How to spot an unreliable real estate agent


Posted on: 30 June 2016 by James Pointon

Buying your own dream house might be a scary thing. Fortunately, there are always real estate agents who are willing to help you choose the best option. However, how should you choose the best agent? Read on to find out how to spot an unreliable real estate agent and avoid many problems.

If you recently put up your home for sale and still haven't heard from any interested buyers, don't just jump into the conclusion that the problem is simply bad market. The real issue at hand might actually be your real estate agent. If you suspect that they might not be doing a good job, here are 6 key signs to help you spot an unreliable real estate agent and resign from their service before it's too late.


1. They work part-time

You want your property sale to be handled by a professional who actively follows the market and knows their way around it. Choosing someone who only does it as a side job or works part-time, you risk that they won't be fully available to you or properly manage the sale.

2. They charge a low commission

If an agent is trying to lure you with a strangely low commission, treat it as a warning sign. The usual 5-7% split between the buying and selling agent is the norm – though of course there exist agencies which offer flat rates to realtors. If your agent's rate significantly departs from any standards, don't consider them a lucky bargain and think carefully before jumping into the deal.

3. They aren't familiar with your neighborhood

Finding an agent who has previously worked in your neighborhood is more important than you'd expect – especially if your property is located in an area where moving a block can significantly rise its price. Moreover, an agent who specializes in your neighborhood might be already in touch with potential buyers.

4. They fail to communicate on regular basis

If you don't hear from your agent in a couple of weeks, you should look for a new one. Even if nobody contacted them about the ad, they should stay in touch with you and keep you up to date with the work being done to represent your property. An agent who doesn't reach out and falls silent is simply unprofessional. When they do communicate, pay attention to what they're saying – you can spot many warning signs in the ways in which they talk about your property.


5. They lack leadership skills

Sometimes you might encounter an agent who agrees with you on every single point. While it feels good to have your will respected, the truth is that your agent is simple trying to please you. They aren't committed to doing the best possible job for you. Asking how much you think your property is worth and then listing it with this price is a sign of trouble. They're supposed to be the expert and should provide you with sound advice. Naturally, they're acting on your behalf, so they must take your final word into account.


6. They never follow up

Real estate agents who aren't serious about their job simply disappear off the face of the earth once the sale is completed and they receive their commission. Agents who show commitment to delivering great customer service follow up to ensure that you're happy with your choice. They do that because they realize that making their clients happy is how great reputation is built – and they get to keep your business in the future as well.


If you spot one or more of these signs, make sure to double check whether the agent is a professional who can be trusted. One way is to have your kids do a background check on the web – for instance, on websites like Open Agent. Selling property is a serious matter, so take extra care to choose someone who will properly represent your interests on the dynamic real estate market.

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