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Common things Realtors do that get them fired by their clients

Let’s look at ourselves from our client’s perspective for a moment. It may be helpful to walk in a prospective client’s shoes down the entire home-buying or home-selling journey. With that kind of insight, you’ll be better able to adapt and respond to situations you’ll inevitably find in your own journey as a real estate agent.

For home buyers and home sellers, hiring the wrong agent can often have very serious results. A guaranteed consequence for them is a lot of time and money wasted as their home sits on the market or gets less than its full market potential. If you look at it from their perspective, you’ll realize they probably have 100-200+ agents to choose from just in their area alone. It’s not an easy choice to make.

We’ve talked with thousands of sellers and buyers and here are some of the biggest reasons they fired their real estate agents.

Bad Communication

This one is a real estate cliche.

Especially in areas where it is not unusual for a home to take a few months to sell, sellers complain about not hearing from their agents in weeks. The best agents will usually set aside time once a week just to update sellers on their homes and any showings – even if there were none. That way you at least know what is going on.

Good communication in general is important. It’s one thing if your agent can’t return your phone call for a few hours. It’s another thing if you never hear back, or if your agent doesn’t think to update you ever.

Doesn’t Advocate for Your Interests

This is probably the second biggest complaint we hear from people we work with who had been working with an agent previously: “they kept showing us two story homes when we said we didn’t want a two-story home!”

Perhaps this falls some under the communication bit. But sometimes agents fail to get on the same page as their client’s needs.

Worse is an agent who is putting their interests before their clients. As you know, many builders will offer buyer’s agent bonuses (some non-builder homes do, too) – some as much as twice the commission an agent might get for a non-builder home. There is nothing inherently unethical about getting a commission bonus. But if you keep pushing a buyer toward a builder that doesn’t meet their needs, they will start to feel like you don’t have their best interests at heart.

Doesn’t Know the Market

Buyers and sellers are very wary of agents who are new or part-time, work primarily in a different area, or who just seem clueless about the area. When they’re spending six figures, being off by even 1% could cost them $1000s.

They don’t expect you to know everything, but market knowledge should be one of your personal strengths, and yet it is not the case that any agent can just walk into any house and give them a home value. That’s why you should spend a lot of time on the MLS researching neighborhoods and comparables, even in neighborhoods that you know well.  Every house is different, and the market is always changing.

They will absolutely search for an agent who can do this. Someone who knows how to evaluate the market, neighborhood, and home value – as a buyer or seller. When you recommend a home value, you should have actual sales data in the same neighborhood backing up your story.

Bad Marketing

There are a lot of different elements that go into selling a home. The one that is entirely the responsibility of the agent is exposure.  In other words, marketing. In hot markets, it requires a lot less effort – sometimes it’s as easy as slapping it on the MLS and waiting for it to fly off the shelf with multiple offers.

But that doesn’t cut it in the most markets. They want to ensure their agent is doing something more than just putting it on the MLS. The information needs to be complete and accurate.  Ensure you put it on Zillow and Trulia, perhaps do some paid advertising, and use great photography. We, for example, are a big believer in the value added from professional photography. These are the basic core competencies of being a real estate agent.

Unethical Behavior

Yowsers. Hopefully this isn’t you, but if you do….

Savvy home owners and sellers know there is a Realtor Code of Ethics. Agents and their brokers who fail on this count can face consequences far more serious than just losing your client’s business. They can be publicly reprimanded, fined, or even have your license suspended.

Some of the more common unethical practices agents participate in are:

  • “Buying a listing” (Article1: Standard of Practice 1-3) in which an agent overpromises on the value of your home just to get your business.
  • Intermediary abuse, where a buyer is enticed to overpay for a home represented by the same agent
  • Lethargy (Article 1: Standard of Practice 1-6) or laziness – simply taking too long to submit offers and counters
  • Commingling (Article 8), or mixing clients’ money (like earnest money) with their own.

What Do You Do Now?

Be someone who is serious, has good market info, doesn’t waste clients time and is committed to providing value, and don’t make the same mistakes twice. Spend time building relationships  and understand their journey so you’ll be remembered by them years down the road.

How do you get people you meet today to remember you tomorrow? While business cards are thrown away in less than a week, gifts cards are retained or kept for 6 months or longer even after they’ve been redeemed. Imagine the value of your business card with a redeemable gift card on the back.
Check out BizGift™.