7 Ways To Tell You Have a Bad REALTOR®

When it comes time to hire a REALTOR®, it is so important that you choose the best of the best. Falling into one of these 7 traps could mean thousands of dollars lost and a lot of aggravation along the way.

Real Estate Advice / Chris


7 Ways To Tell You Have a Bad REALTOR®

They rely on the MLS to sell your home and nothing else

Is your agent simply putting your home on the MLS and waiting for someone to hopefully come along and buy it? That’s what I see happen more often than not.

Being a REALTOR® involves selling. We’re salespeople. It is my job to either sell your home to an end-user or to other REALTORS® by making them see the features and benefits of your home and the value.

If your agent is simply waiting for your home to sell, give their broker a call and tell her you want out of your listing agreement. You’re making a major financial transaction and deserve better.

They are only part-time and have another job

You would be shocked to find out how many agents are working for you only part-time and some even work a full-time job elsewhere. I had a deal not too long ago where I was representing the seller and had listed her home. The buyer’s agent was unreachable during the day and her customer was about to miss a deadline that would put them in breach of contract, putting their earnest money deposits in risk. I called, texted and emailed to no avail. Finally, she answered the phone and screamed at me, “I cannot just walk away from my job at Hallmark because you need something.”

I absolutely hate that some agents work part-time. If your agent cannot achieve at a level that would make him or her a full-time agent, you deserve better.

They pressure you to sign buyer-broker agreements

A buyer-broker agreement is a contract that many agents ask you to sign before the agent will show you property. The contract states that you will be 100% loyal to that agent for a specified length of time. In other words, you’re stuck.

Imagine sitting down in your new dentist’s chair and he hands you a piece of paper and says, “Before I patch this tooth up, you need to promise me in writing that you’ll be my customer for the next 6 months, no matter how badly I may perform.” Would you sign it?

My belief is that if I’m not doing a good enough job for a client, the client should be free to walk away from me and use someone else. Working without a buyer-broker agreement isn’t risky at all if the service is great—nobody is going to leave.

There is a lack of communication

Do you email, call or text your agent and you don’t hear back for hours or sometimes not at all? Do you make offers on property and not get feedback promptly? Do you sometimes feel like your agent has more important things to do than to answer you?

Communication is key. I do my best to get back to my customers within an hour or two at all times. Sometimes, I’m only able to write that I will reach out later yet I will always respond. If you are my client, I will not leave you in suspense.

They do not follow up on their commitments

I hear customers complain that their agent made big promises but failed to keep his or her word. If you are asking your agent to do something for you and your agent doesn’t come through, you have to start wondering if they’re truly working for you.

Where this is often seen is in listing presentations. An agent shows up with pretty marketing materials and a list of things they will do to sell your home. Yet, you sign the listing agreement and then do not see those things on his to-do list get done. It’s dishonest and a slap in the face to the client.

They promised a high price for your home but are failing to sell it

Often called “buying the listing,” agents will sometimes tell a potential seller that they can get a number far higher than what the home is truly worth. Of course, other agents that they’ve interviewed gave them lower numbers so who are they going to pick? Yep, they’ll pick the agent that gave them a high number just so he or she would be chosen.

Once under contract, the home doesn’t sell and the dishonest listing agent starts asking for price decreases. The worst part is, you’re likely stuck with that agent for 6 months under the listing agreement.

Call the agent’s broker if you get yourself into this position as a seller. All you can do is ask to be let out of the listing agreement. Chances are though, you’re stuck with this unethical agent while the great ones are out selling everyone else’s homes!

They serve a huge geographical area

Ever hear an agent say something crazy like, “I service Sarasota to Marco Island.” How do they do that? How can they possibly be an expert in all of those markets in their giant geographical area. What I hear when I come across this is an agent that spreads herself thin to hopefully get more business.

Personally, I focus on Marco Island to Estero. I’ll service Fort Myers if it is an area I happen to be familiar with but typically I give those leads to someone more capable and knowledgable.

When you come across an agent claiming to service all of those areas, ask to see their last 50 sales. Look at where those homes were sold and you’ll see where the agent truly serves. Maybe it is in your neck of the woods but watch out if it isn’t. You need a market expert, not a jack of all trades and master of none.


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