Evaluating Real Estate Agents

20 Replies

I'm wondering what kind of response people have had with realtors. I know they are not as hated as say lawyers or politicians, but they are up there. What do you guys think?

Personally, I've had both. Perhaps I'll get into it another time.
Have you had positive, negative, or mixed experiences with realtors?

I had a friend in LA who was trying to buy a condo, but the realtors never returned his calls. He thinks it was greed - he was looking at lower end properties and it seemed like the realtors thought of him as a piker or something. He worked with 3 people until someone was actually professional. I'm sure this is not a once in a blue occurance. There are usually reasons why occupations get reputations. I'm well aware that there are amazing real estate agents out there, but there are a bunch of low lifes as well.

Personally, I've met a few agents who have all been nice to me, so I'm still in the middle somewhere.

IMO, most RE agents, like most other people are way below average! The first cut-off for me is NOT RETURNING PHONE CALLS, or taking their sweet time about doing it.

When I meet an agent for the first time I tell him or her what my expectations are insofar as service and timeliness of response. Most promise the world and then don't deliver. The best agent I ever worked with sold me 7 houses in about 16 months, then she decided to move to be near her kids and grandkids. When she moved she gave all my contact info to two "up and coming" agents in the office. NEITHER ONE ever contacted me. I've been to the office many times since, and had different agents show me various places.

When I go in the office everyone knows who I am and that I'm a CASH BUYER. But the ones that show me places and the more experienced ones have something in common; NONE OF THEM FOLLOW UP. In the two years since Carolyn left I've done ZERO DEALS with that office.

all cash

Well, seems like you have all had a certain level of the "realtor" way of doing business. Let me put it to you simply, the reason that most of them act that way or treat you with little respect when you are trying to buy a property, especially a lower cost one, is the simple idea of GREED. They want their commissions, and have lost sight of some of the ideas people can come up with to take a lesser piece of real estate and turn it inot a very lucrative one. My best advice, is to find realtors out there that are WANTING to make you happy and get the best thing for YOU, not them. I know it sounds far-fetched, but that is what I do for a living and I know that there are more like me out there.

Chis is right. I'm a mortgage loan officer and many of them are the same way. If it's a lower-end property with a low purchase price, many established professionals will not give the same quality of service they would give to a big deal they were trying to land. In my experience, I've also seen people with bad credit be treated the same way. Either the loan officer/realtor thinks that they will not be approved or doesn't want to bother going the extra mile to find them a lender and a decent interest rate.

In my opinion, you will have a better experience with a realtor or loan officer that is new to the business. We are paid on commission and it's rough starting out. We will go the extra mile to close deals and build our customer base. Word of mouth is great advertising. If someone gives you excellent service, you will be likely to recommend them to your friends and family. Likewise, if someone gives you bad service, you will tell everyone you know what a miserable experience you had.

Just my 2 cents.

:D Hello everyone. I would like to introduce myself. My name is Seraina Aguayo, licensed Realtor located in Gresham, OR. It is true that some brokers may find one high earning transaction to be of a greater priority in comparison to a transaction of a lower earning capacity. This is unfortunate however not only for the potential client but also for the agent who is discriminating so to speak. In my experience it is wise to treat all transactions of equal importance. Ive found, reguardless of the earning potential, the quality of service I provide will simply pave the way for future success with not only this client but also all contacts related to this client.
One of the most important attributes needed for any relationship with a real estate broker is a solid foundation of trust and diligence. In response to your question, it may be possible to learn much about a broker by simply getting one on the phone and making contact. This will help the potential client gain a better perspective of the broker and their personality. It may be helpful to find out everything you can about the company a broker is representing. It is unfortunate to hear about unpleasant experiences with other brokers. Although, I would like to point out that not all brokers are Realtors but all Realtors are brokers. As licensed Realtors, we have to abide by a Standard Code of Ethics because we, as Realtors, strive to maintain a positive image and a healthy reputation for other Realtors. At least, we should. Look for the Realtor logo. Thank you.

