When it comes to buying or selling a house, there are dozens of critically important decisions to make. And one of the top priorities is selecting and hiring a real estate agent. But how do you know if you’re hiring the right person for the job?
There are lots of good real estate agents in Houston, but there are also plenty of bad ones. Do you know what separates the former from the latter?
The 8 Warning Signs That Should Have You Running
Hiring a real estate agent is a key step in the process of buying or selling your house, but it’s not like getting married. If you decide that you’re in the wrong relationship, it’s pretty easy to cut the ties and move on. The question is, should you?
If your real estate agent is showing any of the following warning signs, it may be time to reconsider whether you’re in the right relationship.
1. Poor Communication
Imagine a scenario. You listed your house two weeks ago and haven’t had much activity. You’re frustrated about the fact that you’ve only had a couple of showings. And between the stress of listing the house, work, and parenting, you decide that you’re going to have a nice relaxing Saturday morning. You decide to sleep in – meaning no alarm clock for the first time in weeks. But at 8am, you’re jolted awake by a ringing doorbell.
You stumble out of bed, throw on some clothes, and open the door. It’s a real estate agent with a couple of wide-eyed buyers. You didn’t know there was a showing. You’re half-dressed and your house is a mess. Your kids are in bed and the dog is barking. There’s no chance these people are going to put in an offer.
Now imagine that in this scenario, your agent forgot to give you a call to ask if it was okay to have some buyers see the house at 8 a.m. He was out at dinner with friends and it totally slipped his mind.
You can write off a scenario like this as being an honest mistake, but it’s ultimately a sign of a bad real estate agent. Quick, transparent communication is an absolute must. And if you can’t trust your agent enough to contact you with important information, can you trust your agent with anything?
2. Doesn’t Listen
Nothing is worse than an agent who doesn’t listen. They seem to have a one-track mind where it’s their way or the highway. And any time you ask a question or give your input, they seem to gloss over it.
A real estate agent who doesn’t listen is a huge liability – particularly if they’re a poor communicator. Not only is it frustrating, but it could end up hurting you financially (or legally) in a situation where there are contract negotiations or other important happenings underway.
3. Doesn’t Ask Questions
This warning flag sort of goes hand in hand with the previous one.
A good agent will ask you lots of questions in an attempt to understand who you are and what your desires and preferences are. If your agent doesn’t ask questions – or only asks the bare minimum – consider this a red flag. It indicates that your agent is only tapping the surface and failing to see things through your eyes.
4. Brand New to the Industry
There’s nothing wrong with being a brand new real estate agent. Everyone has to start somewhere. But you don’t want it to be at your expense. A first-year agent – or even one who only has a few transactions under their belt – can leave you exposed in situations where there are complicated or mitigating circumstances. You’re much better off working with someone who has dozens or hundreds of transactions to their name. This will leave you with the confidence that they can handle anything that comes your way.
5. Inexperience in Your Price Range
Experience is relative. You could be working with an agent who has 100 transactions to his name, but does he have experience in your price range?
There’s a difference between selling $150,000 properties and $2 million estates. If you’re selling the latter, you want an agent who has done it before.
6. Lack of Professionalism
A real estate agent should act like a professional in all regards. While it may sound superficial, an agent who shows up in flip flops and t-shirts to a listing appointment is probably not the kind of person you want to work with. You deserve someone who is professional and cares about their image.
Your real estate agent’s job is to represent you and your best interests. If they’re constantly pushing their agenda – pressuring you into placing an offer, making a higher offer, or accepting a lowball offer on a listing – consider why. It’s possible they’re simply trying to make a quick commission check and move on.
A good real estate agent is proactive and engaged. They should take action before potential problems or conflicts arise. Bad real estate agents wait until something happens and then they react to it. This gap between proactiveness and reactiveness could be a difference in thousands of dollars.
What Makes Green Residential Different?
At Green Residential, we’re proud to be one of the premier real estate companies in Houston and the surrounding areas. When you work with us, you’ll have access to distinct advantages that most Houston real estate agents can’t or don’t offer.
For example, when you sell your house with Green Residential, we offer a competitive flat fee rate that could potentially save you thousands. (On a $475,000 house, you can expect to save roughly $6,250 in commissions.)
In addition to money-saving commission structures, we also bring years of local experience to the table. Our family-owned and operated business has been a staple in the Houston market for more than 40 years and we’re happy to share that expertise with you.
For additional information on our real estate service, or to find out how you can get connected with an experienced and skilled Houston real estate agent, please contact us today!