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Top five signs of a bad real estate agent

ISYM

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James you’re spot on it is a team-effort many in the industry just don’t realize this. You and MetroTo state some valid issues that all REALTORS should inherently know after all knowing how to market properties is part of the job. I’d like to add some perspective on a few. Yes, I am a REALTOR and I’m not advertising or my name and brokerage would be provided.


Lack of photos are commonplace with tenanted properties if the tenant does not give permission as required by privacy laws. However, there is no excuse when it comes to owner occupied properties that is a warning of an unimpressive property. It could also be the seller has not chosen a full service brokerage. Many FSBO listings do not include photos and room dimensions as the listing brokerage’s sales rep has not visited the property and do not want to be held accountable for seller misrepresentation.

Stretched photos are problematic with the uploading system and usually result with photos taken vertically. However it only takes a one minute call to TREB to correct this.

Staging, initial cleaning and tidying if not offered by the sales rep, is the responsibility of the seller. Responsible REALTORS tend to reject such owner occupied properties however tenanted pigsties are a different challenge that has to be managed as best as possible.

Lying to buyers – sometimes its lies sometimes its outright ignorance. Neither is acceptable.

The unfortunate thing is that mediocre and poor services exist because buyers and sellers haven’t taken care to properly vet the listing rep or choose same based on the lowest fee or least amount of services they wish to pay for and yet it is they who end up complaining about what they got.
 

Finn

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I can add a couple of red flags when finding the right agent based on my experience right now, seeking an agent to list my home for sale. I put together a list of agents referred by people I know well, trusting their honest experience, and from a couple who have a track record in my neighbourhood. I sent an introductory email to them giving the broad strokes of my location and house, and posed two questions: what is your experience in my neighbourhood with listings/sales and are you willing to negotiate your commission fee.

1. One man showed up at my door canvassing for clients. Stupidly I provided my phone number saying that in a couple of months I would CALL HIM when I'm ready to choose an agent. He's called me five times, the last time he called, I asked him to please stop to which he replied with attitude, "Well I thought you wanted to sell your house!" He is definitely not tuned into my concerns and he's definitely not the agent for me.

2. One woman, a referral, actually said I have no idea how the real estate agent works if I am not willing to pay her the full 5% commission fee. She deserves to be left with her homes that "sell over asking price", if those sellers can stand her.

3. One agent said if I ask to negotiate the commission fee I am only concerned with what I pay an agent, not selling the house properly. Really, it's only me concerned with the money?

4. Agents who feel they should receive the full 5% commission even if I don't use their "full service". I am currently painting every room in my home, making small repairs required, presenting all renovation documents including an engineer's report on the house's structure, staging and gardening. I intend to do all this preparation so when I list the agent has the full arsenal of information and material available to sell the house properly. If I am not using their staging or similar services, why should I pay for it?

5. Overly selling themselves and their "extraordinary" serivce is a definite turn off. I'm finding that the ones who do this really offer nothing beyond normal activity any agent should offer, they simply have a better opinion of themselves than they perhaps should. Your work speaks for itself, not your telling me how good you are.

An agent's willingness to negotiation commission fee is an indicator of how the agent is willing to work with the concerns of the seller contracting him beyond the commission fee. Attacking someone who asks if they can negotiate with you, being rude and projecting attitude does not become a good honest agent.

I also think having a short agreement with an agent inspires them to work full out to sell the property before the contract expires. I don't want an agent hanging on to my listing after 30 days because in my case the homes in my area sell quickly, it's a desirable area in the city of Toronto. Priced properly and handled well, the house should sell within a month. If not, I'd like the opportunity to move on to an agent perhaps better suited to selling my home.

I once worked at a real estate office so I have a little more inside info than some people might have. I'm also a contract negotiator in another field so I have a sense of that end of the business as well as having done a little staging. Frankly I don't want to handle the sale myself but if my meetings don't turn up one person who is willing work reasonably for a fair commission, I will.
 
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TORealtyBlog

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LuxuryWellnessHouse.jpg
Here's a listing that I always find hilarious. First and foremost, what the hell is a luxury wellness house? What is that? Is that a thing? Does that exist? Is it a term I’m not familiar with? Are they selling a hospital? A long-term care facility? Nope. It’s just a standard infill home, being sold by somebody who got an “F†in marketing.
 

