Buying and selling a home is a huge life event, and the right real estate agent is the most important person you’ll work with during the transition.
Choosing the right real estate agent is an important resource; they can help break down complex real estate concepts, walk you through the logistics of buying or selling a home and can help move the process along, saving you time, money and energy in the process.
But unfortunately, not all real estate agents are created equal. And while the right real estate agent can make the buying or selling process a breeze, the wrong agent can leave you feeling frustrated with a far too long, expensive and overwhelming real estate experience.
Here are four signs it’s time to cut your current real estate agent loose and find the right real estate agent:
1. You just don’t vibe
Just because a real estate agent is competent and capable of helping you buy or sell your home doesn’t mean they’re the right real estate agent for you. Sometimes, no matter how experienced or skilled they are, you just don’t vibe with your agent.
During the buying or selling process, you’re going to be extremely involved with the right real estate agent. Between showings and contract negotiations and phone conferences, you’ll spend more time with your real estate agent than pretty much anyone else in your life until your home is bought or sold. Which is why it’s important that your personalities work well together.
You don’t have to be best friends with the right real estate agent, but it’s ideal to have some sort of personal connection. You’re entrusting them with one of the biggest purchases or sales of your life, and it’s important that you trust them and believe they have your best interest at heart. You also have to at least be able to tolerate their personality; as mentioned, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them, and if their personality clashes with yours, it’s going to make the whole process less enjoyable.
If you find that your personality is just not a good match for your real estate agent, do yourself (and them!) a favor and find a new agent.
2. Your real estate agent is slow to respond
Things in the real estate world happen quickly, and in order to maximize your time, effort and money, you need the right real estate agent who’s on top of things. And with today’s easy access to technology, there’s no reason your agent should be out of touch for long.
While it’s unrealistic to expect your real estate agent to drop everything every time you reach out, they should respond to all requests (whether through phone, text or email) within a reasonable time frame – which, in the real estate world, is a few hours max. Even if the response is a simple “I’m with another client and will get in touch at X time,” a good real estate agent will make sure to give you the attention you need to successfully buy or sell your home.
If you find that your emails or calls go unanswered for an entire day or longer, you should have a conversation with your real estate agent to establish communication expectations. If things don’t improve, it’s time to look for a new agent.
3. Sellers: Your house has been on the market too long
There’s no magic number for how long your house should be on the market before it sells. But a good real estate agent should be able to sell your home in a similar timeframe of other homes in your area. If your neighbors sold their home in 30 days and your house has been sitting on the market, it’s time to start asking questions.
There are many reasons your home might not be selling, like being priced too high. But your real estate agent should advise you on the reasons your home isn’t selling and make suggestions as to how to get the house sold. If your house has been sitting on the market longer than other homes in your area and your real estate agent doesn’t have any insight or suggestions, it’s probably time to move on.
4. Buyers: You’re finding more properties on your own than through your agent
If you’re buying a home, a huge part of your real estate agent’s job is to send you properties they think would match what you’re looking for. Depending on your market, your agent should be sending you new listings on at least a weekly basis. If you’re consistently finding more properties on your own by combing through listings on real estate sites than you are through your real estate agent, it’s time to find someone new.
Your real estate agent can make or break the process of buying or selling your house. And if you’re not happy with your agent, you owe it to yourself to find someone you feel is the best fit for you and your real estate goals.
I would love to be your right real estate agent her in the Oakland County, Michigan area! Please feel free to call me anytime 248-790-5594
It’s illuminating to visit For Sale by Owner websites from time to time to see if there are any new insights to be gleaned. True, as a licensed Farmington Hills Realtor®, I’m not likely to learn much new when it comes to selling Farmington Hills homes—but that’s not the motivation. Call it ‘opposition research:’ the reason is to uncover any areas where the services I provide aren’t superior to what a do-it-yourselfer can come up with on their own.
