Whether you’re buying or selling your home, finding a good realtor is a vital part of the process. Realtors are who make the real estate world go round and make sure houses get off the market as quickly as possible. In fact, 98% of buyers who use them are in the end glad that they did, so you can see why this is so important! Below are a few red flags to watch out for when choosing between realtors:
Flag #1: The Chemistry Is Wrong
By this we mean, if it doesn’t feel right at first, it probably isn’t. If you have trouble speaking to your realtor or they rub you the wrong way for some reason, then they’re probably not the realtor for you! When choosing between realtors, it’s okay to be a little selfish. After all, choosing between houses and condos is hard enough without having to deal with a personality clash on top of the buying or selling process. If something about the interaction grinds your gears, move down your short list — after all, there are over 2 million realtors nationwide to choose from.
Flag #2: The Realtor Only Works Part Time
Even if they seem crisp and professional, the fact is that part time realtors simply aren’t paying as much attention to the market as people for whom real estate is a full time job. If you’re buying, you want someone on your side who is keeping two sharp eyes out for the best deals, and if you’re selling, you want a realtor who is always around to show off your beautiful home and find a buyer worth negotiating with.
Flag #3: The Agent Is Related To You In Any Way
While it’s true that 40% of buyers find their realtor through family and friends, we really don’t recommend finding your realtor within the family or friend circle. Unless they happen to be fully qualified and know the local market intimately, chances are they’re not as good as someone you’d find locally and even worse, they’re not nearly as objective. You don’t want to breed resentment within your personal life should you decide not to take the realtor up on any sales.
Flag #4: The Agent’s Commission Is Suspiciously Low
Much like suspiciously low rent, if an agent’s commission is lower than 5-7%, there’s probably a reason for that, and you’re probably not going to like it. At best, the realtor is just starting out and is trying to undercut the competition, but that means they’re green and probably not as familiar with the layout as someone more seasoned. At worst, they have a black mark on their record of some sort.
Flag #5: They Are Unrealistically Optimistic About Home Pricing
This is mostly for sellers, but before you commit to a realtor it is vital that you get a list presentation from at least a few agents. This is simply a list of what comparable homes have sold in the area and how long the sale took. Lucky for you, the realtors are all looking at the same data bank to make these presentations, so their suggested listing prices should be similar. You’ll know a bad realtor if their suggested asking price is many times higher than everyone else’s. Going with a high asking price can be very bad for you and increases your chances of the house languishing on the market.
We hope we’ve made this decision just the tiniest bit easier! Now get out there and buy (or sell) that house!