I am a Real Estate Agent in Cedar City, Utah. I service all of Southern Utah including St. George, Cedar City, all the way up to Beaver. While I agree that some agent are greedy. I would attribute most of it to lazyness. I personally try to return each phone call I recieve promptly. I also treat each client as if they were a 10 million dollar property client. That being said there are times when I dont pick up the phone. For instance if I am showing a client a property I do not answer my cell phone. This goes back to treating each client as if they are a 10 million dollar client. If i pick up my phone Im ignoring the person im with currently. I will return the call those as soon as I get a chance. Thats just my personal philosophy. So if anyone is looking for property in Southern Utah. Dont hesitate to contact me.

Hi. I have been a real estate agent in Tasmania for 18 years & love the industry. I now have 3 offices & have won several awards for customer service. I have the same policies in all my offices which is the highest possible service to customers. We have a policy of rapid email reply & our office phones are diverted at night & weekends to duty sales person so no call goes unanswered. We have good relations with local solicitors to assist overseas purchasers & if we do not have the answer we direct our clients to the right person.

IMO, most RE agents, like most other people are way below average! The first cut-off for me is NOT RETURNING PHONE CALLS, or taking their sweet time about doing it

I am a Realtor in Las Vegas. I will be the first one to agree with you all. Most real estate agents Dont Return Phone Calls Dont know what they are talking about most of the time, have major problems organizing their business and seem to have forgot that the customer comes first over their commission.

This is a major issue with the real estate industry as a whole. We are now seeing, using Las Vegas as an example over 1200 new licensed real estate agents every month. Most of these new agents come in to the business thinking they are going to make a killing. As time goes on they become jaded and realize that you have to work to make money. These agents come from other professions where customer service and organization is not key to their past profession.

The other half, experienced agents become jaded as well. They forget what it was like when they first started and that every client is important and deserves to be treated with respect. All of a sudden phone calls can be returned later, clients can be put on the back burner, they make XX dollars per month and become complacent.

Most promise the world and then don't deliver

That is a bait and switch. Most real estate agents realize that they can impress and get you to like them by promising everything that they believe you want to hear. Whats the old saying: If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck...quack...quack its a duck.

This is where the consumer needs to become more savvy. I know this may sound a little crazy but follow me here. Do business with an agent that you connect with personally. Dont base your decision on their knowledge or reputation you may have heard of. We all have different expectations from people we do business with and most of us do business with people we like. Its not what they know or who they know its because we like them. If I personally am doing business with someone I like and I feel they connect with me, then I feel this person is going to do their best for me because they like me and not for the commission or anything else. Try to keep this in mind next time when choosing a real estate agent.

I can promise you that if you choose an agent based on this, you will not only find that you are going to get a knowledgable agent but also a successful one as well. A few successful agents havent forgot that the consumers and their needs come before theirs. They are more organized and dont promise what they cant deliver.

When I go in the office everyone knows who I am and that I'm a CASH BUYER. But the ones that show me places and the more experienced ones have something in common; NONE OF THEM FOLLOW UP. In the two years since Carolyn left I've done ZERO DEALS with that office.

Most agents think in the moment of RIGHT NOW. They dont take the time to consider future business. If it isnt something that is going to produce them income right now they dont think about it. This is one of the BIGGEST MISTAKES real estate professionals make. This is a cause and effect of a business plan.

Business relationships are like a good women. If you dont buy her flowers, tell her you love her or make her go WOW, she will start to ask herself why am I with this guy. The same principle applies to maintaining business relationships. If you dont stay in contact with your past clients, send them reminders that you are still thinking about them or do something to let them know that they are still number one in your book, they start to ask themselves why am I doing business with this person/company.

I dont want to sound like a salesman here but these are what I personally feel is wrong with the real estate industry. I would like to see the real estate divisions increase the fees to become licensed and the local Realtor Associations increase their yearly dues to around 10k per year. This in my opinion would get rid of the riffraff in our business and maybe change some opinions of the real estate profession as a whole.

Face it with fees that high, every client has to be important in order to stay in the business. Another little tidbit for you. Did you know that 80% of the real estate agents leave the business after two years. Its because they cant cut it and it isnt as easy as they thought it would be.

I've been selling two FSBO's in town that have excellent location and in purr fect condition. Sent my flyer across the internet to agents I know and offered 3% commission if they had someone looking. One I know well, made an appointment to see the house and didn't show. They didn't bother to call, ask about the house nor send someone to the open house. One of the houses sold for cash in 14 days at a top of the market price. They won't get out of bed for 3% even if it means 12-15K. They're not thinking about the collective business in the future.