Here are some takeaways from the For Sale By Owner sites Google recently presented as the most frequently consulted sites. I’ve included my opinion about the pronouncements—either valid or less than valid:
Valid: Valuing your house is an important step toward FSBO success. Absolutely true, if “valuing your house” means incorporating the latest Farmington Hills comparable sales adjusted for the features that make your property unique.
Valid but irrelevant: Your lender will more likely sell your mortgage to another bank, sometimes within the first 72 hours. Although this is sometimes true, it has nothing to do with anything a potential Farmington Hills FSBO owner needs to worry about.
Valid: “This should be no cause for alarm.” The reason why the above pronouncement about mortgage lenders’ procedures is a non-issue.
Less valid: “[name of an online service] is a free tool that instantly estimates your home’s value…” As has been shown time and again, automated systems (even the top 3 national ones) can come up with wacky valuations—it’s why they ask homeowners for corrections. Compiling a carefully researched, up-to-the-minute comparable presentation is only one part of what you can expect from any licensed Realtor. Both are free.
Less valid: Whether you list your home with an agent…or sell your house on your own, it is going to involve considerable effort on your part. More candid would be pointing out that the considerable marketing, advertising, and negotiating activities in addition to timely compliance with all legal and financial deadlines are parts of the considerable effort that your Farmington Hills agent undertakes for non-FSBO sellers.
Valid: Another pricing [tactic]…is calling a real estate agent for a Comparative Market Analysis…the agent’s point of view could be valuable. I couldn’t agree more!
Farmington Hills FSBO properties are commonly passed up by serious-minded house hunters wishing to avoid non-professionals in such a major transaction. Since those are the prospects sellers should try hardest to attract, that’s one point you never find on any FSBO web site.
In case you’ve been toying with the For Sale by Owner idea, I hope you’ll first give me a call for a no-obligation discussion of your property and goals—and what makes the most sense for you!
Buying a home is the biggest investment you’ll likely ever make, and it has all sorts of implications for your personal and financial future. This is why it’s so important to work with the right agent and not the wrong agent.
Too many people don’t realize just how much can go wrong if they make the wrong hire. There are some very serious problems that can arise if you accidentally work with the wrong person to buy or sell a home. Here are some of them:
1. The wrong agent is not listening
A professional real estate agent (or any other professional for that matter) will take the time to listen and understand their client and the client’s needs. The wrong one, however, isn’t going to listen to what you have to say, and will instead focus on what they want for themselves.
This will set the precedent for the rest of the process and make any real estate transaction a miserable experience. An agent who doesn’t take the time to know your wants and needs will cause you stress, confusion and heartache.
2. Bad advice
If there’s one thing you need a competent agent for, it’s the advice they’re able to provide. A good agent will serve as your trusted advisor, guiding you through the myriad of decisions you’ll make when buying or selling a home.
A bad agent, however, will either give you advice that’s not based on any experience or research, or is just plain self-serving. This can cost you financially or prevent you from accomplishing your goals altogether.
3. Failed negotiations
Lots of people consider themselves good negotiators, but very few actually are. While negotiating might be just one part of real estate, it’s an important one. You need someone on your side who’s working in your best interests in a competent and effective way.
A bad agent will either negotiate in such a way that attainable deals fall through, or will simply negotiate in their own best-interests rather than the interest of their clients (you).
4. Lack of responsiveness
This may or may not be one of your pet-peeves, but unresponsiveness in something as complex as a real estate transaction can be an absolute nightmare for the person whose money, home, and future are on the line.
A great agent and is available most any time you need them (within reason). The wrong one, however, will let your calls, messages, and emails go unanswered while you worry yourself sick about what’s happening (or not happening).
5. Missed opportunities
Real estate is a business that moves quickly, especially when the market is hot. Even when there’s high demand, there are still opportunities for buyers, and a good agent will know how to spot them and take advantage quickly.
The wrong agent will miss good opportunities because they’re unable to recognize them, will move too slowly and miss them, or just generally not care.
