Finding the right real estate agent is so critical whether you’re buying or selling a house. Unfortunately, with about 1.3 million Realtors® in the US and approximately 98,000 in Canada, there are bound to be a lot of agents who aren’t at the top of their game.
Unfortunately you may not realize you are talking to the wrong real estate agent right away.
Watch for any early warning signs and pay attention to those little alarm bells you hear. They won’t get any quieter the deeper you get into the relationship! The sooner you find the right real estate agent to work with the better, not only for you but for them too! Here’s one of my personal stories of why I fired a real estate agent.
I was moving to a new city and an agent spent a day showing me properties. She was supposedly an expert in the neighborhood I was moving into, so I gave her a try. I was highly motivated and the type of client most real estate agents dream of because she wasn’t going to have to spend a year showing me properties. I was only in town for two weeks and needed to buy on that trip. I had already sold my house and the deal was closing within 60 day so any agent who found me the right property would be hitting their payday within 60 to 90 days.
I stopped working with this real estate agent after one day of appointments because she hadn’t worked out a system for where to put her purse down in her car, and despite supposedly being a real estate expert in that neighborhood, she seemed to always get lost on the one way streets to our destinations.
Before you dismiss me as an overly critical client consider the messages she was sending me as a new client. I had limited time, needed a pro, and was having to decide if she was “it” based on the little clues she was sending along the way.
After each showing, we’d get back into her car and she’d put her purse between the two buckets seats. With the first stop light it would tumble onto the floor dumping all the contents. Then with each next showing, I’d have to cool my heels on the sidewalk for a few minutes while she put the contents of her purse back together so we could get on with the appointment.
One day, 6 showings and I vowed never to work with her again!
This woman supposedly made her living showing and selling homes. Yet, she didn’t have enough common sense and self awareness to put her purse on the floor behind her seat? How many times had the scene I witnessed only 6 times played itself out over a year? And if she knew this small neighborhood so well, how could she possibly never remember which streets ran in which direction? Each appointment required an additional 10 minutes to find as she circled back on her route trying to figure out how to get there!
All these thoughts had lots of time to run through my head as I watched her waste my precious time getting lost and scooping stray keys, lipsticks, and the other detritus women carry in their purses off her car floor, and she was history.
How well did the new agent do?
I bought a house with a different agent who appeared to be more in control of herself and her surroundings, and she especially cashed in when I listed it with her again within a few months. She made about $25,000 in commissions because she knew what she was doing and here’s what she had to do for it:
* showed me 14 houses over two days
* handled one purchase negotiation that lasted 24 hours because I insisted we keep the pressure on the sellers
* within 2 months of closing on the house, I staged it and put it back on the market with the same agent
* sold with two offers within the week, with a 3 week close
Client/Real Estate Agent relationships are largely a matter of faith. If you have lost your trust in your agent, move on. There are plenty to choose from!
I invite you to share your comments and stories here about working with real estate agents. I know it will help other readers with their own struggles.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is president of home staging firm Six Elements Inc. and has trained over 4000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Debra is the author of four home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar.