The typical real estate agent is an independent contractor. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you want to make sure that you hire the best real estate agent to handle your transaction. You should not feel like it is out of line to ask questions about the number of listings he or she has, how often he or she is willing to communicate with you, how many homes he or she has sold in your area, and other relevant questions. There are few bad signs when it comes to real estate agents, and here are nine that you should not disregard if they come up.
1. The agent is suggesting the highest possible price for your home. If you are selling your home, make sure to get listing presentations from a minimum of three agents. They will tell you the prices of comparable homes, as well as how long they have taken to sell. Since they are all looking at the same data, the listing prices that they suggest should not be too far from one another. You should keep in mind that pricing a home too high at the beginning will often mean that it takes a longer time to sell. Also, if a home is on the market for too long, it is likely that buyers will start to wonder what is wrong with it.
2. Real estate is this agent’s part time job. You want an agent who will actively be following the market on a daily basis. If the person is only in this field part-time, his or her focus will be divided.
3. The agent is related to you. Unless this relative happens to be a talented full-time agent who specializes in your type of sale, he or she is not very likely to do as well at this job as another agent. You should not hire someone just because he or she is related to you.
4. The agent is unfamiliar with your neighborhood’s real estate landscape. It is important that you find someone who is an expert when it comes to the homes in your neighborhood. An agent who specializes in a particular neighborhood is more likely to be in touch with buyers who want a home just like any given seller’s or sellers who are putting homes on the market that any given buyer may find ideal.
5. The agent’s commission is relatively low. Fewer agents will be willing to show a home where the commission is low. In the majority of cases, commissions are split between the buying and selling agents. It can be tempting to lower the commission, but this could end up in your house being on the market for a longer time. It may be possible to lower the commission if one agent ends up both listing and selling your home.
6. You found the agent through online listings. Though the agent could potentially be a good choice, you should not take it as a given that he or she is just because the person’s face is on online listings. Interview the agent yourself to find out how good of a fit he or she is for you.
7. The agent is not accustomed to dealing with your type of property. For the best possible results, you want to make sure that the agent is familiar with the type of property that is involved in your transaction.
8. The agent normally works with buyers outside of your price range. An agent who typically handles listings outside of your price range may not give your transaction the attention it deserves.
9. The agent does not keep up with the transaction details or is not a good negotiator. Often, an agent’s most important work is not finding the home of interest but making sure that the transaction goes all the way to closing. There are a lot of details that need attention to go through the entire process.
Jodi Bakst, Broker-Owner of Real Estate Experts, works with a highly trained team of strong buyer and seller agents serving Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary, Apex and Morrisville, North Carolina
November 20, 2016