It’s extremely important for individuals seeking to make a real estate transaction to hire the assistance of a real estate agent, regardless of if they’re buying a new home or selling their current one. But where do buyers and sellers start when finding the agent who is right for them? There are a lot of different real estate agents who can do the job, but they aren’t all created equally. When selecting an agent to hire, buyers and sellers should be on the look out for certain red flags that can identify an inexperienced or unhelpful agent. Here are those red flags.
The Agent Works Part Time
No one would agree to get surgery from a doctor who only works part time, and it should be no different for real estate agents. Not only do agents who work part time not have nearly as much experience as agents who work full time, but they also don’t have as much time to devote to their clients’ needs because their time won’t be split between being an agent and having a secondary job. When choosing an agent, always be sure to ask if they work part time or full time in order to make the best decision.
The Agent Is Unfamiliar With the Area
When buying a home, the agent should be familiar with the area the buyer is interested in. When selling, the agent should be familiar with the area the home is located in on order to make estimates based on similar homes. When interviewing an agent, be sure to ask questions such as “Do you know any homes on the market that suit my needs?” and pay close attention to how they answer. Vague non-answers such as being able to find out later can be signs that the agent is unfamiliar with the locale.
The Agent Recommends an Unrealistic Price For the Home
Everyone wants to get the most money possible out of their home when selling, but there is such a thing as asking for too much money. When speaking with agents, try asking for a rough estimate of what they think the home can sell for. If one agent says a home can sell for $300,000 while three others say it can sell for $250,000, the first agent is likely giving inflated price estimates in order to gain clients. While a homeowner can list their home for as much money as they want, overpriced homes will likely sit on the market for a longer time and may eventually be reduced in price, so agents who endorse overpricing should be avoided.
The Agent Doesn’t Have Any References or Reviews
Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement, and because of this agents like to keep testimonials in an easily accessible location so potential clients can see all the glowing reviews from the clients whom they have helped in the past. When an agent seems to be hiding their references page, it can be because none of their clients gave them any good reviews or that they’re still too new an agent to have many reviews worth showing off. In the case of the former, other agent review websites can be used to see past clients’ true opinions on the agent.
Buying a new home or selling an old one are both massive decisions that can follow someone throughout their life, and choosing the right real estate agent to work with is of the utmost importance. Keeping watch for these four red flags can help ensure that buyers and sellers don’t work with an agent who isn't right for them.