The Amazing Jonathan, a famous comedian/magician, once said, “There are three types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can’t.” You may have to read it a couple of times before you catch the joke. I believe real estate agents can be similarly categorized too. I rank agents according to the title of a Clint Eastwood western. I believe there are three types of agents in the world, the good, the bad, and the ugly. You want the good agent, you should avoid the bad agent and you should live in fear of the ugly agent.
Good agents serve their customers. They study your neighborhood to determine how your house compares with others for sale in your area. They analyze market trends and use those trends to effectively price your house to put it ahead of the competition. They also monitor the market to make sure that the price and your house’s features stay competitive.
Good agents know how to market your house to attract buyers. They have a marketing plan that includes multiple sources of media such as magazines and newspaper ads, Internet sites, mail campaigns, e-mail campaigns, and flyers placed at the property, etc.
They stay informed and educated on all the new trends in real estate. They take classes devoted to a specific specialization, or designation to become an expert in a particular subject or area such as buyer’s representation, first-time home buyers, short sales, etc. The best agents want to learn new things and keep up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques.
Good agents network with specialists and craftsmen. Not only do good agents offer advice about making needed or profitable repairs before selling your home, but they can also recommend contractors, tradesmen or other expertise needed to perform those repairs. Besides repairs, they can also recommend appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan brokers, etc. Every good agent should have a Rolodex filled with names and numbers of specialists and craftsmen that they have worked with before. Because they have a previous working relationship with these contractors, they may be able to negotiate better rates and a faster completion date too.
Negotiations are where good Realtors really pay for themselves. It’s always good to have an expert sitting on your side of the negotiation table. Good agents find out what their client’s want and are willing to give away during an offer negotiation. They can use this priority of goals to achieve the best possible deal because not every negotiation hinges solely on price.
Good agents also make the paperwork process flow smoothly. They make sure that all the needed forms, surveys, disclosures, contracts and addenda are submitted to the buyer, seller, loan officer, and title company on time. They make sure that all deadlines and requirements are met so the sale completes smoothly and efficiently.
Good agents are devoted professionals that make real estate their full-time job. They are professional and work at serving their clients best interest instead of just serving themselves.
Unfortunately, these are the agents that ruin the industry’s reputation and make everyone think that Realtors are a waste of money and not needed. Bad agents have this reputation because they are a waste of money, time, and the cause of much frustration and anxiety. Bad agents are also the topic of conversation on many websites such as http://www.reallyrottenrealty.com. Really Rotten Realty has gained popularity by exposing the negative aspects of the real estate industry by creating a parody of a fake real estate agency. Every bad agent that knows about this site fears having their “rotten” tactics being revealed. This site also collects real-world examples in the news too, just to backup what they’re trying to explain.
Bad agents never answer their phone after they get the listing. Once the sign is planted in your front yard, you never hear from them again to get updates on how the listing is going. Good luck trying to find out how much interest your house is getting. Just try getting feedback from the showings. This type of agent just can’t be bothered.
Bad agents do not offer advice. Either they do not know it or don’t want to exhaust the time to look up an answer. Or they are more worried about getting sued than they are about serving their client. They do not help you find people to make repairs or even offer suggestions of what repairs could be made to get a better sales price.
When bad agents suggest a sales price for the house, they do not base the price on what the house is worth; they base the price on what you want to hear in order to give them the listing. Only after your house sits unsold for a few months do they start offering realistic price suggestions. By that time, you’re stuck with them and your house is getting stale, losing precious “days on market” time.
Bad agents spend more time marketing themselves instead of marketing their client’s houses. They run full-page ads that feature their picture and surround it by postage stamp-sized pictures of their listings, including your house. They treat their listings as nothing more than trophies that they use to get other listings, that can be used to get even more listings. It’s only by the law of averages that any of their listings sell at all.
When a bad agent looks for a buyer for your home, their first priority is to find a buyer they represent so they can get the WHOLE commission, not just the listing commission, but the buyer’s commission too. The whole 6%. Some agents even delay marketing a house for a few weeks to give their own buyers a chance to see it first. By keeping your house as a “pocket listing,” they limit your house’s exposure and narrow your chances of getting a variety of offers to choose from.
During the negotiations, a bad agent will push an offer just to make a sale. They may try to pressure you to take a much lower price than you want just to close the sale and make their payday happen sooner. At the negotiation table, they are only thinking about their own interests. Also, if they represent both parties, a term knows as dual-agency, they are really representing neither party’s interest while getting paid twice as much for the disservice.
As a general rule, bad agents usually make fewer sales, have more canceled or expired listings, and usually settle for a lower than desired sales price. However they have pretty marketing pictures of their team and have lots of listings to show off. They are in the business of attracting listings, not selling houses.
The ugly agents are also known as “criminals.” And their clients are usually referred to as “victims.” Ugly agents are usually exposed by name in the media when they’re caught doing something fraudulent, unethical or just plain illegal. They also leave a trail of victims behind that were cheated out of large sums of money. These people are crooks first, and real estate agents second. They try to bend the law, or completely break it, and they usually do it at your expense. You can avoid these agents by doing an agent background check because their past dealings usually result in lawsuits and ethics violations. We show you how to do a background check in Texas in the article titled “Realtor Interview Techniques That Get Results.”