8 ways to tick off your real-estate agent
Being a thorn in your agent's side could undermine your house hunt. If you want a friendly relationship with your agent, here's what you shouldn't do.
Your real-estate agent may stand to make a nice commission off you, but that's no reason to take him for granted. After all, the agent is working for you — as in, on your behalf. If inspired, he can think creatively and act quickly — for you. He can negotiate wisely and fiercely — for you.
Or not. Your choice.
Yes, agents are professionals. Yes, they should do the best job, regardless. But remember: We're all human. For best results, treat kindly.
So what should house hunters avoid doing to keep agents from clenching their clipboards in frustration? We asked a few, and put together a list of "don'ts."
1. Please don't turn into an all-knowing insta-expert just because you have an Internet connection.
This is the most common complaint we heard.
These days, buyers can see everything online, and everything can look pretty good online. But those online listings can leave a lot out, including whether the home is still for sale.
"To the extreme, I've had multiple clients who will email me list after list of (multiple listing service) numbers, saying, 'We'd like to see 50 homes,' and only three of them are available and I've already sent those listings to them," says Kristen Gil, a manager with Intero Real Estate in Reno, Nev. "It prevents me from being out there finding them the right home because I'm checking every MLS number known to man."
There's nothing wrong with looking, agents say. But try to understand how your agent's job works. She has access to the same MLS listings, but with updated and additional information that has been filtered to weed out your duds.
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Agent after agent told us of spending hours looking up MLS numbers provided by clients only to have those same buyers abandon each and every one after being let in on key details. It's a time waster.
The advice from agents: Go ahead and look online, but don't bombard your agent. Instead, put that effort into hiring someone you trust, then be comfortable relinquishing some control to the expert you've hired. (See "Find a superstar real-estate agent.") No one likes to be told how to do her work.
In short, Gil says: "Get out of my way and let me do my job."
2. Please don't eat up your agent's time with unresolved personal arguments.
Let's just say that even a minor dispute, if unresolved, can throw a major wrench in the works.
It happens all the time, agents say: A couple provides a detailed list of wants and needs, but in reality they still disagree on some seemingly small matters. The problem is that once the tour of homes begins, tiny disagreements morph into giant hurdles.
Such was the case with the husband bent on finding a house with a living room ample enough to display his 6-foot replica of a game fish. The wife, it turned out, felt otherwise. "Every house that we looked at had to have a wall that would fit this fish. And the wife had no intention of letting that in the house," Gil says. "There was yelling and screaming in the car about whether the fish would go in the house."
Needless to say, this did not make for effective house-hunting: "Everything that she loved wouldn't fit the fish, and vice versa," she says.
Gil's response: She let them air it out for the day, then sat them down for a serious discussion about where compromises could be made. In the end, she found a house with a "man cave" for the husband and his fish. And she placated him with a large yard and a view.
How to avoid this: Write up a detailed list and take a few open-house test runs to tease out any lingering disagreements. Real-estate agents accept their role as pseudo marriage counselor, but wouldn't you rather reserve their time for finding you a nice house?
3. Please don't accuse the agent of sabotage.
On one level, it's natural to be suspicious of someone who will profit off your purchase. Won't the agent be eager to make a sale regardless of problems? But let's pause right here. Why would you continue to work with someone you don't trust?
A little understanding about the agent's job can help. First, know that real-estate agents are not clairvoyant. They have the seller's disclosures, but have no way of knowing what's hiding behind the walls or underground.
Katya Dennis, an agent with David Lyng Real Estate in northern California, says buyers will say, angrily, "Oh, you didn't tell me that this house had a problem." She tells them, "We didn't know until the inspection came in."
Some buyers will mistake legal or technical problems for subterfuge. "They don't realize that this industry is so varied, you can't 100% predict what's going to happen," Dennis says. "Then the first-time homebuyer gets frustrated with their Realtor. They get offended ... they stop communicating, which is a very bad mistake."
The upshot: Trust your agent, or find another whom you are willing to trust.
My experience with real estate agent so far has been one of disgust. They are nothing more than "chauffeurs"!
Main Entry: 1 chauf-feur
Etymology: French, literally, stoker, from chauffer to heat, from Middle French chaufer— more at CHAFE
1 : a person employed to drive a motor vehicle
2 : one that transports others by operating a motor vehicle
Selling your home starts with the listing agent you select. First they all want to list your home at or below market value for a quick sate, but is that really in your best interest for the commission you are paying for this service. Never list for more than 90 days because once you sign the contract you are locked in with that agent. Here is what i suggest, sign a 90 days contract with a 7% comm. for the first 60 days, and a 6% comm. for the final 30 days. What you are trying to acheive is how much effort they are putting into trying to sell your home, like open houses, signage, advertising etc. Then after the showing have your agent give you all the reasons the buyer ( or showings) have no interest in your home other than the price is too high. If you feel your agent is doing a good job for you agree to another 90 contract and consider up grading your home, or reducing the price, or fire the agents if you feel they have not given you the effort on the things you need to know why the your home has not had offers other than price.
