When you decide to sell your home, your hunt for a trusty real estate agent who will make a quick sale at the best price begins. Although you might start your search on the internet, or by asking around for referrals from friends, family or co-workers, the truth of the matter is you can still end up with a bad real estate agent.
Bad agents can be hard to spot. They don’t come with warning labels and even the most intuitive personality readers can miss key signs an agent isn’t on the up and up.
Unfortunately, it’s these bad eggs, that give the rest of us a bad rep. So, while most of us are honest, hard workers who’ll put your best interests first, you could wind up with an agent who just isn’t able to deliver. But can a bad agent really do that much damage? You better believe it!
Overvalued Homes Don’t Sell
What could be better than being told your home is worth many thousands more than what other agents have quoted? After all, your home is perfect, far better than any other homes in the area, right? The problem with this scenario is that price matters. A good real estate agent prices your listing based on comparable homes in your area. They understand what the market will bear and will price your home accordingly.
A bad, or worse, dishonest agent on the other hand puts getting your business first and selling your house second. The result? They convince you your home is worth more than other houses in the neighbourhood to get your listing. The next thing you know, weeks have gone by and no buyers.
The reason? Buyer’s agents know the true value of your home. They’re not about to show an overpriced home to their clients because it’s not the way to build trust. After weeks without showings or offers your agent comes to you humbly and suggests you reduce the price of your home to attract buyers. And here’s the rub.
The combination of a stale listing that has sat on the market for weeks or months in hand with a reduced-price is a red flag to buyers.
Your house still gets passed over because newer, appropriately priced homes are coming on the market every week. You’ve wasted weeks with this agent and might end up having to take your house off the market and try again in a few months. Not cool.
Under Marketed Homes Don’t Sell
Next, often a rookie, or cheapskate move is underestimating the importance of marketing.
Bad agents often skimp on everything needed to sell a home including the most basic marketing must: High quality images and video.
Today everyone shops for everything online. Buyers want to get a feel for a home before they decide to arrange a viewing. That means you need kick ass images of your perfectly staged home to entice buyers to visit in person.
If your agent is holding up their cell phone to take some shots, head them off at the pass and say, “Uh uh!” Professional images and video sell houses. If your agent is a cell phone kind of marketer, you can be almost guaranteed they have a two-step marketing plan:
- Stick a for sale sign on your lawn
- Take some useless pictures with their phone and post them online
You now have less viewings, and those interested in seeing your home already have greatly reduced its value in their minds. That means a lower selling price, even in a sellers’ market where homes are selling like they’re going out of style.
Under Experienced Agents Fail at Negotiations
Nice people often feel obligated to hire their sister’s new boyfriend or neighbour’s cousin when they’re provided with a referral.
The problem with this scenario is knowing someone isn’t enough to make a good reference. You can’t entrust your biggest asset’s sale to just anyone.
While it’s nice to think you’re offering a leg up to someone anxious to prove themselves, they can turn out to be a real dud. Inexperienced agents through no real fault of their own, just don’t have the exposure needed for a smooth, profitable, pain free sale. The things you miss out on when you go with a newbie include:
- An established network of buyers’ agents they can email directly about your listing to drum up interest
- An experienced eye to spot glaring issues and shortfalls in offers
- A savvy negotiator who’ll argue on your behalf for not only the best price, but also the best conditions to suit your needs
- Someone who isn’t so desperate for commission they might convince you to take an offer that’s going to cost you money in lost profits
- A smooth transaction without any blips
An experienced agent provides all these things and more because they’re better prepared to manage hiccups with minimum effort, and perhaps more importantly, help avoid hiccups in the first place.
Aggressive Personalities Lead to Bad Decisions
Even the toughest seller can run into challenges when they go head to head with an overly aggressive agent. It might seem like a great idea to have a forceful person to represent you at the negotiation table, but guess what? They’re also facing you across the table when it comes to decision making.
Aggressive agents not only bully buyers’ agents into yielding to their demands, but also apply those same tactics to their own clients.
You become a victim of their tactics when they decide it’s time to sell even if the price isn’t right. They get their commission and move onto their next unsuspecting client while you’re left underselling your home, while experiencing unnecessary stress.
Double Dippers Bring on Conflicts of Interest
Oh, those two-timing double dippers. These double agents are working both sides of the table, representing you, the seller, and your customer, the buyer. This might not sound so bad, but let’s consider what this means. The agent is getting both shares of the commission on your house sale, so they feel they’ve got a lot more wiggle room when it comes to accepting lowball offers.
This is a huge conflict of interest that puts your profits on the line. This scenario is never good and if an agent even hints at it, walk them to the door – quickly.
While the buyer might be in the better position in this scenario, the seller is at risk of getting the very dirty end of the stick. An agent solely representing you is always focused on getting the highest price and the best conditions.
On the other hand, a double dipper is fine with accepting low ball offers and even accepting unthinkable conditions such as a tight closing date or agreeing to pay for repairs. Since no one’s protecting your best interests, you can easily be misled into believing a bad offer with poor conditions and a low price is actually fair.
Incommunicative Real Estate Agents Miss Important Calls
Some agents spread themselves too thin, taking on more listings then they can handle. They’re eager to get your listing, but then suddenly, radio silence. As the seller you’ve got the right to know what’s happening with your listing. A good agent will keep in constant contact, even if it’s just a quick text to say, “No news yet!”
Not only does lack of communication stress you out and keep you in the dark, but it’s also probably the same treatment buyers’ agents are getting.
If your agent isn’t available to set things up, you’re out of luck. Whether they took on too much work or are avoiding you because your house isn’t selling, the silent treatment is never a good thing from a real estate agent.
Bad Agents in a Nutshell
Choosing the wrong agent will lead to stress, frustration and less than satisfactory results. The good news is, you’ve got the right to end the relationship and find someone with the experience and integrity to guarantee a smooth sale. To end your listing agreement, just call your agent’s broker of record to arrange for a cancellation.
Would you like to know what kick-ass real estate service and results are all about? Contact us at #416-291-7372 to connect with one of our team’s awesome listing agents. We’re here to help!
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