Watch Out For This Types Of Agents
The abundance of beautifully presented real estate websites across the Internet has certainly
given buyers a multitude of places where they can find and view homes for sale. However, the
information provided by all these sites cannot replace the knowledge and experience of a highly skilled real estate agent.
A highly skilled agent can be a huge help in finding the perfect home within your budget or
quickly find a buyer for your existing home. If you get stuck with an inexperienced or careless
agent, he/she could easily mishandle the transaction, leaving you stranded.
With so much at stake, it’s surprising how so many people put so little thought into selecting
their agent, whether they’re looking to buy or trying to sell.
It’s always best to get referrals if you can from friends and family, and to find out who the most
reputable agents are in your neighborhood. You can go online and read a million reviews, but
because most clients don’t bother to write reviews, you’re not going to get the full story on any
of them. So, reach out to a half dozen agents and speak with them at length by phone. Then
arrange to meet with the three or four you like best for an interview. This way you can narrow it
down to the one agent you feel most confident about.
Most real estate agents work as independent contractors who earn a commission on the
transactions they handle, whether they represent the buyer or seller. The commission is paid
out of the proceeds from the sale and is split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent.
Then each agent pays a percentage to the real estate brokerage that holds their license.
When interviewing prospective agents, make sure you ask each one how many listings they’re
currently handling and the total number of homes he/she has sold in your community. You will
also want to know whether he/she works primarily as a seller’s agent or buyer’s agent and how
often the two of you will be in touch and by what means.
If you are listing your home for sale, ask each agent how they plan on marketing your home,
what type of buyer they would target and what methods they would use to attract those buyers.
If you’re looking to buy a home, find out how often the agent would be emailing you listings to
review and how much experience he/she has working with buyers who would be applying for a
VA or FHA loan, if that’s your situation. Do they understand the steps required to obtain these
loans as opposed to conventional loans?
In some cases, a buyer would agree to a buyer/broker commission agreement in which they
would be willing to pay a commission if the agent will agree to show them homes in which the
seller has said up-front that they are not paying a commission. These could be properties in a
newly built development or even For Sale by Owner homes.
Here are some things that should concern you if one or more apply to a real estate agent you’re considering:
Real estate is this agent’s weekend job:
Any smart buyer or seller is going to want the best agent they can find, and it would not be someone who does real estate part time. If you’re looking to buy, you want someone who is following up with you every day. He/she finds out about every listing in your desired neighborhood the minute it comes on the market and immediately passes the information on to you. If you’re the one selling, you need an agent who is available every day of the week to show your home to all interested parties.
A photo of the agent appears alongside several online listings.
Just because their photo appears there does not mean they’re an expert in that neighborhood. Likely they paid an advertising fee to have their picture posted with those listings. This website’s claim that a agent is best qualified to represent buyers or sellers in a given neighborhood must be questioned. Set up a meeting to interview him/her so that you can verify these assertions.
The agent is a family member:
Just because you are related to a real estate agent you should not feel obligated to use them. If they’re a star agent who’s been at this full time for years with a highly successful track record in your neighborhood, then okay. But if not, you could get stuck with an inexperienced agent who wastes a lot of time and botches the transaction.
An agent who doesn’t normally work with clients looking for homes in your price range.
To get good at what they do, real estate agents typically specialize. They may have a lot of clients in a given neighborhood and/or price range. If you are a young couple looking to buy a home in the $700,000-$900,000 price range, you won’t get the attention you need from an agent who routinely shows $10 million listings.
Be concerned if the agent offers a lower commission.
Most the time, the commission will be5% to 6%, split evenly between both agents. If you are offering to pay a lower commission,many agents will not bother to show it. This is not saying you shouldn’t negotiate a somewhat lower commission if your listing agent also represents the buyer. Some newer brokerages will offer to kick back some of their commission to the seller or buyer, but this incentive should not
be what determines who you hire. Choose the agent that you think will do the best job, period!
The agent has little or no experience with your type of home.
If you’re looking for a duplex so you can rent out the back unit, find an agent that specializes in these types of properties in the area you’re looking. Someone who routinely sells single-family homes would not be your best choice unless they also have plenty of experience with other types of properties, including duplexes and triplexes.
If the agent recommends listing your house for the highest price:
If you plan on listing your house for sale, you should ask three or more agents to provide you with a listing presentation. These would include a rundown of what comparable homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for and how long these homes were on the market before they sold. This data is easily available to all the agents who making proposals, so the listing prices they recommend should
all be in the same ballpark. If one agent suggests pricing your home at the higher end, it will likely take much longer to sell and you’ll likely to get less in the end. A lot of buyers won’t even bother looking at it because you’re being unrealistic, and they know it. If you let your house sit on the market too long, people will start thinking there’s a serious problem with it.
An agent who isn’t a strong negotiator.
Many times, the most important aspect of a transaction is not finding the home but ensuring that the deal closes. This means they must make sure that the buyer has a pre-approval letter from their bank regarding a mortgage so the seller will take their offer seriously. If the agent is representing the sellers, they need to make sure there’s an accurate appraisal, that the sellers have clear title and that there will be no surprises during escrow on the home inspection report. These issues should all be cleared up before the home is listed.
The agent isn’t very familiar with your neighborhood.
It’s extremely important that you have an agent who is an expert in the area you’re either buying or selling in. In many cases, similar houses one block over can be valued at $100,000 higher or lower. A neighborhood specialist has a contact list a mile long and may even have a client on the lookout for a house like yours. They also likely know sellers who have yet to list their homes and can show you their “pocket”
listings before they hit the MLS.
contact us online at bestagentsmatch.com if you are looking for a highly reputable real estate agent in your neighborhood. Best Agents Match is a free online platform that both buyers and sellers use to find the best real estate agents in their area. We take the time to understand what it is you’re looking for and then connect you with the right local agent that can meet your specific