Although we have an overload of experienced and newbie realtors, few help the newbies and few have anything to do with investors. They can't appreciate the long haul and what you need to know to sell to investors. It isn't the same as courting the parents of an out of town/state student looking for a house to buy, is it? Negotiation can take time and patience. Many are just lazy. They don't scour ads placed by owners on Sundays anymore looking for listings. Life has been too easy the last few years with agents mopping up the best listings for themselves and flipping.

Any agent that shows interest in what I'm selling can make 3% and get constant emails with digitals about everything coming up. I'm happy to pay 3% to them. Problem is, they have to split with their broker and wind up with 1/2 of that 3% and that doesn't seem productive to them...but they'll do referrals between agents all day long for less money.

That is incorrect sir. The 3% is first split between the seller's broker and the buyer's broker. Then the 1.5% will be split between the broker and agent. If they ar on a 50/50 that meas he get .75%. Any agent searching the MLS will not think much of a property that pays 1. 5%. Realtors do have expenses and drive people around burning gas. As stated earlier only 20% renew. The expense is a killer.

Having said all of that. I would love to find a way to find properties for investor and we both benefit. I will not be a bird dog!! I find the deal for you and get paid at closing.

see, that's the problem with realtors. Of course, all an agent needs to do is sell one big property and they're off that bottom tier of 50% to a higher per centage. Who would use one that only makes 50%? Also, on a $200,000 sale even .75% is $15.000. Are you saying no one would touch $15,000? The owners don't always make that kind of profit. Also, discount realtors list at 4.5% in our area. That is 3% to the buying side and 1.5% to the selling side every day of the week. Their whole business is modeled that way. Those agents are splitting with their brokers too.

In a FSBO, all they want is the realtor to make one trip to their door with a qualified buyer. That's not much gas. The owner holds the open house, they place the ads, flyers etc. If a realtor had a client, it's a cheap way to write up a contract and not have to waste gas.

How ethical is it to know there's a perfect house in the neighborhood a client want/needs and avoid that block just because it's a FSBO and won't pay 6%? After all, they would have to call that number and ASK if they'd pay 3% right? Smart agents do that. Most are too proud. The real problem is owners are too busy to let every agent PREVIEW and say they have a client and don't. Buyers are getting more and more scarce. Most agents don't have a client list. That can be a real aggravation when all they want is an "in" to get the house listed but has no client. Now that is a waste of time....to the owner.

I asked to look at an MLS book last week and the agent asked "do they still publish those"? He just got out of training, can you believe?

Wrong again sir. On the sale of a $200,000 property that agent would make $1500. You must have a problem with realtors. Do you really think a realtor should host open houses, pay to advertise the property for $1500. I spoke with a man that had sold a house with a 3% company. He was very disappointed. You get the service level that you pay for.

As far as the MLS goes. You're correct. It would not be ethical to not show a home to a client that that they wanted because of the tiny commission. I'm just saying that when performing a search, I look past those because I can find another property that was listed by someone that appreciates what we do.

Your statement of “That’s the problem with realtors” That is your opinion and we all have one.

A lot of the above statements keep refering to 'All realtors'.
Truth be told, there are quite a few lousy realtors out there, as there are bad representations in ANY profession.
So some of you have gotten in touch with some that don't live up to your expectations.
Move on then, until you find one that does.
But be fair about it & don't classify ALL realtors the same way until you have spoken to ALL of the realtors out there!

Try talking to a realtor and find out just how much work they do.
You might be surprised.

The Realtors in my office are top notch & work their butts off working for their clients. You, as a client, may spend a few hours with them looking at houses & writing contracts. The reality is they have probably spent many more hours before that, researching and previewing listings for you just to get to that point.
Then, many hours are spent after that thru-out the entire contract process to help you acheive your goal.
If a listing is 5%, the realtor will likely only see 1.25% of that, minus their
brokerage fees, and of course taxes at years' end.

It is only too easy for an agent to spend a lot of their time & money in the process of working for a client, only to get screwed in the end & get nothing.

Most of the Realtors I know don't have the luxury of picking & choosing only the high-end clients. They are in the business to earn a living, and have mortgages to pay & children to feed.

