Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2 Signs of a Crummy Real Estate Agent

This information is from, by Luke Mullins of U.S. News & World Report:

Just a quick note: I've added my own comments to each point. There are a lot of great real estate agents out there and there are just as many bad agents. When dealing with a real estate agent, I feel it is best to keep in mind the following questions:

Does your agent never get in touch or fail to offer advice? These are some of the red flags that tell you to ditch this agent and run to find a new one.

While a savvy real-estate agent can certainly help you sell your home more efficiently, not all brokers are created equal. And in today's feeble real-estate market, it's all the more important that an agent go the extra mile on behalf of home sellers.

But how can a homeowner tell if an agent is doing everything he or she can to get the property sold or is simply going through the motions? To answer that question, U.S. News recently spoke with a handful of industry professionals and compiled are two distinct signs that may indicate that an agent is not 100% committed to the effort.

1. Is your Agent Out of Touch? Just as in a marriage, communication is a key component of the relationship between a homeowner and an agent. If the communication isn't there, the relationship won't work. So if your agent doesn't return your phone calls in a timely fashion or disappears without warning for weeks at a time, you should probably find someone else. Some real-estate agents will block out a single window of time — say, between 4 and 5 p.m. — in which to return all of their phone calls for that day, says Jay Thompson of Thompson's Realty in Arizona. "I've never really understood that," he says. "That's not necessarily good if your seller or buyer wants to talk to you at 8 o'clock in the morning — they end up waiting a whole day."

Donnie's notes: I'm on the fence with this one. I am up front with my clients as to the best time and medium to reach me. Because of family time in the mornings and evenings, I am generally unavailable before 9 am and after 7 pm. If someone calls me before 9 am or after 7 pm, I return their calls before 10 am, respecitvely. I don’t set aside a certain time to return calls. I simply answer my calls and emails throughout the day unless I am with a client, because they deserve my attention at that time.

2. Does your Agent Give you Advice? Let's face it; even homeowners who have been through several real-estate transactions can benefit from a little advice from their agent. But if an agent doesn't offer any advice, it could be an indication that he or she is not fully engaged in the process. "We're not shy people," says Elizabeth Blakeslee of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Washington, D.C. "If an agent doesn't suggest fixing drippy faucets or reducing clutter — that sort of thing — then they are just going to put [the property] in the Multiple Listing [Service] and throw up a sign and hope." Not exactly the pathway to value in today's sluggish market.

Donnie's notes: I feel it is my duty as a real estate agent to offer my professional opinions and advice. From my years of experience I've gained a lot of knowledge about real estate. I hear what buyers say about homes and I understand their desires. It is my job to gather information then give my advice - simply to make sure my clients get the best price for their home.

Check back soon for Part 2 of "6 Signs of a Crummy Real Estate Agent."