We say it all the time. Hiring the wrong agent can effect the outcome of any real estate transaction. Here are a couple of real life recent examples showing dangers of hiring the wrong REALTOR ®
Vacant Land Sale Lost
You are the seller of a vacant lot. You have an agent. Along comes a buyer, he has his own agent. We always recommend each side has their own representation.
This deal started with a formally written offer to purchase your land. The offer was very good, a cash purchase and reasonably close to your asking price. Based on comparable sales it’s what you should expect to sell for. The offer was declined because you wanted the asking price. We don’t know who advised you, we assume it might be your agent but it might not, it might be you. You declined the offer. The buyer moved on.
A month or so later your agent came back to the buyer asking if still interested and a slightly reduced amount that would be accepted. The buyer said no. He was firm on his original number. This happened twice and at the third attempt a deal was in play but now it was only a verbal acceptance because the original written contract had been declined. The buyer did not bring you a new written offer, you went back and asked verbally. Several weeks had passed between the original written offer and your attempts at reviving negotiations. Everything on the original written offer was out of date. We should have closed by the time you reconnected with us.
You would get to sell your land for a reasonable amount, a buyer was happy with the amount he was going to pay. The buyer asked if he could read the HOA docs before making his offer formal again. As the property owner you should have been given the documents when you purchased the lot just a year ago. Yet when asked they are not being produced.
The buyers agent asks your agent to produce them. The answer that came back is you don’t have them, try contacting the builder. He never responds to the request and it appears you, the property seller are not interested in producing your own copy or chasing down another copy, you are expecting the buyer to do it. It’s not his job! After 3 weeks of trying no-one can produce the documents, the buyer gives up and 5 months later your property is not sold, not under offer.
If Things Had Gone To Plan With The Original Written Offer
- Had you been realistic about accepting an offer just below your asking price you sale would likely have closed.
- In a written offer acceptance your attorney is compelled to produce the HOA documents as part of the written contract by the buyers attorney. So someone would have need to get them, not pass the buck to the buyer who stands very little chance f acquiring them because he has no legal basis.
- You would have been kept informed of process from start to close.
- Sale closes.
What Went Wrong?
We can only make certain assumptions here, so we’ll include them all.
- You received poor or no advice about the pricing and possible sales price for the property.
- You received little if any input from your agent about the vacant land market, i.e. how many sellers and how many buyers.
- Your agent called the shots on pricing and offer acceptance, not you.
- Did you ever know there was a request for the HOA docs?
- Did you thrown your HOA docs away? Maybe you did not understand their importance.
- Do you understand the buyer has no legal basis to demand the HOA docs from anyone, only with an accepted written contract can they be compelled. That’s why we asked you!
- Did you know the difference between a written offer versus a verbal one?
- Did you realize the buyer deemed your inaction to be a sign of non co-operation, lake of good faith?
As you can see, it’s possible that some or all of the events that occurred may be all you, part you and part agent or all agent. I doubt it was all you and the series of events as they occurred lead to a sale not happening. Maybe your intent is not to sell?
Home Purchase Lost
You are the buyer, you have an agent. You see a property you like, you go back for a second showing. After several days your agent submits an offer but it’s a very low offer based on comparable sales. The seller has his own agent. This is great, each side represented individually.
The seller is insulted but agrees to counter your offer with a reasonable price reduction. This happens within an hour or so of receiving your offer. Two days later your agent follows up to see what our response is. He has forgotten the lengthy conversation that occurred between agents when the counter offer was given. Maybe he did not read the email with it in either? Two days lost.
You come back with another counter offer but your offer is still insulting. At this point your agent still has not produced a mortgage approval. The seller chooses to decline your offer and move on. Now your agent comes begging for a bottom line offer the seller would accept. As a listing agent, my job is to protect my seller client and maximize the amount he sells for, not give away his money. It is a ridiculous request. The request is denied. Now your agent is begging me to help him explain to you about the sellers pricing. That is not my job. That is his job. He does not want you to become disillusioned.
Two days forward and we still do not have a response from your agent, we still have not received a letter of mortgage approval. You do not have an offer in play because the seller decline your last attempt. The seller has moved on.
If a Better Offer Had Been Presented
Had you presented a complete offer with a mortgage approval it would have been faster and smoother. Had you seen the data for this property, the comparable sales and the knowledge that Barrington homes sell around 95% of asking, your offer would either have been realistic or you would never have looked at it in the first place. If you took poor advice from your agent, you now know it was poor advice. If you ignored good advice from your agent your result is the same. Rejection.
What Went Wrong?
We can only make certain assumptions here, so we’ll include them all.
- Either you, your agent or both of you together made an assumption that the property owner was desperate to sell.
- You considered a low ball offer was the way to success. That was poor advice.
- Homes in Barrington are selling at 95% of asking price. Does your agent know that. Do you? Who chose to ignore it?
- You looked at properties in a price you could never afford.
- You never produced an approval that shows you can afford to buy the property.
- You and your agent are not staying on top of any response from the seller side and forget the state of play.
