Real estate agents, in short, are licensed sales professionals in the real estate industry, who are in many cases, independent contractors. To sell real estate, your agent must wear many hats:
1. Stay abreast of market/economic changes and how they affect local real estate sales
2. Be savvy at property valuation
3. Have an arsenal of accomplished real estate vendors to refer (i.e. lenders, plumbers, etc.)
4. Be a wise negotiator to create a win for his/her client
5. Knowledgeable of home listings
6. Proficient at compelling marketing, networking, and event planning to get listings sold
7. Regularly service rental properties
8. Wash, rinse, and repeat the above steps for hundreds of home buyers and sellers
Why do I need one?
As a home buyer or seller, there is a learning curve and an opportunity cost to understanding the real estate market, learning the proper negotiation strategy, cost-effectively marketing to an ideal target, vetting, and partnering with the appropriate vendors and complying with both industry best practices and changing laws.
What makes a good real estate agent?
1. Marketing knowledge
4. Negotiation ability
5. Communication skills
What if they are not doing a good job?
Many times the best predictor of future performance is past performance. Therefore, explore their online reviews to see if they have successfully helped their past clients navigate a real estate transaction similar to yours. Have a Q&A session with the prospective agent to see how knowledgeable and helpful they are in answering your questions.
If a potential real estate agent is difficult to reach just for a short chat about your questions before you hire them, then return to start and do not pass go, because this person will likely be hard to reach in the middle of a transaction as well.
Discuss what your issues are and what remedies you would like to see. If there is no meeting of the minds or if you see no commitment to improve over the next week or so, then it is time to move on politely.
Whether or not you believe Donald Trump should be the next U.S. president, he has set a good example of how we have to be willing to say, “You’re fired!”
Be sure to review the terms of your written contract with your real estate agent to confirm the official way to terminate the relationship (some contracts may require termination to be in writing).
We recommend that you read the article on the difference between a realtor and a real estate agent.