen-like thing to say, but think of us as your Guide… not as your Dictator. If you’re selling a house, you set the price – we merely advise (sometimes quite strenuously). As a buyer… you get to choose the house, not us. You should never feel guilted into putting an offer in on a house, or pressured to live in a particular neighborhood because the realtor says so. If you do, it’s time to run.
- It’s our job to take you through the steps. Sometimes we get rushed for time and race through the signing of an offer… but we’ll always try to summarize what you are signing and why. If you’ve got an agent with a “sign here” mentality, be very careful.
- It is our duty to look out for your best interests. Always. We’ll look out for you as we negotiate the terms of a sale, work our way through inspection contingencies, or discover irregularities with title. If an agent brushes aside some of your legitimate concerns (should I be worried about a wet basement? Or a neighboring fence that sits on my lot?, etc.), challenge them. If it doesn’t ring true, chances are, it ain’t right.
So, if you’re feeling like the pained guy in the photo, for goodness sake, ditch your agent.
And if we can help answer any questions about buying or selling, or administer some friendly advice about real estate, please give us a call. We’re here to help.