Let's start a dialog here - what do consumers not like about real estate agents?

20 Replies

I'll say upfront...

1. I love KW over most brands

2. Being a buyer's agent is a tough job, and many do it poorly.

Here is a vid from market research of Gen Y (be forewarned - it is not positive)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEhDA66ub8o

No affiliation of KW

I'll have a go at this.  Disclaimer:  KW holds my license ;)

The number one complaint I'm used to hearing is about communication.  "My agent never calls me back."   Buying or selling, whoever the agent is, the client is always pissing and moaning about never getting called back.  

Now that I'm licensed, I realize there's a fine line between wasting time communicating with unmotivated clients and being available when the clients become motivated.  I almost lost clients once because I didn't want to seem pushy or waste my time when they weren't ready to list yet, but then when they were ready they decided I was the non-communicative type.  The reality couldn't be further from the truth.  I've also realized that the people complaining about agents not calling them back were 9 times out 10 unqualified buyers.

Originally posted by Sam & Heather Jones:

I'll have a go at this.  Disclaimer:  KW holds my license ;)

The number one complaint I'm used to hearing is about communication.  "My agent never calls me back."   Buying or selling, whoever the agent is, the client is always pissing and moaning about never getting called back.  

Now that I'm licensed, I realize there's a fine line between wasting time communicating with unmotivated clients and being available when the clients become motivated.  I almost lost clients once because I didn't want to seem pushy or waste my time when they weren't ready to list yet, but then when they were ready they decided I was the non-communicative type.  The reality couldn't be further from the truth.  I've also realized that the people complaining about agents not calling them back were 9 times out 10 unqualified buyers.

I think communication is the number 1 issue with agents for both buyers and sellers. It sure is for me.  A listing agent can't know if I'm an unqualified buyer if they don't call or write me back to find out. So while it sounds reasonable that agents are trying not to waste time....in my experience a lot agents are just unorganized and not very good at what they do. It's not just buyer's agents.  Sellers call me who can't get their listing agent to call them back or answer questions.

Over the last 15 years I have ONLY ever used one agent & she is exceptional but unfortunately is now in 'suspended retirement'. My complaint with other agents is the lack of a quick in-depth response when we are ready to pounce on a deal. Whereas our agent of preference nailed 3 deals for us while we were in Australia for a month. All the details of which she had passed by my title guy, attorney & home inspection guy. Again one deal could have failed because the inexperienced selling agent was reluctant to accept/respond to our written offer via trustee???

At our local REI meetings the 'sponsoring' RE company constantly pushes for the members to use them. So we emailed (several times) the owner/broker regarding an investment property that came back on the market & we wanted to jump on it quickly with a cash offer. We never got a response?? So we resorted to a freshly minted agent from a local RE office & it took her 2 weeks to get back to us regarding our offer. (but after several days of no response we moved on to other agents & properties). Apparently she was busy planning her daughters wedding & to this day I am not convinced she even presented our (low) offer.

Now when my son was reviewing investment property (with a new younger agent) he was told that he could NOT view any property or be give the financials until he was pre-qualified. As much as I understand the need to pre-qualify she lost a good contact & several subsequent sales.

Interesting video.  I agree that people hate pressure selling.

I've bought multiple properties over the last few years and i'm getting my license in near term because of my experience.

Things I did not like:

1.  Slow response times

2.  Late to meetings/showings

3. Unprepared...A printoff of the property from MLS as only info is not acceptable as "research"

4.  Always used VERY general terms, "this is nice, this is a good price, this is a decent area"...i mean give me something rooted in research or experience...not something I could get from watching HGTV.

5.  One of them referred me to a lender who stunk at their job...i know it's not her fault but that was frustrating!

Communication and Not Listening to My Needs.

One of my worst experiences ever with a "professional", RE or otherwise, was a REA in FL. It was right after Katrina and I landed in Miami after I evacuated NOLA. I needed a short-term, preferably furnished rental, while I figured out what to do. At that point, I didn't even know what had happened to my residence.