Try again folks, there are some very, very good Realtors out there, you just haven't found them yet!

Good job Bonnie. You said it all!!!!!!!

there's no need to defend realtors as hard working. my daughter is a top notch realtor. my comments had to do mostly with FSBO's and you didn't address that at all. Try and cover all the fact being discussed.

Something that you forgot to mention is that if you bring an offer to "do-it -yourselfer" on a house for sale and you answer one question for them you are now a dual agent in the transaction.

I don't usally spent a lot of time writing in these post. Probably because I don't like typing long post.

But I do agree that a FSBO should not pay more than 3%. Most realtors try to convert the FSBO to their listing. No my thing. I want to help buyers get into homes.

It looks to me like there is more than one subject being discussed here.
If you take the time to read all the posts, you will see that.

Ooh, heated topic :lol:

Well my 2 cents as a REALTOR®, I believe Miss Bonnie said it well:

As a real estate agent, we perform an awful lot of tasks behind the scenes and incur expenses you may not be aware of:
[list]Did you know that in most states, Real Estate agents are required to take so many hours of classes each and every year to maintain their license? Most times these classes are paid for by the agent. Not to mention the time it takes to take these classes takes them away from doing business.

Did you know that many agents will enroll in classes just to gain additional knowledge at their own expense to better serve their buyers and sellers?[/list:u]
[list]Advise the sellers on obtaining professional information about the condition of the property
Advise the sellers on how to make the property attractive to buyers
Pay for advertising
Promote the listing to all agents and buyers we come in contact with looking for similar properties
Perform Open houses
Write ads
View other properties in the area for comparison
Recieve offers and submit them to the sellers
Show up for appraisers
Show the house to prospective buyers[/list:u]
[list]Gather the buyers requirements
Assist them with obtaining financing
Search the area for homes that meet their criteria
Advise them on home inspections, home warranties etc.
Show up for Home inspections
Write a contract that is the best offer possible[/list:u]
[list]Many believe real estate agents make alot of money. This is not necessarily true. While we are in business to make a profit, we are by no means able to make one sale and then retire. Each commission we 'Earn' is split with our Broker. It has to pay for the above expenses. So as an example: 3% commission on a listed property: Half goes to the selling broker and half to the buying broker. Approximately one half of that (dpending on the split of course) goes to the agent. So in this example of a $200,000.00 home, the agent walks away with gross revenue of $1500.00. Out of that comes all the expenses, let's not even get into the current cost of gas or wear and tear on our vehicles![/list:u]
Real Estate agents are in business like everyone else. We are in business not only to make a profit, but also to assist others because we enjoy helping others.

I know for me personally, there is nothing more satisfying then seeing the look on the face of a first time home buyer when they are handed over the keys to their new home! It doesn't get much better than that for me.

Sure there are some of us out there that are not worth a salt, but I believe there are more out there that are. I believe that good real estate agents are worth their weight in gold.

Remember, not all Real Estate Agents are alike just as not all Doctors or Contractors or any other profession are alike.

To group us in a 'ALL' category does a disservice not only to us, but to the categorizer as well. Example: If you were of a given ethnic background and someone said to you 'They're all alike", wouldn't that hurt you?

Please don't group us all into the same category. We're here to help, not to hurt.

We are great allies, professional and knowledgeable about our profession ready to assist you make what perhaps could be the most important and expensive decision of your life--- Buying a Home!

Whew, ok down off the soap box :D

A lot of the time, you will find agents such as this. They either push, push, push, tell you it can't be done before checking, or not looking out for the clients best interest. Is it right, of course not. But unfortunately like every business, you have some great agents in the midst of a lot of lousy agents. Finding an agent you can work with and trust may be trying, but they are out there.

I list a lot of REO homes (foreclosures) in the Houston TX area. We do a LOT of emailing because it works better normally for most parties involved, especially when you are dealing with REO's or fixer uppers. We have found that putting it in writing helps them to focus really on the task at hand; getting the job done. And you can refer back to it if necessary. Listings, photos of homes & repairs, setting appointments, contractors bids, etc get all done through email or fax. Showings are done on schedule, and time is alloted for our investors to properly look at properties and have their contractors view the property if bids are wanted prior to presenting an offer.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here