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Buying a home can seem daunting, from researching neighborhoods and communities to drawing up contracts to negotiations and financing. Deciding on whom to trust with your money and your future home can feel overwhelming trying to find the right realtor for you. Many buyers hire a buyer’s agent to help them through the process. Sometimes, you’ll hit the jackpot and find a friendly, knowledgeable, competent, and professional agent. And sometimes you won’t.
If your real estate agent isn’t cutting it, it’s time to fire them. It’s important to remember that real estate agents are people too, and they’re bound to have an off day or make mistakes. But if you notice any of these red flags, it might be time to find someone else to represent you.
Poor Communication SkillsPoor Communication Skills
Being a real estate agent is the perfect job for a “people-person.” It involves excellent listening skills and the ability to communicate effectively. Real estate is a quick-moving business. Things are changing all the time. Your agent should respond to calls or emails promptly (within 12-24 hours.) It’s not unrealistic to expect some response to your question within 1-2 hours. These days, most agents have instant access to their emails and phone messages. Buying a home is a process that involves a lot of time and money, and if you and your agent can’t communicate efficiently, it could end up costing you more of both.
An excellent way to avoid this problem is by stating your expectations upfront. Find out your agent’s preferred method of communication and make yours known. Specifically, lay out what your communication expectations are. It’s time to give your agent the boot if poor communication becomes a habit.
They’re Not Giving You What You WantThey’re Not Giving You What You Want
Maybe you’ve explicitly told your agent you need a pet-friendly apartment, and they keep showing you residences that aren’t. Perhaps you’ve made it clear that your growing family needs five bedrooms, and everything they have offered you has three. Real estate agents know that buying a home means compromise. They know that sometimes your dream home doesn’t have everything you think it needs. But there are also deal breakers in every circumstance.
An agent oblivious to or ignoring your requirements may not be a good match. Make sure your needs for a home are realistic. Real estate agents aren’t miracle workers. If your agent still can’t present you with acceptable options, it could signify that your agent isn’t a good fit.
They Don’t Know The Market.They Don’t Know The Market.
You hired an agent because you want to work with someone who knows more about the market than you. If your questions seem to overwhelm them, or they’re constantly giving you the wrong information, they may not be of much help. These questions should be easy for an agent to answer:
- How long have you been a buyer’s agent?
- Do you practice buyer’s agency full-time or part-time?
- How many homes have you bought or sold in this area?
- What is your strategy to meet my needs?
- If I choose to work with your lender, how would you two work together?
- How many clients are you representing right now?
- What certification or secondary education have you completed?
- What can you tell me about this neighborhood?
And not, they may not have the expertise or experience needed to find the deal you’re looking for.
You Don’t Get AlongYou Don’t Get Along
Sometimes you won’t click with the agent you’ve chosen to represent you. Whether you have different communication styles or you cannot seem to agree. Butting heads is typically why buyers say ‘bye-bye” to their agent. Maybe your agent is too laid back, or you feel that they are easily distracted. Perhaps they lack a character trait that is important to you. You’re putting a lot of time and money into this person to help you find a home. Working with someone you can’t stand is too much time and money. If it doesn’t feel like a good match, it’s okay to cut ties and find someone else who you think fits your personality better.
How To Say GoodbyeHow To Say Goodbye
It’s important to remember that firing your agent involves detailed steps. You can’t just tell them to get lost and find someone you like better. Firing an agent is not like firing an employee. Once you’ve already signed a contract, breaking up with your agent can be tricky. Subcontracts include termination fees you’ll be responsible for paying if you end the contract.
If you can’t legally get out of it, you’ll have to find a way to part ways with your buyer’s agent on amicable terms. Otherwise, you’ll have to stick with your agent and try not to rack up any more costs associated with the listing.
When you are getting close to the end of your contract, you could let the contract expire, at which point you’d be free to hire someone else. Additionally, some buyer’s agents do not bind you to an agreement; in such a case, you are free to walk away at any time.
The Take-AwayThe Take-Away
Your realtor should make your home buying experience as stress-free as possible. They should make you feel informed about each step of the way. They should make you feel confident in their ability to find the house you’re seeking. If your agent consistently makes these warning signs a habit, it may be time to fire your real estate agent. You’re the buyer, the customer, and you’re in charge.