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TORealtyBlog

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Research is definitely required to learn about the RE market also when you become an agent and join a brokerage, it is a good idea to try and partner with an experienced agent who can share their knowledge with you. Good Luck!

As a uni student who is interested in the prospect of becoming a realtor I find threads like these helpful.

One thing I'm curious about is how real estate agents consistently gain new knowledge about the market. Wether it be reading Globe & Mail articles such as the one posted, to maybe following a realty blog. I'd really like to know the best sources of info you guys use to stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

Ps. Sorry if I brought this thread a little off topic but I cannot post my own threads until I've made some posts. Also any kind of input is appreciated.
 

PagA

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I decided to bring this thread back to life because some of these qualities represent the agent I am currently working with. I really like him but at times (like now) I feel like I am being pressured and he always agrees with my opinion and thoughts, which is good but I would like some constructive feedback as well.

There is currently a unit I really like and the day after I saw the place it wasn't on MLS anymore so I asked my agent to dig into that. He came back and told me that the selling agent may have taken it down to re-list it at a higher price (which could be true because it is priced very well and in the period right before possession so the owner must pay LTT, lawyer fees etc.). I just feel like I can't trust this guy.

All I'm really looking for is an agent to give me HONEST feedback about this development as I am a first time home buyer and feel a little unsettled about the purchase.
 

TOphotog

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As a realtor, I'm reading this thread for the first time, and I can only disagree on one point and a tiny point at that. A poster advised to only list your house for 30 days. That's possible if you are listing it exclusively, but the MLS system won't accept a listing that is less than 60 days. I advise my clients of this, but I also promise that, if at any time during the listing period they are dissatisfied with me, I'll gladly cancel the listing. 27 years - no cancellations requested.

Other than that, these are great points and valid concerns.

Would anyone mind if I copied some of these comments into a thread for real estate agents on LinkedIn? It just might wake some of them up as to what is upsetting the public with their behaviour. It might just make some mediocre agents become better agents.
 

rlamber

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Not caring about what happens after the APS is signed

I think the bigger question is do Realtors actually care about what happens after the APS and those that position themselves as true "full service" how are they approaching the challenge of gathering the information of what's happening with conditions fulfillment, funding, closing etc. To truly solidify their value proposition, are Realtor's recognizing their role is that of a coach/quarterback as opposed to information gate keeper. From my experience the top predictor of the bad Realtor is they drop off the face of the earth after the APS is signed and just wait to collect the commission cheque.

I'm curious as to what some of you think and what your experience has been?

I've even investigated "pre-launch" services targeted at Realtors to push information to them after the closing (example: realview.myinstapage.com). Thought it was an interesting concept
 

jimL

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I think they do

I think the bigger question is do Realtors actually care about what happens after the APS and those that position themselves as true "full service" how are they approaching the challenge of gathering the information of what's happening with conditions fulfillment, funding, closing etc. To truly solidify their value proposition, are Realtor's recognizing their role is that of a coach/quarterback as opposed to information gate keeper. From my experience the top predictor of the bad Realtor is they drop off the face of the earth after the APS is signed and just wait to collect the commission cheque.

I'm curious as to what some of you think and what your experience has been?

I've even investigated "pre-launch" services targeted at Realtors to push information to them after the closing (example: realview.myinstapage.com). Thought it was an interesting concept
From my experience the realtor does stick around after the APS. And having quicker access to information always seems like a win, especially when there are multiple stakeholders.
 

TOphotog

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If they're going to talk the talk, make sure they walk the walk. There are plenty of real estate agents out there who have never owned property, they rent. Ask your prospective agent if they own, and ask for proof of this. How can they have empathy for your emotions and stress if they've never been through the process? How can they understand what the home inspector is talking about if they've never owned a roof system, or had experience with a wet basement and the possible causes? They won't even be able to advise you on the maintenance required on an annual basis. Would you buy a car from a guy who takes a bus to work? Probably not.

Seasoned agents have experience in all sorts of difficult situations. A brand new agent might tell you "but I have enthusiasm!". Enthusiasm doesn't get your property marketed properly; it doesn't get you successfully navigated through the legal quagmire of dealing with what is probably your most expensive asset. Experience does!
 

