Putting a home up for sale can be a huge undertaking, no matter what the housing marketing is like. To alleviate the stress, you may want to partner with an agent to move the transition along. But just like with anything else in life, there are both good and bad agents to pick from. How can you tell if your listing agent is on your side? I’ve added a few of the warning signs to look out for.
1) It seems like they don’t know how to answer the phone.
Just like in dating, if he or she doesn’t answer the phone when you call, it’s a bad sign. It comes down to priorities. If your listing agent sees your property as a valuable asset, they will work with you, side-by-side, to make sure that the process is going according to your goals and their plans. So, if the phone keeps ringing, it’s time to give them the boot! But before you do, make sure you let them know exactly why you’re leaving. You never know, they might change their behavior because of you.
2) You’re not working together.
Let’s say you finally get your agent on the phone. He or she gives you a ton of important details about potential buyers and a list of demands they need from you. Oh, and by the way, you have until tomorrow morning to make these changes before the deal can be set into motion. A good agent would never withhold information about your sell from you. He or she would make sure that you have all the necessary details in a timely fashion, no matter what.
3) You can’t find your listing anywhere!
This one is a huge problem. If your home is on the market, you need to know where your listing is currently active. Now, this may not seem like a big deal if you’re not actively seeking troves of buyers. But think of it this way, if you go onto popular listing sites and your home isn’t there, most buyers won’t see it at all. Make sure your agent puts your listing on the best sites and they include the most attractive information about your home. Remember, your home must look like an asset that someone would want to buy.
4) Your agent doesn’t seem to have any direction.
Home selling is a science. It’s about creating the intrigue within a buyer so they will want to pay you a visit. This process includes an attractive listing and a logical plan to bring home seekers to your door. Your listing agent should know that. If your agent isn’t being proactive with tips and tricks to make your home stand out, you may have a problem. The best way to remedy this issue is to verify your agent’s selling skills before you hire them. I recommend asking for a sales or a marketing plan upfront.
5) Your agent can’t sell your home.
Selling a home takes time—I know this and so do you. But a home shouldn’t sit on the market for too long. If it does, that usually means your agent is doing something wrong. Poor listing management, bad negotiation skills, and a terrible sales plan are just a few symptoms to look out for. A good agent will not only master all three of these things, but he or she will be able to make the necessary adjustments needed to sell your home.
My Agent is Horrible! What do I do?
If you’ve experienced one or all of these situations, now is the time to put out some ultimatums. Start by explaining your concerns toward their skills or behaviors. Creating an open dialogue will allow you to get the answers you need to make the right decisions. If that doesn’t work, start seeking help elsewhere. It’s okay to court another agent while you’re working things out with your current one. Here are a few things to ask your future agent:
- Tell me about the locations of your best listings. What seems to be working well for them?
- How do you plan to maximize the assets of my home?
- What types of goals are you planning to set for our house? (Viewings & offers per week, month, etc.)
- Can you provide reviews or references from clients you’ve worked with?
By asking questions now, you won’t waste time losing out on sales opportunities.