- Your side is extremely slow to respond.
- Your side is assuming no-one else is interested in the property and this will likely lose you the purchase.
- Your agent was antagonistic from the start. He pushed the listing agent thinking she would cave and give him what he wanted, against the best interests of her client.
- He assumed she was useless!
- Your agents ego did him no favors and you did not benefit.
Dangers of Hiring The Wrong REALTOR
Both cases show that there are real dangers and poor outcomes, the reality is you may not even know how much the outcome was as a result of poor representation.
Sadly these two case studies are just a small selection of sales that did not occur and could have been due to poor service from bad real estate agents. They highlight the dangers of hiring the wrong REALTOR ®. Both showed the lack of caring and effort needed to bring parties together to complete sales. It starts with knowledgable advice and continues with guidance, support and effort.
Interviewing To Find Better Representation
Real estate agents are not all the same. Each is an independent contractor and provided they abide by the law, there’s rarely any policing from the sponsor. Sponsors are the companies that agree to let then work under their hat. Rarely are agents employees of a company.
This means that agents are self employed, running their own little businesses.
You would be wise to interview three agents before hiring one to work with. Have a list of questions that really matter to you. Carefully consider the answers given. Watch out for canned responses or answers that appear too good to be true. Remember that experience and longevity do not necessarily mean expertise and the best service, quite the contrary.
Consider workload. Any broker with a lot of listings maybe cannot offer good follow up or communication because of volume. If a buyers agent only works weekends, will this be the best choice you can make. Experience, availability, approachability, professionalism, like-ability, many things you should consider for you. And don’t forget to seek out and read reviews and testimonials.
Signs of a Bad Buyers Agent
Unfortunately it’s often after starting to work together buyers realize the agent is not for them. It’s just like dating, everything seems alright and you decide to hook up. Then after a very short while it’s clear it’s not a good match. Maybe you are experiencing tricks real estate agents play. You feel you are getting bad advice from REALTOR® or your complaint is ” REALTOR rushing me “. Perhaps you selected a bad buyer agent or think you did. These are common complaints. Your next thought is how to get rid of your real estate agent.
Before taking any action you must be sure your complaints are justified. I always suggest a sit down heart to heart conversation. We understand the law and how our system works. Maybe your expectations are wrong, perhaps you are not fully aware of the laws in real estate, how each side works. Every state is different! It’s time for some education before you go jumping from one fire right into another.
If you still feel your complaints and experiences are not what is either legal or what you expected, start interviewing new agents. Find one that understands your objectives and seems genuinely interested in helping you achieve them. Then request to be released by the old one.
Signs of a Bad Selling Agent
The same is true as with buyers agents, you start working together and as time passes your expectations are not being met. Your expectations might include:
- More marketing
- More showings
- More communication
- More advice
- Better follow up
- Marketing feedback
- Instant sale, fast sale, great sale.
The signs of a bad selling Realtor are not what’s happening or not happening. It’s usually not meeting the promises made from your original interview. It’s often the case a real estate agent will make promises in an effort to “buy” your business. You are then trapped in a written contract!
Your objectives might not be possible. Your expectations may be self created and not possible. Were you educated about pricing and the state of real estate market in your area? Are you hoping for something just not possible. Or are you not receiving those promises? Do you feel your agent was dishonest!
You should ask to speak with your agent, preferable in a face to face meeting. See if things can be settled. Find a way to move forward.
Top Five Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
I think the word bad is not best used here. I prefer inefficient and lacking effort to get a job done. Nevertheless here they are:
- Lack of communication.
- Lack of leadership.
- Unused resources.
- Too much pressure.
- Lack of follow up.
This amounts to an agent not letting you know what’s going on, even if it is nothing, a communication break down. It’s hard to repair it! If your agent agrees with everything you say, they are not showing much initiative or strength. This will hurt your sale or purchase or even prevent it. If an agent does not use what’s available to them, i.e. they are not willing to put dollars on the table to help you, awful when considering marketing property. If you are constantly being asked which house you want to buy, the only thing the agent is interested in is the paycheck at the end and moving to the next client. Lack of follow up is the same as lack of effort.
One question often asked is can I fire my real estate agent. The answer is it depends, we did answer the question about firing buyers agents. It can be harder to fire a listing agent. It all depends on what your written contract with the agents brokerage states. Any contract as a buyer or seller is with the brokerage not the agent. You should have been provided a copy of the contract within 24 hours of signing it! Start there.
So what do you do when your Realtor ignores you? Call the agents managing broker or call me!
Contact Corinne Guest REALTOR®
Let me know how I can help with your real estate purchase or sale in the Barrington area. We can discuss your goals and my strengths. I’ll even let you know my weaknesses, we all have both. All brokerages have different business models, as do agents.
- Some agents are specialists, they focus on a niche or several smaller niches.
- Some agents are generalists and take anything offered.
- It’s impossible to assume we all fit together and work the same way, because we don’t.
- Interview and learn and then decide if you and an agent are likely to be a good fit.