I was recently asked by a past client of mine, “I want to get into the real estate field is it worth it?” to which of course I had a longwinded answer. I told them my answer and ended it with “don’t turn into a sucky agent! You don’t want to be pegged for one so make sure if you get into the business do it right or stay out of the way!”
In my past 12 years in real estate, I have gotten to see many people in the industry succeed and fail. Even crash and burn; especially in 2008. The field of real estate can be a dog eat dog world but it can also be a very rewarding one.
Throughout this time I have worked with some amazing agents but I have also experienced incompetent agents too.
I thought I’d share below my thoughts as to why some agents just suck. Of course, you might have a different opinion.
The worst part about an agent is the lack of communication. With today’s technology, there is no reason an agent shouldn’t respond almost immediately. Either by a call, a text, an email, social media such as a Facebook message or a Snap (snapchat). He/she should be able to communicate with you through whichever mode of contact you prefer. This of course is on the client/customer end. However, on the other end is the communication between realtors. We have to communicate with each other. I have to many stories to tell that would take me a couple of chapters about all the horrific ways in which agents don’t communicate. As realtors the need to talk to other realtors with the same respect we give our clients; like returning a phone call. Especially if it relates to finding out about details on a contract or clearing up some confusion between negotiations. Some agents feel like texting paragraphs is sufficient but a phone call will be faster and more efficient.
#2 All About the Money
Now don’t get me wrong yes we get paid commission dollars and depending on the purchase that is how we make our money. However, we just don’t sit on our butt’s looking pretty. We do work or shall I say some of us do. I have encountered agents that say “I won’t work with a buyer if the purchase price is under $500,000” and I have also heard of agents charging buyers $2,000 and above to show them homes. Those are the types of agents that give good honest and ethical agents a bad wrap. The worst is when they send their assistants to do everything and you don’t even see them at the closing. I get that you need an assistant but the real realtor should always be there representing the client. I have also heard agents charge the seller an astronomical percentage like 8-10% of purchase price on a residential home- YIKES!
#3 Personality Complex
This one speaks for itself. There are many agents out there that are too good thanks to those shows like “million dollar listing” and “million dollar agent” where it shows off pompous attitudes. Not only do they come off very arrogant but they feel like they know everything regarding real estate. All transactions are different not one is equal. It’s very difficult to deal with a cocky agent as they belittle you or even bully you.
I remember an agent that tried to do that with me. I was on the seller side helping out with a co-op sale in downtown Chicago. The buyer’s agent lived in the building so she was upset that she didn’t get the listing because she told me she got everyone to list with her because she lived there. My client was a past buyer. He needed to sell his unit fast. Throughout the transaction she would tell me that I didn’t need to bother in getting any of the bylaws or paperwork for the building because she new everyone in the association and that she was best friends with the president. She also stated that I didn’t know what I was doing because I didn’t live there. I was like, “huh? I don’t need to live in the building to know how to sell a co-op”. Ugh! If I would call her to respond until days later or if I emailed her she would take forever to respond. It was a nightmare.
#4 Lack of Knowledge
I completely understand a new agent that just got hired and doesn’t know any better because they are new. However there are agents out there that think they know it all and the transaction fails because of it. I find myself in new situations that I haven’t encountered. A certain item perhaps in a new construction build or in a short sale transaction. You cannot know every single thing in real estate. My point is that many agents do not ask because they are full of pride. That is the last thing you need as you would be doing a disservice to the client. If you don’t know just ask.
This can range from anything regarding being late all the time to being drunk on the job and yes I have ran into agents that appear to be drunk. If the agent is always late then there is a problem. If the agent is being overly aggressive with you as in just showing you the homes they want you to see versus showing you the home YOU want to see that is a problem. If they behave as if your working for them or show any other forms of think aggression that is yet another problem. Don’t ever feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do or to be coerced into buying something you don’t want to buy. Especially if you are having seconds thoughts. The agent should always be informing you of what is going on in the transaction and give you the next steps especially if you are a first time homebuyer. On the other end of that I have had agents hang up on me because they were furious about an offer or text me very rude comments because they didn’t feel like I responded with the right answer.
This one is pretty bad when it comes to scamming or a con artist. I see this a lot in the rental market. I once met a potential buyer that explained to me that she had put a security deposit and first month’s rent on vacant home at the time she was just looking to rent a home. The agent had the keys and showed her the house he told her she needed to make the deposit in his name as he owned the brokerage company (red flag). He told her it had to be a cashier’s check and unknown to the her she had a rented a foreclosure and the agent knew it was a banked owned home. Needless to say the bank kicked her out for trespassing. There are many more stories I can tell you about shady agents out there. If he/she has a smell of something fishy going on or if it doesn’t feel right trust your gut instinct and run.
#7 Makes you feel uncomfortable
This more or so has to do with an agent hitting on you whether male or female. Of course this can go the other way to where the client hits on his/her realtor. I remember showing a house where there were multiple agents and their clients waiting to see the home. So we all followed in right after each one and another and one of the agents was being so obvious about flirting with his client that all of other agents looked at each other and said “is he really telling her that”. The words that were coming out of his mouth were definitely not professional at all. It was like we were at a sports bar and he was trying to pick her up.
So there you have it ladies and gents if you are dealing with anyone of these issues above with your real estate agent – RUN! If you are dealing with someone with these qualities fire them you are the BOSS! Its very sad that our industry is like this but there are all types of people out there in all fields.