I answered a CL ad put up by an REA that SPECIFICALLY advertised short-term rentals. All he wanted to do in every conversation we had was sell me a condo in one of the "new developments" that...ooohhh such a deal....he could get me below offering prices on because of his contacts.

No part of "I've just experienced a tragedy", "I literally don't even know what I own at the moment", and "I doubt I will live in Miami longer than a few months" would derail that "buy a condo" train. I felt like I was in some surreal, alternate universe.

Once I finally got it through his thick skull I wasn't going to buy a condo ever, he completely lost interest and told me he had a lot of short-term rental options and would e-mail them to me. After calling the next day when I didn't receive an e-mail, it was a curt and rude, "I couldn't find anything."

Then found out a coworker's g/f had a RE license in FL, though she was no longer living in FL. From Kansas, she found me three great places in about 30 minutes and set up a showing with the owner for my fav one the next day. It was great, I signed my month-to-month lease, and BAM the Kansas gal probably got a nice fat commission for MAYBE an hour of her time from home.

When I bought my current house, my REA was fantastic. But the selling agent was a nightmare. Kind of like what others are talking about. Wouldn't call back my agent. Drug her feet to do anything. In fact, my closing was pushed out ten days because her client (a bank, it was a foreclosure) was required to un-winterize the house, per our contract.

When they finally un-winterized the house, just a few days before the original closing date, after my agent hounded her to hound them for a month...something went wrong and half the pipes had to be replaced. Fortunately the bank just fixed them without making a squeak about it.

I also find people think REA aren't necessary for their purchase.  We are only here to open doors.  Working with a buyers agent only costs you money, since you know that if you buy with the listing agent, they will cut their commission and give you a deal on the house.  

#1 reason I avoid video opting instead for the written word is that video can be hacked and edited to make even the most innocuous statements seem like the shockumentary to end all shockumentaries. Not that these statements were in any way innocuous. I would just remind these folks that buying a house requires some education, money, and communication on their part. If you hate your agent so much, fire them, seriously, it seems like an abusive relationship with some folks and their agents. "He's always late, he never calls me, he never closes his eyes anymore when we kiss..."

Rant over.

I had a hard time relating to the video, not being a confused, demanding, indecisive newb trying to buy my first house. I buy properties without an agent. "Seems like a nice house, Why are they selling?" I have to have to ask my BA to ask the LA, to ask the seller, who gets back to the LA who gets back to my agent who gets back to me. "Are their payments current? Facing any deadlines?" And the process drones on... I have purchased quite a bit of listed property so I have interacted with REA enough to get an idea of whose out there. They tend to be more concerned with being your next buyer's agent than answering questions about their listing. Most are just in the way, to be honest. I hardly look at the MLS anymore. I almost got my license once, but chose not to become an agent specifically because of the indecisive, show me everything and talk to me and hold my hand constantly time suckers that are out there. So, I feel bad for agents that have to deal with cart around, never buy clients and I wish there were was ONE out there was efficient and knowledgeable that wouldn't try to up-sell me, too!

Thanks everyone, I was look at posting this video from the buying consumer's perspective, not the real estate investor's perspective.

The video was in my opinion talking about potential buyers' complaints about buyer's agents, basically not being responsive and not listening.

Basically some real estate agents do not educate, listen, perform, and envoke trust.

On the listing side, here is an article that says it well about poor listing agents.

http://massrealestatenews.com/realtor-communicatio...

A few years ago I was shopping commercial space. Of the several agents/brokers I called either from signs or ads, only two called me back.

I eventually found a place after I posted a "Looking for Space" ad on CL.  The landlord contacted me.  As it turns out, his space was listed with one of the agents I'd called on another space.

I am still baffled by this. There are properties here that have been vacant for nearly 10 years now - yet they can't even return a call? Some of the places I called on are still vacant!

That video isn't at all surprising to me. People, not just REA, aren't exactly excellent communicators.  Internet/email/text has actually made things worse. There's too much room for misinterpretation and plain 'ole delivery failure.