6. Legal pitfalls
Real estate is complex by nature, and legal questions arise on a frequent basis. Thankfully, good agents have the knowledge and resourcefulness to help you navigate them and can find solutions even if they’re not immediately apparent.
Hiring the wrong agent will mean that when the inevitable problems creep up during the transaction, they’ll either give you the wrong advice on what to do, or will simply look at you and shrug their shoulders.
7. The process won’t be enjoyable
There’s no rule that says a real estate transaction has to unpleasant. Yes, it’s a lengthy process that has lots of implications. But if you take a step back and think about it, buying or selling a home is usually a positive thing—whether it’s an upgrade, a money-saving downgrade, or a general lifestyle change. You should work with someone who can at least make it a pleasant experience.
And that’s the thing about hiring the wrong agent. They’re all but guaranteed to make the process one that you won’t enjoy.
So choose your next real estate agent wisely; your happiness—and the height of your high five when it’s over—will likely depend on it.
Sellers Loose Lips Can Lose Leverage
When sellers decide to sell their home, they may find themselves justifying their choice to anyone who’ll listen. But, as the old saying goes, “Loose lips sink ships.”
In today’s world where sharing is the norm, sometimes keeping your rationale for making a move all to yourself is the right move. Though sellers would never intentionally want to harm their chances of securing the best deal possible, by being a little too honest, they can ultimately lose leverage when it comes to negotiating.
The following are 8 things home sellers should never reveal (except to their Realtor).
1. “These taxes are killing me!”
No one enjoys paying property taxes, but watching them spike over time can be a huge turnoff for some homeowners — particularly those who don’t take advantage of public school districts or other amenities funded by tax dollars. Still, sellers who share that they believe they’re grossly overpaying will cause buyers to think twice.
2. “I just want to live in a quiet neighborhood.”
Whether they’re surrounded by garage bands, screaming kids, or barking dogs, if sellers are moving to get a little peace and quiet, they’ll probably want to keep that info hush-hush. Even if would-be buyers seem like heavy metal head-bangers, sellers don’t want to let them know they haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months.
3. “The house needs a lot of work.”
Old roof? Rickety porch stairs? Outdated kitchen? If sellers believe their home needs more TLC than they can handle, they shouldn’t discourage potential investors with their constant complaining. To DIY enthusiasts, the chance to purchase a “fixer-upper” may be just what they’re looking for.
4. “My neighbors are crazy.”
Living alongside quirky neighbors can make life a little difficult. But just because sellers and the folks next door haven’t become BFFs, that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to new residents.
5. “I’ve had some pest problems.”
From spider infestations to termite troubles, these issues will likely turn up during a home inspection anyway. So, either deal with the pest problems ahead of time or prepare to hear about it when that report comes back. Either way, announcing it isn’t going to make the situation any better.
6. “I no longer feel safe here.”
Safe can be a relative term. What feels like a dicey neighborhood to some may actually be a step up from where others lived previously. Buyers can do their due diligence by checking with local police departments for crime statistics.
7. “I have to move for work.”
When sellers let everyone know that they absolutely must move, it could inspire potential buyers to make a low-ball offer. When there’s a sense of urgency or panic in a seller’s tone, it’s tempting for buyers to take advantage.
8. “We’ve outgrown this house!”
Just because owners may feel as if their house has been shrinking over time, that doesn’t mean it won’t seem like a palace to someone else. Let the square footage speak for itself. That said, decluttering and staging can go a long way toward making even the most diminutive dwelling seem bigger.
Seller: Bottom line?
Deceiving potential buyers is never the goal (doing this can land you in legal trouble) — but there is such a thing as “saying too much.” Don’t be a victim of your own words. Instead, let your Realtor do the talking for you.
Much like attorneys, Realtors are skilled professionals who know what to say, and when to say it. There are moral and legal parameters that dictate what should be disclosed, and you should give full reign to your Realtor in this regard.