Reading Time: 3 minutes, 6 seconds
Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. When it comes to the broker you choose to guide you through this emotional and oftentimes complicated process, it isn’t enough to simply pick someone qualified. Your broker needs to also be a creative problem solver, a resourceful aide, and a trustworthy mentor. A small mistake caused by an unprofessional or disorganized broker could potentially cost you in the thousands. So if you’ve listed your home for sale and you’re already feeling uneasy about it, look out for these 5 warning signs of a bad real estate broker.
1. Your broker is unresponsive:
If you haven’t heard from your real estate agent in a few weeks, and you get a busy dial-tone each time you call, it’s probably time to find a new candidate. Your agent should be updating you on a regular basis, even if there haven’t been any interested buyers or offers to purchase. Regular updates will help you make improvements to the staging of your home and the asking price. Having an ongoing conversation about the sales process can mean the difference between a selling in an ideal timeframe and having your unit lie vacant for months.
2. Your broker is an e-noob:
If your broker draws a blank when you ask him/her about their online marketing strategy, turn and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction! Gone are the days when a sign on the lawn is sufficient to attract qualified and serious buyers. Your broker should be capable of harnessing the powers of online advertising in all its possible channels- from effective social media campaigns to e-blasts and online lead generation.
3. You’re feeling the pressure:
If you feel your agent is strongly pushing you in any particular direction against your wishes, you should be wary of their intentions. In the case of sellers, this is particularly common in the realm of price reductions. A professional broker will clearly outline his or her opinions, but will never coerce or pressure their clients to slash their asking prices. In the case of using a buyer’s broker to shop for a home, there is no reason why an agent should pressure you to buy one home over the other. If you’re feeling this is the case, it might mean that your broker is playing both sides- representing both you and the seller. Your broker’s job should be to ensure your satisfaction with the outcome and to keep your best interests at heart.
Related: How to Interview A Broker
4. Your broker is unprofessional:
Hints of unprofessional behaviour should be taken seriously when evaluating a real estate broker. Disorganization, turning up late or unprepared to showings, and cancelling visits last minute send a bad sign to everyone involved and could cost you the sale. Buying a house is an intuitive process for many buyers, so qualified buyers could be scared away if they have doubts about the listing broker. Don’t risk the disappointment, choose someone whose business etiquette you trust wholeheartedly instead.
5. You don’t feel comfortable with your broker:
Committing to a broker means you may have to spend many hours of your week touching base with them or accompanying them to showings. If you don’t instinctually feel at ease with your broker, it’s a bad sign from the get-go. If you sense something is amiss, the other parties involved in the sale might do so as well. Trust your feelings and choose a professional who is charismatic and who makes his or her clients feel great about their real estate transaction.