While working with clients as a personal trainer, I had more than a few instances where I wasted time/money waiting around for clients who chose to alter schedules via Facebook. I paid for on online scheduling app which they were supposed to use so that if a time was free another client could book it. My brain is too old to be remembering everyone's schedule changes - which happened daily. Yet because Facebook was easier for them, that's what they used despite being told repeatedly not to. "Oh I forgot, sorry."

I honestly am wondering what portion of this "They don't listen" thing has more to do with the way genY prefers to "communicate". 

I hate it when my $20k and $30k deals don't get top priority with my agent.  Doesn't she know she works for me!!!  WAAAAAAAHHHH

Seriously while I wish I had more time from her, I know she has a lot of other sellers and buyers that will make her more commission in one sale than I will all year.  Solution: I am getting my license and will hang it with her and that way I can do the little deals myself.

I am an Agent and this is what I get from my clients.

1. Agent wont return calls

2. Slow or no response

3. Late to meetings/showings

4. Little to no marketing skills

5. Agent wont listen.

I think that some Agents just want to get their first or next listing and really forget about the Human element. Real Estate is 90 People 10% Houses. My tagline of my site literately says "I will sell your house big or small when others wont even return your calls".

Slow response time is the number 1 issue I see with many agents. 

I love your tagline @Wayne Woodson !

Originally posted by @Wayne Woodson:

I am an Agent and this is what I get from my clients.

1. Agent wont return calls

2. Slow or no response

3. Late to meetings/showings

4. Little to no marketing skills

5. Agent wont listen.

I think that some Agents just want to get their first or next listing and really forget about the Human element. Real Estate is 90 People 10% Houses. My tagline of my site literately says 

"I will sell your house big or small when others wont even return your calls".

 Hi Wayne,

How do you sell a house with no equity but not a short sale candidate?

How do you handle folks that say, "I need to pay to sell this house!"

Do you offer some kind of seller financing assistance?

@Brian Gibbons   The only way to sell a house with no equity is to either list it and hope someone is dumb enough to buy it "which is what most Agents do" or owner financing like a subject to or lease option.

I am not sure what you mean by this but if someone is asking why they have to pay you a 6% commission then you haven't done a good job of building your value. If the seller is having to come out of pocket at closing then the deal isn't a win win and I only do win-wins. You may want to consider a short-sale or subject to.

Yes I offer assistance doing seller financing as in I take over the deal and guide them through the process.

Wayne it's been my experience that real estate agents when they see no equity means that they either say "well Mr Home Seller you need a short sale agent or we need to rent it out it out."

There's no way that helps the seller who is very very nervous and anxious about selling their house and getting enough money so they can not have to pull money out of their IRA or 401(k) to sell their house.

I look for no equity deals from agents that are frustrated.

My favorite leads are "expired leads" where the property most the time was not priced properly, so the listing died.

And a lot of these houses that are not priced properly,  very little equity, and the seller is trying to make enough money so they can sell and move, and not deplete their savings.

There's three strategies that can be used with low equity

  • Subject to existing financing
  • Wraparound mortgage
  • Lease option then assign

Sub2 and the wrap have a due on sale issue, but the DOS can be managed.

Lease option and assign, with 12 month leases that can be extended, is a great way to assist a "no equity seller" and get you a 3% commission UP FRONT in 60 - 70 days.

Having a CASH OR TERMS listing presentation is helpful.

Read Chapt 10 Creative Financing of

http://www.amazon.com/Shift-Estate-Agents-Tackle-T...

If you have a fidiciary duty to serve your seller as a listing agent, then present these solutions.

And make money where other agents ignore these sellers.

Originally posted by @JOAN DICKIE :

I also find people think REA aren't necessary for their purchase.  We are only here to open doors.  Working with a buyers agent only costs you money, since you know that if you buy with the listing agent, they will cut their commission and give you a deal on the house.  

I tried to do that with our current house.  We happened to visit an open house, hosted by an assistant.  We got the financing lined-up and I tried contacting the listing agent to put in an offer with a discount.  I never heard back from him.  We ended up getting an agent who did a rebate when we were approved for financing, but still had not heard back.  To top it off the sellers agent showed up late(although only a few mintues) to the closing.

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