7 Red Flags to Look Out For When Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent is an important part of the home buying and selling journey. Finding the right agent who understands your goals, matches your personality, and can get the job done is crucial to having a good experience.
So when you’re interviewing agents and searching for the right pro to be by your side, beware of these 7 red flags. Like any relationship, you deserve better.
1. Zero online presence
Reviews, references, and an online presence is essential because it helps you truly get to know the agent. If it’s a seller’s agent, a look at their social media should tell you a bit about how they promote their clients online. And whether you’re looking for help buying or selling, it’s crucial to read their reviews and fully vet the professional.
2. They don’t text
Your agent should be easily accessible to you, and text is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay on top of everything. Whatever your preferred mode of communication – email, text, or calls – make sure your agent is willing to be available to you.
No one is free 24/7, but having that quick line of communication is key. Everyone is on the go and it’s important to stay in touch during multiple offer negotiations, last minute showings, and more.
3. Braggarts with no backup
Every real estate agent will want to show off their impressive sold properties and the numerous tools and strategies they can bring to the table if you work together. But there’s a difference between showing your strengths and setting unrealistic expectations. When hiring a real estate agent, make sure you’re having an honest and earnest discussion – not being sold.
For example, here at First Team we like to talk about that fact that we’re the #1 Independent Brokerage in Southern California. It sounds flashy, but the benefits are real. It’s because of our size and internal agent communication that we help match qualified buyers with properties faster. So listen closely to what your agent can truly bring to the table, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
4. Being unfamiliar with your area
When it comes to real estate, having a true knowledge of the local market is everything. From high level data to intimate details about buyer and seller trends, it’s important to work with an agent who knows it all.
Whether it’s a leg up on the latest off market listings or connections within the community, an agent who is familiar with your city and neighborhood will bring more advantages. An agent who doesn’t know your local market will be left floundering.
5. They don’t understand your situation
Everyone has their own unique situation, and it’s important to share yours with your agent so they can build a strategy just for you. If you need a home to accommodate your in-laws, let it be known. If your property is zoned as commercial and residential use, your agent needs be familiar with how to market and speak to that. If your move is centered around a life event like a new baby or new job, then timing is everything. All of these factors affect how you will successfully maneuver the real estate market.
Someone who treats you like business as usual without diving deep into your personal situation isn’t committed to you as a client.
6. Lack of support
It takes an army to get a real estate transaction completed. From the home inspector to the lender, escrow company, and transaction coordinator, there are so many parties involved. And that’s once you’ve already got the offer accepted! A good agent should have relationships and connections so that once you find them, everything else just falls into place.
A well oiled real estate machine has lots of moving parts, and you shouldn’t have to worry about any of them. That’s what your agent is for.
7. A super low commission
First of all, commission is 100% negotiable no matter who you’re working with. Typically, real estate commissions are around 5%-7% of the home’s sale price and that gets split between both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. Buyers don’t pay their agent’s commission, the seller pays both so this red flag is for them.
A bargain agent will act like one. You want someone who is committed to your mutual success, not an agent who will ignore your needs because they’re not fully invested. Search on firstteam.com to find a knowledgeable and committed agent in your area.