If you notice these any of these five signs you’re getting ripped off, it may be time to look for a new real estate agent.
When it comes time to sell their home, homeowners like you have a long list of concerns on their mind. Will I get a good price for my home? Will I find a buyer in a reasonable amount of time? Is my real estate agent really providing me all of the services I need? Although you probably have a good idea about the price and timeline you’d like to see for the sale of your home, you may have a slightly harder time discerning when you’re getting great service from an agent… and when you’re getting ripped off and need to find a new real estate agent.
According to a recent study, most sellers in Indiana only interview one agent before they choose which one to work with on the sale of their home. Although this might seem like an “efficient” choice, the reality is that it puts sellers like you at a huge disadvantage, especially if you are doing this for the first time. When you only talk with one agent, you don’t have anyone to compare his or her claims, rates, and services too! So, you may miss important signs that you are not getting what you deserve.
At Rocket Realty, we want to help homeowners like choose the right new real estate agent and get the service you deserve. After years in the industry, we have unfortunately seen many people get ripped off simply because they did not know what to look for. So, we have compiled a list of five signs that you’re getting ripped off by your real estate agent! We hope that this list empowers sellers and buyers alike to stand up for themselves and demand the services and respect that they deserve. Whether you’ve already started working to sell your home or that step is still several years down the road, prepare yourself with the knowledge of the services you deserve…and the signs that you’re being let down.
5 Signs You’re Getting Ripped Off
- Your Agent’s Office Is Full Of Fancy Features, In A High Rent District
Marble floors, a fancy fountain, and a waiting room equipped with furniture to make royalty jealous. Sure, it might make a great impression when you first walk in… but it shouldn’t. Each one of these features–which do nothing to sell your house quicker or at a higher rate–are just costing you more. When your agents have high rent and expensive taste in non-essentials, those costs get transferred to you in the form of even higher rates. Once you realize that the flashy decor of your new real estate agent is just an extra expense for you, we guarantee it will lose its power to impress.
- Your Agent Loves Open Houses And Wants To Do Them All The Time
Perhaps there was a time, long past, when open houses were the best way to see homes. Now, however, these time-consuming and often expensive events are only good for one thing: generating leads for your real estate agent. Fewer and fewer buyers are even using open houses as a way to visit potential new properties; only 45% of buyers in a 2014 report even used open houses as information sources in their home search. If you find your agent is really pushing one of these events, at least you have gotten a glimpse at where their priorities lie: in marketing their own business and not your home.
- Your Agent Doesn’t Use Electronic Signatures Or A Showing Service
Remember back to those fancy fountains and marble floors we talked about in sign #1? The problem with these was not that the agent was spending money, but that the money was not being spent on things that would actually help you sell your home. Electronic signature and showing services are both somewhat expensive tools in the real estate industry. However, they are incredibly useful for ensuring the efficiency and transparency of a sale. If an agent isn’t willing to invest in your success with such tools, you probably don’t want to invest in their services.
- Your Agent Won’t Give You The Agent Version Of The MLS Sheet
Did you know that there are different versions of MLS sheets? The agent version contains important information, including what your own agent will gain if you choose to buy one house over another. If your agent refuses to share this information with you, it is a big red flag about his or her willingness to be transparent with clients like you. You can’t know that you are being well represented unless you have all the information about what is at stake for everyone in the transaction.
- Your Agent Refuses To Negotiate Their Rate
Did you know that the common thought of a “standard” 6% commission is actually not true? Most real estate agents can, and will negotiate their rate, especially because every house and the scenario attached to it will be a little bit different. So, if you are willing to competitively price your house and it’s in a great area, you shouldn’t expect to pay a high commission rate. Find out as early as you can whether your agent will be willing to negotiate; this is one disappointment you don’t want to find out too late!
What To Do If You Notice These Signs
So if you do notice these signs that you’re getting ripped off… what should you do? Realistically, your response will have to depend upon where you are in the process of working with that agent. If you have already signed a contract, you may have to choose between being stuck or paying an extra fee to get out of that contract.
The best solution, of course, is to research your agent as much as possible before signing anything. Most importantly, make sure you interview more than one agent prior to choosing whom to work with. Ask questions about their willingness to negotiate, their thoughts on open houses, and what technology you use. Doing these interviews in person will also give you a great opportunity to see where their money is really being spent. You have the right to ask your agent about his or her experience and working style. You can even request references from their previous clients! Often, the reference of a previous client can be a great indicator of what kind of service an agent actually provides
Even if you are in a hurry to sell your home, it is important to be patient as you search for the right real estate agent. Making the right choice the first time around will save you time, stress, and even money further on down the road!
As a seller, you have the right to know what to expect from your real estate agent… and to hold your agent to what they have promised you. Even if you are new to the real estate scene, you can gain the confidence you need to stand up for yourself by getting informed about warning signs and the expectations for service you should really have. Hopefully, these five warning signs will be a useful tool for you as you move forward.
What do you look for in a real estate agent? Do you have particular warning signs or red flags that you look out for? Share your thoughts, strategies, or questions in the comments section below!