When searching for the ideal real estate investment opportunity, locating the perfect agent can sometimes be a challenging experience. You want someone with a reputation for being a go-getter and problem solver, but you also need to feel comfortable communicating with the agent on a regular basis.
Here are 5 warning signs that may indicate it's time to find another agent:
1. The Agent is Inaccessible
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a veteran developer specializing in fix and flip properties, you need an agent who consistently maintains a positive working relationship. While it may be unrealistic to expect your real estate agent to be on-call 24-hours a day, he or she should respond to voicemails, emails, and texts promptly. Particularly during the beginning stages of a new relationship, the agent should be in daily contact providing progress reports of what is being accomplished on your behalf.
2. The Agent Lacks a Strong Professional Network
Always look for a real estate agent who already has a backup team of professional experts and a strong network in the community. If your ideal real estate investment consists of a rehab property in a very specific neighborhood, then look for an agent with well-established relationships with title companies, insurance agents, home inspectors, property appraisers, home contractors, and even real estate lawyers. Not only will you be more likely to land the deal, but these special relationships can save valuable time and money.
3. The Agent Has Weak Communication Skills
The very first meeting with any prospective real estate agent should feel like a counseling session. He or she should be asking a series of both general and highly specific questions to successfully identify the qualities that define your ideal real estate investment property. For example, if you are looking for fix and flip opportunities, then the agent might ask about your timeframe to buy or sell. They should make sure they understand what level of renovation you feel comfortable with as well as what neighborhoods interest you the most. The agent should provide you timely information on market trends and a comprehensive summary of how long properties take to sell as well as average sales price.
4. The Agent is Too Pushy
When hiring a real estate agent, you want someone who is acting as more of an advisor than a salesman. If the agent tries to aggressively steer you in another direction even after you have provided specific details about your ideal real estate investment, it may be time to look elsewhere. Highlighting alternative opportunities is perfectly acceptable, but the agent should never make you feel pressured into buying something that you truly do not want.>
5. The Agent Agrees with Everything You Say
Everyone loves to feel that instant connection when meeting someone new. However, if the real estate agent agrees with everything that you say, run for the hills. Your agent is supposed to be an expert and someone with true leadership qualities. According to Forbes Magazine,
“If your real estate agent agrees with you on every point, this is the sign of someone who’s eager to please–not someone who’s committed to doing the best possible job at representing your interests in the real estate market.”
Watch for tell-tale signs and other red flags. Is the agent showing you properties that do not fit your itemized list of preferences? Does the agent have a rather abrupt conversational style when dealing with his co-workers, subordinates, or perhaps even other clients? These are all valid concerns.
Take your time, and do your research. The bottom line is that you must feel 100% confident that you are in the best hands with the agent you have selected. Being financially successful in your next real estate investment, rehab property, or fix and flip may depend on it.