7 Red Flags To Avoid When Looking For A Real Estate Agent

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Buying or selling your property is an important event in your life and you will expect everything to go smoothly. If you decide to work with an agent, your greatest concern will be finding the right one. Most real estate agents are dedicated and focused on making sure that their clients close their deals in the best way possible. However, you may find yourself in the hands of an agent whose main priority is just to make money, or one who’s incompetent in this line of business. This may result in a botched transaction, leaving you with distress and more problems.

couple talking to real estate agent

So how do you avoid falling into the hands of the wrong agent?  Below are some red flags to look out for when looking for a real estate agent:

1. Suggests The Highest Price For The Property

When selling your house, it’s only natural that you’ll want to sell it for the best price. You may therefore be tempted to go with the agent that has the highest listing. But before you make that move, check with at least 3 other agents who have listings of similar properties to compare prices. Head to  www.localagentfinder.com.au to compare agents and their fees. If your house is over priced, it risks sitting in the market for a long time, and ultimately, you may be forced to sell it for a lower amount than your original asking price. Moreover, potential buyers regard a house that has stayed in the market for too long with negative suspicions. You should therefore avoid an agent who’s pushing for the highest price.

2. Is Inexperienced

When buying or selling your property, you’ll want to work with a professional and experienced real estate agent. You’ll want an agent who’s active and knows the market, one who’s able to jump at new listings to show you if you’re a buyer, or is available to show your property to potential buyers if you’re selling. If a real estate agent doesn’t understand real estate terms, often lacks the initiative to engage personally with potential buyers or sellers, and has difficulty in explaining any information regarding the real estate industry clearly shows that they’re inexperienced and incompetent in this field, thus considering it a major red flag.

3. Is Not Conversant With The Neighborhood

Whether you’re selling or looking for property to buy, getting an agent who’s familiar with the neighborhood is important. An agent conversant with your neighborhood will most likely know people who’re selling or want to buy well in advance even before the properties are listed. The agent will also be familiar with the market value of properties in your neighborhood block by block. If an agent relies on other agents to get information about the property market prices in your area, your chances of ending up with a bad deal will be very high. If your real estate agent lacks the required initiative and effort to deliver all the information needed with the property’s neighborhood, this is certainly a red flag.

family talking to real estate agent

4. Charges Low Commission   

The commission charged in property transactions is usually in the range of 5-7%. Beware of agents who charge very low commissions. Such agents mostly make a living from selling volume. Their mind is usually set on how much business they’ll do within a short time and therefore have no time to dedicate to each sale. The only effort that they’ll make is to list your property. Their interaction with potential clients and availability will be limited, so your property is at risk of staying in the market for a long time. Try to reflect on this, if an agent can’t properly negotiate their fees, how would you expect them to negotiate a good deal for your property? Beware of this kind of agent who’ll lure you with sweet talk and low commission proposals.

5. Doesn’t Always Deal With Your Type Of Property

Each real estate agent has a specific property type they deal in. Rarely will you find one that’s an expert in all. Before you commit yourself, be sure that your agent is the right one for your property type. For instance, if you’re selling a condominium, hire an agent who sells condominiums, if you’re looking for commercial property, choose one who works with investors. Don’t go by the agent’s online portal which might state their expertise in dealing with your property type, go a step further and check their activity list. If your property type rarely appears on their list, let it serve as a red flag.

6. Does Not Usually Work With Clients In Your Price Range

Choosing an agent who usually works with clients within the range of your property value should not be overlooked. The people in your agent’s circle are a particular class. If you work with an agent whose price range is higher than your property’s value, you’re likely to get less attention. On the other hand, if you work with an agent whose price range is lower than your property value, you may not be well represented. This is because your agent may feel intimidated and may not be able to confidently negotiate on your behalf.

7. Fails To Keep Up With Transaction Details

Selling or buying property can cause a lot of anxiety. You’ll therefore want your agent to be on top of things and expect them to update you every step of the way. If your agent has to make some calls to consult every time you ask about the progress of your transaction, then you’re in the wrong hands. It means that your agent doesn’t really care about you and is just there to make money from the commission.

Conclusion

A good agent should start by asking you about your plans and goals, so that they may know if they’re well placed to act on your behalf. If you find yourself in a place where your agent portrays the above-mentioned points, it could be time to change your agent or not consider them at the get-go. But if you’re still looking, you’re now well equipped. Keep in mind that everyone wants to work with a real estate agent that looks and acts the part. Good luck with your search for the right one.

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