Real estate agents serve many roles in the homebuying process. But when an agent falls short of your expectations, your hope for a new home comes into jeopardy.
Can you fire your Realtor or real estate agent? Absolutely you can, but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Below you’ll find 12 signs of a bad Realtor or real estate agent.
1. They Are a Poor Communicator
One of the most common reasons buyers fire their agents is poor communication. If your agent fails to pick up the phone, misunderstands your homebuying needs, and forgets to request important documents, you may decide to fire your real estate agent or Realtor.
“If you feel your agent is not responding timely to your calls or inquiries, you could be feeling unprioritized,” says Erin Hybart, lead listing agent and lead investor consultant at Clients First Realty LLC in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Since the real estate market can move quickly and time is of the essence, waiting a few days for an agent to respond or set up a showing could cost you a great opportunity.”
2. They Lack Experience
3. They Fail To Prioritize Your Interests
Do you need a home located in the best school district? An ample backyard for your dogs to roam free in? What about a three-car garage for your collection of antique hot rods? If it’s your priority, it needs to be your agent’s priority, too.
4. They Are Unprofessional
As your representative, an agent should act in a way that respects you and your needs. When it comes time to negotiate, professionalism plays a big role in gaining trust from the seller.
Acting immaturely, speaking rudely to others, and breaking promises all can be signs of when to fire your Realtor before they tank your prospects.
5. They Are Weak Negotiators
Look into your agent’s record of closing deals above asking price. While paying more does happen, a regular history of it may be a sign of poor negotiation skills, and could cost you in the end.
6. They Are Unethical
A good agent respects privacy, presents information honestly, and values the needs of their client over themselves.
“I have had many buyer’s agents share their client’s credit score with me or other very personal information when discussing the client’s offer as a way to ‘sell me’ on the offer,” Hybart says. “I have also suspected an agent added the client’s initials and signature to the documents.”
Your state’s real estate commission can have a way for you to submit complaints about unethical agents.
7. They Try To Steer You
If your agent pushes you to buy in certain neighborhoods because of protected characteristics, such as race or sexual orientation, that’s steering. This is an illegal practice under the Fair Housing Act and should be reported.
While subtle in practice, notice when your agent suggests certain houses and neighborhoods would make you more “comfortable.” Even if unintentional, steering can unfairly block you from a perfectly suitable home due to the bias of the agent.
8. They Give Bad Advice
Your agent has the experience and knowledge to inform you of the best homebuying decision you can make. With time and money on the line, you’ll want to team up with an agent that can save you both.
If your agent only tells you what you want to hear, then it may be time to find a new agent.
9. They Lack Helpful Resources or a Network
A good agent comes with good referrals. Your agent should have a network that includes real estate professionals, such as qualified home inspectors. If your agent has you searching on your own for these professionals, you might consider finding a new agent.
10. They Are a Dual Agent
A dual agent represents both the buyer and the seller of the same property in a transaction. If your agent is trying to get as much commission as possible from an expensive sale, they may not prioritize helping you get the lowest possible purchase price.
11. You Don’t Get Along
Sometimes a bad relationship just comes down to poor chemistry. If your personality doesn’t mix well with your agent’s, that could be plenty of reason to dissolve the team. A successful homebuying journey involves regular interactions with your agent, and you want someone that makes these interactions pleasant, not toxic.
12. Your Offer Keeps Losing
Sometimes everything about the agent feels right, looks right, but when it comes time to make an offer, you still can’t make a deal again and again. At the end of the day, closing on a home that’s right for you is your most essential requirement. If your Realtor or agent can’t make that happen, find someone who can.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about reasons to fire your real estate agent.