Three years ago I used the same agent to sell my old house and buy the new one. Bottom line she got me coming and going.... She did nothing and made over $100,000.00 in commission
Not like I'm a fan of the system, but if she made over $100k why are you complaining? You said, 'She did nothing', but she sold your house and found you a new one didn't she? You don't say the prices, but if you had a $1,000,000 home that she sold herself, she got both sides, ok, that's $60k, and then you bought a $1.3 million home, that's another $40k for her, all $40K of which which was paid by the seller of your new home, NOT BY YOU. Unless you're full of it, you are obviously loaded, I ask again, why are you bitchin????
The Gig is up...looks like about 20 or so realtors got wind of this and they are banding together to push down negative comments.
Looks like the deception continues...
As a former realtor, I am not surprised by the comments I see here from those who obviously have no idea what they are talking about. First of all, those lenders we get line up for the buyers are for the buyers benefit - as most first time home buyers have no idea where to look to find a mortgage. We are not allowed to take money from ANYONE except our broker. Not only could we lose our license - we could be charged criminally and in civil court for those "kickbacks" some of you are convinced we receive. It simply does not happen.
Secondly, those internet listings are the bane of our existence. Consumers are convinced they know more than the realtor they have hired when they pull up out-dated listings that do NOT contain the complete information about the home. In fact, it is against the MLS services rules for consumers to see a majority of that information. So, when you see what you think is a $100,000. property listed for $40,000. that has been on the market for 235 days - THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT. Vindictive home owners have trashed homes in unbelievable ways on the eve of foreclosure, making a large portion of these homes ineligible for a mortgage. And since we are somewhat aware of your finances, we know if you have $40,000. in cash to pay for it... as well as enough money to replace the plumbing, air conditioner, all copper wiring, windows, appliances, ect... just to make the house habitable. If you don't, why would you insist that we spend your time and ours... not to mention the gas money... to show you a home that you simply cannot purchase?
Ms. Aho, the fact of the matter is that most, make that nearly all, Real Estate agents are NOT professionals. Most have no further education than high school, some dont even have that.
While I have not purchase a large number of houses, each house I have purchased have been with differnt agents each time. So, I have had direct interaction with14 agents, 7 representing the buyer (me) and 7 the seller, in addition to their assistant or coworkers on multiple transactions.
To date, I have experienced an agent that was professinal and actually knew what she was talking about. And that agent did not represent me, she represented the seller.
What really diminishes the credibility of an agent is when they convey they know more than what they do.
So let me get this right, what NOT to do to make the agent that represent you, mad?
Ms. Aho, perhaps you had better stop for a minute and ponder who is working for who.
I think Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry) stated a philosophy you should consider prior to your next enlightening article. "A man (or woman) needs to know his/her limitations."
Professional? Ya, right.
People have complained about realtors because the perceived value has dropped and the quality of realtors is diluted.
Realtors, your industry quality is heavily diluted as the market entry barriers are small. The housing market boom caused a huge percentage of moonlight realtors. It's to easy to become a realtor and as a result the quality of realtor is diluted.
2nd the internet and MLS have made our job appear easier. Now, instead of a personal interview and what appeared to be hand picked homes. To many realtors run through a form and simply sign up the client for auto-MLS updates.
To many realtors aren't coming to the client saying "i found a great home for you to see" instead they wait for the client to alert the realtor. The next step is almost as bad, realtors don't preview the home and vet them.
It's too common that a realtor is seeing the house for the first time along with the client. That can be frustrating and dilutes realtor value.
Access to MLS, form paperwork my 7th grade son can auto-fill and connections to a title agent isn't enough.
We need to improve our brand, become experts again and spend the time to act as the advisor not just a search agent with access to a lock box.
To realtors, buyers, and sellers:
I will never forget the time that my local realtor/ broker wrote a contract to sell my home to
buyer A.: Then another party (party B) got interested in my home so, the realtor decided to convince party A to cancel their contract, and then wrote another contract with party B. Of course the realtor broker did not get a signed cancellation from A before having signed-up B.
Let me tell you it was a dilemma.
Moral of story:
Be careful with your realtor, they do work on a commision only, they do not care
who the transaction takes place with. Just so they get A Sale.
True, Can you read. I am the one who busted them out. I was doing title on a few properties they had turned. It stuck of flipping and bad transfers. The more I researched it the more I found all the same players where involved. Broker both realtor and lender , appraiser, Loan officer and even some of the sellers.
I have forgotten more about HUD laws than you will ever learn. I have been the guy at the front of the class that was giving a lesson for your 1.5 credit hours.
Oh ya incase you missed that little lesson HUD is more than just the document that has your commissioning on it.
Just Venting, ok so you where at one time the Director of the Realty Union. You as a director never have seen anything like what is being said here. Are you the President ? is that you ? Because the only person I know that is that blind to the reality of real estate in the U.S. is The President of the United States.
The Real Estate industry is the most corrupt organization in the U.S. in 1999 when some of the Federal laws changed ALL of you opened title shops in your offices and ALL of you brought Loan Brokers into your offices. Of course if the Husband was the Real-estate Broker The wife hand to be the Loan Broker.. What a Joke. I have and will continue to bring to light what a corrupt Union this is. AND JUST HOW MUCH You had to do with the Bubble.