Realex Realtor

how to avoid bad realtors

How to avoid bad realtors? 4 things to look out

Different people like to work with people of different personalities. Some people like to work with energetic, talkative people. Some people like to work with reserved but hard-working people. Especially when it comes to picking realtors. We understand that.

What we define as “bad” realtors are purely from a business perspective.

If a realtor contributes positively to the sale, he/she is good. If he/she contributes negatively, he/she is bad. It’s that simple.

A real estate transaction has many moving parts and many parties. We have seen the inner workings of many, many transactions. We know what kind of work is “constructive”, and what is “destructive”. Perhaps out of 10 realtors we worked with, 3 could be counted as “good”. Yet, not all home buyers and sellers get to see these behind-the-scene workings. As a result, many a time, we are seeing realtors doing their clients a disservice.

We just want you, the future buyer and seller, to know how to spot the bad ones and avoid them.

  1. Smug braggart

For a transaction to smoothly close, a realtor must be able to work with all parties in a constructive manner. No one likes to deal with a smug personality. Pissing off any party could cause a deal to fail.

We know the allure of some realtors’ claim of being “top producer” or “superstar”. Having a good track record is good. Having confidence is also good. But if you get a whiff of the condescending air, like “if you don’t pick me you are dumb”, you definitely should NOT pick him/her just because they’ll potentially do more harm to your transaction down the road. Usually these people get the volume by playing a numbers game – they get 1000 deals, and close maybe 300. You don’t want to be one of the 700.

  1. Empty promises

Ever heard a realtor claim that he/she can sell homes “quicker and for higher prices than the other agents”? That is just a logically flawed statement to trick you into believing them. EVERY agent sells home at market price, because… well, it’s the market. There’s no parallel time-space to experiment whether this agent truly does the same work better than other agents, is it?

Others might make a promise to send you certain report, but forgot all about that once you sign with them. This could play out later in reality that they fail to follow up on critical details of the negotiation, or coordination with different parties, as soon as a contract is signed. Promising and not delivering just shows that the agent’s purpose is to get you to sign on the dotted line, not to really help you. Avoid them!

  1. Pushy / aggressive

Mostly occur in seller’s agents.

Would you say an aggressive salesperson is a good one? Well, if you are the salesperson’s employer, you might think that’s a good employee. But in reality, aggressiveness turns off people, especially in high value transactions, like real estate. For a gadget worth $5, a pushy salesman might make better sales than others; but for a $500,000 home, no one will purchase because of the pressure tactics. Rather, people flee from the deal, if only to avoid dealing with that person. High value transactions need a lot of nurturing of the relationship.

If you tried to negotiate commission with a realtor, I bet you have heard this statement: “if I’m not defending my commission right now, how hard would you think I’ll be negotiating on your behalf? That’s why you should pay me a high, high commission!” Seems like a valid argument, eh? Not at all. First, there is no direct relationship between the two situations. ANY realtor should negotiate hard on your behalf, no matter the commission amount. Second, if you already feel pushed by this realtor, your seller or buyer will feel the same way, and they could react by walking away or playing super-defensive, turning a deal unnecessarily antagonistic. Don’t give in to their pressure tactics.

  1. Nonresponsive

Responsiveness might be hard to tell from the beginning. But there are a couple of ways.

If you are selling your home, ask your agent how he/she will handle the showings. If they could set up a mechanism to ensure someone could always make it to the appointments, like the buyer’s realtors or their administrative staff, that’s good. If they require buyers to email, call or text them, except when the situation calls for such methods (like tenant occupied property), there’s a high probability that some showings will be missed. I can’t begin to tell you from my personal experience how many times agents fail to arrange the showings properly and missed good buyers.

I’m not advocating that agents should be held to an unreasonably high standard of immediately getting back to every single message, but that a system should be put in place to facilitate the sale.

Of course, even a super busy realtor should address any questions or requests within 24 hours, that’s just professional standard. If they can’t do that, it might cause delay or other damage down the road.


What about the Good ones?

Of course, the opposite of the above, and some more.

  1. Honest and Humble

No matter how glorious a resume they have, there’s no reason for being smug and condescending, towards anybody in the transaction. They know they are serving YOU in this transaction. Usually, the best ones are the really humble ones.

  1. Knowledgeable

Not only in the real estate field, but in general project management. A good realtor should give you support in a lot of areas, like mortgage, home repair, staging, etc. They should also be steps ahead in coordinating the transaction, and prepare you for what’s to come.

  1. Realistic

Down-to-earth, realistic people could guide you towards a good solution that benefits all parties. If a price won’t work, they’ll inform you, or form a feasible strategy, instead of resorting to aggressive sales tactic to push the other party. If latent problems are found, they’ll try to resolve it in an ethical way, rather than leading you into a legal quagmire. These are the kind of people that if you ask them “how confident are you about this deal”, they’ll give a conservative answer like “70~80%”, because it’s true, not because it’s what you wanted to hear.

  1. Responsive

This point is needless to elaborate. But I’ll go one step further, they respect your boundaries. If you prefer text, they’ll text. If you prefer phone calls, phone calls it is.

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