4 Red Flags That Could Mean It’s Time to Find a New Real Estate Agent

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Searching for a new home is an exciting and hopeful time as prospective buyers look for a place to hang their hat for the foreseeable future.

Sellers, on the other hand, may feel like they’re on pins and needles awaiting bids while trying to keep a current residence in showcase shape for open houses and home tours.

To navigate this experience fraught with emotions, it’s important to find a real estate agent who is not only knowledgeable about the market, but can also appropriately manage expectations.

Sometimes finding the right fit can necessitate trial and error. Not all relationships are meant to be, including the one with your current real estate agent. Here’s when you know it’s time to cut ties and start fresh:

A real estate agent opening a door and showing red flags.
Source: (Matthew Addington/ Death to the Stock Photo)

1. They aren’t listening to your wants and needs.

Every buyer has a wish list of what they’re looking for in a potential home. While you’ll often hear there is no such thing as the perfect house, your agent should work hard to find an abode that checks off as many of those important boxes as possible.

If you’re being shown properties well beyond your price range, in neighborhoods that exceed your desired commute time, or simply don’t fall in line with what you’ve described as your ideal dwelling, the house hunting process will feel frustrating and exhausting.

2. They’re playing fast and loose with your offers.

There’s a time and a place for lowball bids, and that likely does not include when you’ve found your dream home. If an asking price matches up with neighborhood prices and the market is hot, it’s important that your agent assists you in coming up with a strong offer and excellent terms that make you a top contender.

On the other side of the coin, if a real estate agent is pressuring you to make an offer before you’re ready or on a property you’re lukewarm about, stand firm in what your gut is telling you. Purchasing a home is a monumental decision and an agent should be there to guide you and protect your best interests, not act like a bully.

3. Real estate is their hobby.

As soon as you mention you’re looking for a new home, it seems like everybody knows somebody in real estate. It could be a friend, brother, cousin twice removed─you get the picture.

While a family member or friend can be a valuable resource in assembling your house hunting team, look for an agent whose full-time profession is real estate.

That distant relative is probably a great person. But if they aren’t entrenched in the business, they may not be as up-to-date on comps, trends, and agent etiquette as someone whose livelihood is based on real estate.

An unanswered phone is a real estate agent red flag.
Source: (Maresa Smith/ Death to the Stock Photo)

4. They don’t make you feel important.

An agent can have the hottest tips on listings before they hit the market and do big business. But if they aren’t returning your phone calls or giving you enough of their time, their credentials won’t make a bit of difference in the long run.

Particularly for first-time homebuyers new to the process, working with an agent who is patient, a good listener, and makes themselves available no matter what the price point is integral for success.

If an agent seems more interested in their own ego than providing their designated service, it’s time to move on.

Remember: your agent should work for you. If you feel they aren’t representing your best interests, it’s ok to find someone new.

Header Image Source: (Austin Distel/ Unsplash)