Good Real Estate Agents, Bad Real Estate Agents - Accountability
Now, I'm sure just about anyone reading this knows what it's like to get screwed, taken or shammed and it's just gut wrenching and perhaps more so when you're searching out good real estate agents and come across bad real estate agents but don't realize it until after the fact.
I'd like to just drop some thought-bombs on finding good real estate agents near you, how to detect and promptly fire bad real estate agents before you become a victim of lack of professionalism or purposeful, outright bad ethics.
Good Real Estate Agents Near Me
First of all, let's go over what you want to look for and what you want to avoid when you start looking for "good real estate agents near me". I'll try and be as succinct and clear as possible.
Did you know, all it takes to be a "premiere Zillow agent" is for an agent to pay an extra couple hundred dollars a month and poof! That agent is now a "premiere" agent. You should know that has absolutely nothing to do with their skill level, experience, empathy or work ethic. Kind of sad, right?
You can however, resort to the reviews and one of the best ideas for finding good real estate agents. Reviews, or testimonials, are important.
Good real estate agents don't chase commission checks with dollar signs in their eyes, but build a reputable business by saving buyers money or helping sellers net every penny possible in their required time frame - If you're buying a home, never call the listing agent, you're cutting your own throat. A buyer's agent works for buyers, listing agents work for sellers and licensed real estate agents can perform in either role.
It's similar to attorneys - if you're the defendant or the plaintiff, you wouldn't use the oppositions attorney would you? An attorney can't and shouldn't represent both sides. In the case of real estate, a "dual agent" can't go to bat for either side but merely facilitate and how you are represented suffers.
All that being said, look for reviews, how many transactions are conducted annually; home bought or sold by the agent and visit their personal website in addition to checking up on references. Ask questions.
Good buyer's agents return phone calls and emails promptly, investigate, uncover, write protective contract language, don't try to sell you what you can't afford, help you with financing options and don't stand in front of property defects so you won't notice them.
By the way, local real estate sites that are MLS powered offer you much higher accuracy of properties for sale than Zillow. Our's for instance is fed by the Cincinnati MLS and updates every few minutes. You can use our search tools to include or exclude pending (under contract) from active-only listings.
Good listing agents bring you EVERY offer, not holding out to double-dip (as a dual agent) because one of their buyer clients is thinking of making an offer and purposefully not letting you know about other offers. By law, listing agents are to present EVERY offer. They don't take one poor photo, or write listing descriptions that no one can read (including search engines). They engage heavily in syndicated marketing, social media advertising and professionally, proactively market properties.
If your listing agent charges a low commission, but only posts one photo and illegible description and does nothing more than post on the MLS you should consider firing them.
You Have the Right to Fire Bad Real Estate Agents
One thing my business partner, Marty Snyder, and I don't do is ask clients to sign "exclusive buyer agreements" with little exception. This binds you to a Realtor, so, if a buyer runs amok asking different agents to show them different houses, the agent still gets paid a portion of any commissions earned regardless what other agent showed and wrote and accepted offer.
Marty and I never feel the need to use such an agreement as our reputation for excellence in service proceeds us, however, when we do have a run-amok client that attempts to use several agents we have "the talk" and if it continues, we fire them as a client - we're not lacking for business. Yes, agents can fire clients too.
You only work with ONE agent at a time, but you do have the right to fire a non-performing or bad real estate agent. Beware of exclusive buyer agreements, but realize agents tire of run-amok clients that call a half dozen different Realtors in their quest to buy a home.
Good real estate agents work very hard for their income and most home buyers have no clue about what a Realtors time and expenses add up to from gas, monthly dues and memberships required by law or simply required to do business, advertising etc and easily ranges from hundreds to thousands a month.
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