TheKingEast

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Wish agents took the time to take proper quality pictures. We are in 2014. How much time does it take to load pictures onto a 3rd party site? Hate seeing listings for $2m properties with the standard tiny photos on the Realtor site. Which to me is silly. The Realtor.ca soite should update the photo section. Its like the whole industry just can't be bothered putting in a little effort.
 

rbt

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If they're going to talk the talk, make sure they walk the walk. There are plenty of real estate agents out there who have never owned property, they rent. Ask your prospective agent if they own, and ask for proof of this. How can they have empathy for your emotions and stress if they've never been through the process? How can they understand what the home inspector is talking about if they've never owned a roof system, or had experience with a wet basement and the possible causes? They won't even be able to advise you on the maintenance required on an annual basis. Would you buy a car from a guy who takes a bus to work? Probably not.
Really? How many CFOs have owned a large business? How many brain surgeons have received brain surgery? Would you prefer the surgeon who has? It's actually rare that skilled professionals use the services they offer.

Home ownership in no way qualifies someone to be a real-estate agent; nor does going through the process well help them when a customers transaction starts to fall apart. A pre-construction condo purchase isn't going to tell an agent anything about how to handle a heritage home purchase. The agent with experience and enthusiasm will do a far better job at tackling problems than the agent without regardless of their own living situation.

In fact, I would argue that the huge number of part-timers in the industry who do think that since they've owned a home they can do the job is one of the reasons why very few respect the job and bucket them with used-car salesmen.


FYI, I am not an agent.


Its like the whole industry just can't be bothered putting in a little effort.
This is largely correct. 90% of the job is marketing to get a client, 10% is actually handling the client.

What makes this amusing is the agents who do invest all of their time into handling the often have high income due to getting more referrals than they can possibly take.
 
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cruzin4u

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Wish agents took the time to take proper quality pictures. We are in 2014. How much time does it take to load pictures onto a 3rd party site? Hate seeing listings for $2m properties with the standard tiny photos on the Realtor site. Which to me is silly. The Realtor.ca soite should update the photo section. Its like the whole industry just can't be bothered putting in a little effort.
That's one of my biggest pet peeves. I can't stand agents who take photos with their iphones that are often blurry or too dark. How about those agents whom sell properties with no pictures at all?

Funny thing, a neighbour of mine is selling their home. The agent - get this - forgot to lock the lockbox and so it was open with the key available to pretty much anyone. Some agents really have no business being agents.
 
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BuyNSell

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I hear of agents that don't want to show properties that are private sales. Ok I can understand they are motivated by a commission but they could negotiate with the vendor for that.

But, what I am wondering is if it is a flat-rate MLS listing which many brokerage firms now provide, would a buyer's agent know if the listing was a % commission listing agreement or a flat-rate MLS listing? And, if it was a % commission listing would they know what the rate was?

I am just interested in whether they shun flat-rate MLS listings or listings where the listing agent gets a low commission even if they still get 2.5% as a buyer's agent. Someone told me they do but that makes no sense if they are getting the same cut (ie 2.5%) regardless of what the listing agent gets.
 
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TOphotog

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Re: my earlier post. I in no way meant to infer that an agent who owns a property is guaranteed to be a good agent, but buyers should get a seasoned, experienced agent. Even better if they can get one with personal experience in home ownership, etc. vs one who has been licensed for six months and lives in his mother's basement.

As far as showing flat-rate MLS listings which are private sales, most agents have their buyers sign a Buyer Representation Agreement before showing them properties. Most agents have the clause filled out where the buyer agrees that the agent is to be paid 2.5% commission. If we show the buyer a flat-rate property paying either $1,000 or a commission rate of, say, 1%, this means the buyer is legally on the hook for the balance up to the agreed 2.5% and this MUST be explained to them before showing them the property. How many buyers do you think want to see that property, versus others which are listed by a real estate agent stating that they pay the commission. Some examples of problems where the homeowner is doing the selling thru a flat rate service which only puts the listing on MLS: room sizes totally incorrect, property taxes incorrect (always understated, never overstated), property size incorrect (always overstated), heating system description incorrect (oil systems represented as gas, boilers represented as forced air, etc), who holds the deposit on the offer (most homeowners think it's paid directly to them!). On a listing filled out by a real estate agent versus the homeowner, the real estate agent is legally responsible for all information stated and can be successfully sued if the incorrect information affects the value.
 

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