The difference between a successful sale or a disaster is often due to the choice of the right realty agent. A great agent will protect your interests, provide you with clear information, guide you and help you navigate the process. Similar to having a great buyer’s agent – who acts in a home buyer’s behalf – picking an experienced and trustworthy agent to help sell your home makes the whole experience worthwhile.

Working with an incompetent agent to sell your property can make it difficult for you to sell and cause you unnecessary frustration. They could devalue your property and cause delays in selling. So, what if you end up committing the mistake of choosing someone who – rather than help you in the home-selling process – turns your whole experience into a nightmare?

These are seven signs you should let go of your agent in real estate.

1. Poor communication

Effective communication is a key skill for success in any profession. This is especially important in real estate where poor communication can cause you to miss out on huge opportunities. In today’s digital age, there is no reason for you to be waiting around to hear from your agent. You should receive regular updates from your agent about the status of your property via text messages, e mails, or telephone calls. You should not be asking your agent for information if you find yourself constantly asking them.  

2. Dishonesty

Trust is crucial in any business transaction. Therefore, it is essential to choose a realty agent that you can trust. An untrustworthy agent will use all sorts of tricks to get more clients or make them look better. They might lie about the properties that they have sold. They might undervalue your property or overvalue it. They might even ask you for false claims in an advertisement.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been clear when it comes a real estate agent’s obligation to their clients. According to the commission’s website, it is unlawful for an agent to: 

  • You are intentionally misleading
  • Don’t let your emotions lead to a negative conclusion.
  • False impressions can give you an inaccurate impression
  • Don’t leave or hide sensitive information (e.g. in fine-print disclaimers)
  • False or incorrect claims

The ACCC adds it does not matter whether or not your real estate agent meant to mislead or deceive you – what matters is how you, as a client, perceived your agent’s conduct.

3. Unprofessionalism

It doesn’t take too long to see if someone behaves professionally. Sometimes all it takes to spot a professional is a quick conversation or meeting. Was the agent on time? Did they look professional? Did they seem well-dressed and neat? Was it easy for them to answer questions in a professional manner and with respect? Unprofessionalism could also be a sign they are not the right agent.

4. Inexperience

Inexperience doesn’t make a good real estate agent, but working with someone with years in the business can reap huge benefits. Real estate is like any other profession. There are always new things to learn. Experience not only yields better results but also gives you more peace of mind.

5. Poor marketing skills

It is a real estate agent’s job to attract as many potential buyers as possible for your property. It is important to have a solid marketing campaign. This goes beyond just posting a sign outside your property’s front yard. Having a real estate agent who knows how to take advantage of the various online platforms to draw in buyers is a huge blessing in today’s digital world. Ask your agent how they plan to market your home when you are looking for an agent to help you sell your property. You might not be getting a clear plan of action if they are unable to provide one.

6. References are lacking

Referrals can tell a lot about an agent. A good agent will have many satisfied clients who are happy to recommend them. Bad agents will be subject to a lot more complaints. It’s not difficult to distinguish the good apples and the bad. You only need to do a quick internet search to see what results are available. Be aware if you find a negative review about the agent that you are interested in,

7. Causing pressure

You shouldn’t be coerced to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing. Remember that you are the boss in all transactions. Never be forced to accept an offer that you don’t like. You might want to get rid of your agent if you feel like they are a power struggle.

What can you do to avoid getting a bad agent in real estate?

Your decision to choose an agent to sell your home is often up to you. You must take every step to make sure you find the right agent for you. Here are some tips to help you find the best one.

1. You have a choice of pools.

Experts advise not to go with the first agent you meet. Experts recommend that home-sellers speak with several agents before making a final decision. They caution against choosing an agent who gives the highest price estimate. Experts advise that you select an agent who offers fair and realistic pricing estimates.

2. Ask relevant questions.

Metropole Property Strategists’ chief executive officer Michael Yardney lists six key questions to help you determine which agent is the best fit for your sale. These are the questions:

  • Which is the best method to sell this property
  • How do we market our property?
  • Is this a good moment to sell?
  • What’s your track record?
  • What is the cost of all this?
  • Why should you be hired?

3. Do your research.

Interviewing potential agents is not enough. You should also do your research. The internet is a great place to begin your search. Check out the agents’ listings online. Places to snoop around include the agency’s website and reputable property websites. You want an agent who is proficient in using online tools. Pay attention to how they market properties. Agents must be able take advantage of digital channels like social media to reach the largest number of potential buyers.

What can you do if you have a terrible real estate agent?

If you realised that you are dealing with a bad agent, do not be afraid to articulate your dissatisfaction – but try to do so in a respectful manner. Your chances of your agent releasing you from an agreement are higher if people respond positively to kindness and compassion.

Remember that sometimes terminating a contract comes with terms that may require you to pay compensation. If your agent is causing you frustration and disappointment, it might be worth it.

Don’t let this experience ruin your perception of real estate agents. There are many agents who will do whatever it takes to get you the best deal on your property.