Whether you’re trying to take that first step up the real estate agent ladder, desperate to move into your dream home, or looking for a higher or lower scale, chances are you’ll need to deal with a real estate agent.
Despite conjuring up images of glorified Dixons sales associates with shiny hair in gleaming cars and even shinier suits, many brokers can be trusted to handle the largest and most important transaction in many people’s lives professionally and efficiently.
However, dealing with brokers can be a veritable minefield of dishonesty and hidden fees. And while the real estate market appears to be in recovery mode due to the economic downturn, complaints about real estate agents still number in the thousands.
In fact, the Property Ombudsman, an independent service that resolves disputes between consumers and sales and rental agents, saw a 40% increase in cases in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.
But how exactly do brokers disappoint buyers and sellers and what can be done to prevent such cases?
Most broker complaints arise as a result of misleading information, bad advice, misleading terms and conditions hidden in the fine print, and old-fashioned unprofessional behavior.
There are many things that can go wrong, so it is imperative that you keep your wits about you and do your best to avoid using an unreliable broker.
If you end up with a bad cop, your dreams could be shattered and your bank account could be cleared of thousands of pounds with nothing but weeks of stress and disappointment.
How to find a trustworthy broker?
The first thing you should do before hiring the services of a broker is to make sure that they are properly accredited.
Most brokers are members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or the National Association of Realtors (NAEA) and must be registered with the Broker Repair Plan approved by the Office of Fair Trading.
With proper accreditation, you can be sure that any complaint you make against your agent will be properly in accordance with the relevant code of practice.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask agents how long they’ve been in the industry and how much training they’ve had. Working with a seasoned and experienced professional will certainly add to your peace of mind.
If your broker isn’t with a licensed body or is dangerously underqualified, it’s simply not worth the effort. Would you really risk tens of thousands of pounds of your money and your biggest asset with someone you can’t trust?
Common Realtor Complaints and How to Avoid Them
There are many things that can go wrong when dealing with brokers, this list will help you identify and hopefully prevent the most common causes of complaints.
Beware when a real estate agent values your home much higher than expected. This can be a trick so that you give them the only instruction to sell your property, only to lower the sale price later.
agents must be members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and adhere to written guidelines for valuations. Ask them to walk you through the process and show you “comparable” prices on comparable homes in your area that have recently sold.
Make sure that all the details and particulars of your home are done correctly and professionally. Inaccurate details of your home, the slow emergence of data on paper and online, and poor quality photos are common complaints made against real estate agents. If with the agent’s brochure, return it to him and suggest what changes.
Check and double check the broker fees. Take a close look at broker fees to see what they cover and if there are any extras. The Realtors Act of 1979 requires that details of all fees and charges, including brokerage fees, be before the assignment is These may be in fine print, so review all agreements carefully.
Is advertising included? You can pay more for advertising if you don’t check in the broker’s base fee. It can cost £75 for a small photo in a local paper and you don’t want to be stuck with just in your branch window and a on the website.
Make sure the broker shows up for visits. The lack of presence of real estate agents in the visits is a common complaint. Indicate in advance if and when you want the broker to guide potential buyers during visits.
Don’t take the broker’s mortgage advice as gospel. You can end up paying too much for a mortgage if you don’t shop around and check with other brokers. Also, keep in mind that it is illegal for an agent to pass on your financial information to third parties.
Get assurances from the real estate agent that potential buyers can afford your home. Real estate agents often fail to ensure that potential buyers have the funds to pay for sellers’ homes. Insist that the agent pressure the buyer to provide proof that he has the funds to finance the transaction, e.g. a letter from a mortgage lender stating that sufficient funds are available. This filters out time wasters and prevents late-stage sales from failing.
Keep an eye out for the “For Sale” sign and make sure the broker removes their sign as soon as the transaction is complete, or at least keep it up to date if we have a sale.
Some brokers have for leaving signs outside houses on rival brokers’ books to steal from their customers. Such shenanigans can make it difficult to sell your home.
Make sure the broker keeps you updated on the progress of the sale. Some agents don’t keep sellers informed of details like post-visit feedback and whether offers have come in, which can cause sales delays. Have your real estate agent keep you informed about all aspects of the sales process.
Also beware of this common list…
Another big source of consternation among sellers is by some brokers to claim a commission on a sale, if they weren’t directly in the transaction because they were the buyer.
In a recent lawsuit, the judge ruled that when a broker claims a commission, he must prove that he actually caused the sale. In other words, they must have presented the buyer with the purchase, not just the property.
Additionally, agents who are members of the TPO or NAEA are not to commission if they withdraw their assignment more than six months before the sale.
Some brokerage contracts contain a clause stating that if the broker. Finds a “ready, willing and able” buyer, he is entitled to claim a commission regardless of whether or not he sold the property to that buyer.
The best way to avoid this is to not sign these types of agreements at all. So again, it is highly recommend that you check the fine print carefully.
Cancel your broker
He has changed his mind about selling his house, or is fed up. With a dishonest and unprofessional real estate agent. He has the right to cancel his agreement with the real estate agent.
If you have entered into a “single sale” agreement, you must wait. Until the notice period expires before you are clear of the agent.
you have a “sole proprietorship” arrangement, a notice period applies again. Be sure not to instruct another broker during this time because if they find. A buyer for your property, you may have to pay a commission to the original. Broker, in addition to the commission to the new one.
Canceling is a relatively simple process. Simply call the real estate agent, note the time of the call and who you are speaking to. With and explain that you want to inform them that you are withdrawing. The orders of sale on your property are effective immediately. You don’t have to give them a reason why you’re canceling. Follow up the conversation with written confirmation of the cancellation.
thinking about getting into real estate, and getting into real estate – why aren’t there more successful Realtors in the world? Well, there’s only so much business to go around, so there. Can only be so many Real Estate Agents in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business. And how different it is from traditional careers. Makes it difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition. Into the Real Estate Business. As a Broker, I see many new agents make their way into my office. For an interview, and sometimes to begin their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring a lot of great qualities to the table. Lots of energy and ambition but they also make a lot of common mistakes. Here are the 7 top mistakes rookie Real Estate Agents Make.
So many new agents put all their emphasis on which Real Estate Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license comes in the mail. Why? Because most new Real Estate Agents have never been in business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees.