The real estate agent lifestyle isn’t for everyone. I love what I do, but some people would be horrified if they spent a day driving, hopping in and out of the rain, shoes off at the front door, feet like raisins. But there’s lots of variety, and very rarely are two days ever the same.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that being an agent doesn’t come with its share of irritations. It can be very stressful, and a lot can go wrong. Most agents have developed their own pet peeves over the years – things that drive them absolutely crazy. Here are some of the most common:
1. Close friends and family who hire someone else
They say things like, ‘I know you’re busy’, ‘I’m not certain what I’m looking for and didn’t want to waste your time’, ‘we’re looking in another county’, and then there’s the real stinger, ‘I completely forgot you sell real estate’. Now, there could be a multitude of reasons for family and friends to go to another agent, but I can take the truth! How about, ‘I don’t want you in my business’, ‘I work with his mother’, or just plain ‘I don’t want to work with you because fill in the blank here’. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why there are so many Realtors.
People are unique and it’s important to feel comfortable with your agent of choice. But it does sting a bit more when it’s a close friend or family member, especially if you’ve helped them with real estate advice in the past. You can’t take it personally, but that’s easier said than done.
2. When a prospective client refuses to get pre-approved
Truly, it’s in your best interests to be pre-approved. Yes, it takes a bit of time – but not much. Apps are available online. You can sit in your living room at midnight in your underwear and complete the process while working your way through a pint of Blue Bell. Takes about 10 minutes. For the app, not the pint of Blue Bell.
Truly, you may have perfect credit, but with internet fraud and identity theft, it’s impossible to predict what’s in an Equifax file till it’s pulled. I know people who have been working on resolving issues with identity theft for over a year! Imagine after searching for months that you’ve found your dream home, only to be told your credit is a shambles and you can only qualify for half the amount you had anticipated. It’s heartbreaking.
3. Showing a filthy property
I can help you stage your home, put plants on the patio, bring treats for open house, flood the internet with marketing information, rave to all my agent-friends about it’s glorious attributes, but still not be able to sell the property at market value if it isn’t in showing condition.
Of course, you can’t force someone to clean up their property, but you can’t force someone to buy it either. It’s not that it can’t be sold, but you won’t get a good return. Every objection can be overcome by price – steep driveway, too many trees, small yard, no garage, bad roof, high traffic area – and poor (filthy) showing conditions. Lower the price enough and you’ll get a buyer.
4. Clients who ask to reduce the commission
There are agencies that will. But agents have many homes to show. They all pay you the same at closing – except one. Let’s say the commission has been lowered 30% on ABC listing. What will an agent show first? Would it be the home with the smaller commission? No. Let’s be honest.
Agents have to make a living, and competition is keen. They love selling real estate but they also have families to support and bills to pay. They want to get the best deal possible for a client, but cutting commission isn’t the right way to go. An agent only gets paid if a transaction goes through, and is not only working for free the rest of the time, but spending their own money on marketing, travel, etc. This is why a client asking for a reduction in the agent’s commission is such a demeaning thing for an agent, but, you can see that it’s not in the client’s best interests either.
5. Appraisal issues
Agents can’t control the outcome of the appraisal process, and agents loathe anything beyond their control. When an appraisal goes south — whether it’s due to dramatically reduced value, or the discovery of catastrophic structural issues — the deal is dead in its tracks.
6. People who say that being an agent is easy
There’s nothing easy about being an a Realtor unless you have a role as one on TV. I’m not familiar with that – it might be complicated too. Agents don’t get paid if they don’t find clients. Market conditions, random events (think Hurricane Harvey), and the universe all seem to conspire to throw a wrench into a perfectly planned transaction. Being an agent is a lot of things, but easy isn’t one of them.
7. Issues putting up signs
You know those beautiful real estate signs you see when you drive by a listed property? Well what you don’t see is the occasional battle royal that’s involved in violently trying to force the sign into the ground and have it stay in place the right way. Imagine cracked, dry, compacted soil in North Texas when it’s 110 degrees outside or soil turned to marsh and mud during the occasional flood. Every occupation has frustrations and disadvantages; real estate is no exception.
8. Problems with mortgage financing
Mortgages can cause more problems for a real estate transaction than anything else. Tight, and what may seem to be irrational guidelines can change a perfectly lovely and smooth-sailing deal into a complete nightmare. And don’t, under any circumstances, even think about taking on any new debt if you’re in the process of buying a house. Seriously! It’s a game changer. Save shopping for new furniture and appliances for after closing.
Ah, Zillow. How to convince homeowners that their property, when compared to true comparable homes sold over the past 60-90 days, will not fetch their Zestimated value? Zillow is a lovely tool, I’m sure, but an application (and Zillow is only one of several) that will provide you with an estimate of value within 15 seconds of entering your address will not, can not, is not to be relied upon with certainty. Zillow even states as much.
When You’re Looking For The Value Of Your Home
True market value ordinarily requires two visits with a real estate agent. The first is a fact-finding visit. Realtor and homeowner spend half an hour or so viewing the home together, as the agent collects information regarding condition of the home, maintenance and upkeep, renovation and updates and curb appeal.
The Realtor returns to his/her office, searches for properties, similar to the homeowner’s, which have sold within the past 90 days (my personal preference), makes adjustments to the comparables for square footage, amenities, condition, etc. and determines a range of market value the home can be expected to sell for within a certain period of time, given current market conditions. The agent schedules a second meeting with the homeowner to present the data found along with the range of value determined.
The Realtor has presented the homeowner with a snapshot of the home’s value at that particular moment. That’s the reason market evaluations are considered valid for 30 days. The market is a living, breathing thing. It shifts and changes, and at times that can happen very suddenly. Call me when you want to know the value of your home. And, no. It won’t be a Zestimate. #Zestimate #HomeValue #SellingRealEstateIsFun #BadAppraisals #ILoveMyJob #MarketEvaluation