5 Warning Signs of a Bad Realtor

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Shelley Krawchuk

Subject: Family or Friends as Agents

I agree with not hiring friends or family as agents. A friend trying to pesters me to hire him. What disturbed me is that I am moving to another city and he insists he can find a place for me? I'd rather trust an agent who knows the location, commute times, and neighborhoods to steer me away from any potential issues.


Subject: My husband and I just closed

My husband and I just closed on our first home today! Since we used an unconventional loan, it was a long and tedious process. We first started looking last June, found something the end of July and due to an abandoned buried oil tank the deal fell through because of the seller's refusal to do anything about it the end of Sept (2 days after my mother passed away, unexpectedly). We'd already been approved for the loan so we scrambled to find another house. By Dec., our loan was set to expire and our realtor left for a 3 wk vacation. She referred us to another agency. The agent she originally referred us to was too busy to help so we ended up with another agent in the office. My gut reaction was that she was pretty cold, but we were given an extension for the loan and we needed to try and find something (I was also the executor of my mom's estate and still living in her house. One which was not a good fit for my husband and me.) so we went with her. Fast forward to now: around 70% of the time we needed to get in touch with our agent, we had to go through another agent (the only agent who showed us any properties). The last straw with our agent was over the weekend. We needed to do our final walkthrough. I was already missing half a day of work on Monday for the closing, and since she had my husband call the attorney (she was boarding a plane and the phone was busy) and schedule the time, we made it for what was a good time for us. I texted her Friday, early afternoon. No response. By Saturday morning, we had called the second agent to ask for help. Since the lockbox was removed form the house, our agent didn't want to do the walkthrough on Sunday (too long of a drive, we'll be out there Monday. You can do it then, it only takes 5-10 minutes), I was not ok with that. I told her I couldn't miss any more work. She texted she was sorry she could only do it Monday. The house is 95 years old. We've had it inspected, of course, but still, we had the right not to feel rushed with our walkthrough. Her response for not getting back to my initial txt regarding the walkthrough? "I was busy addressing other issues". Really? It made the closing a very tense and uncomfortable experience for me.


Subject: Real estate agent

I was working with an agent and she provided me with a personal letter from a potential buyer. She was working for me as my seller. I've never heard of the Seller bringing a personal letter to the owner from a potential buyer. I ask my agent was she representing both the seller and the buyer? She said,"oh no". but I felt otherwise. Not a comfortable place to be in so I took my home off the market. Have this ever happen to any other home sellers?

Daniel Van Staaveren

Subject: Signs of a bad agent

I know several part time agents that are stellar. They only take on a number of clients that they know they can handle. If their client load is full they refer to other agents that can take care of the client. Part time agents are more able to give clients more time and specialized service. Many do not need to sell homes to feed their family so they are not as pushy in picking a home but more to finding you the perfect home. They are also more appreciative of your business.


Subject: Signs of a bad agent

I know of an agent that has been part-time for 13 years and has survived the housing crash unlike some full-time agents. Mortgage lenders have also said he does a better job than most full-time agents. So before you hire the so called "Expert" pay attention to those Realtors that listen, are responsive to your needs, and do not have a 50 page presentation to show you. Not all agents pour all their money into fancy websites, Zillow, or other lead generating sites. It is not all about the transaction! It is about customer service, before, during, and well after the transaction has closed.


Subject: #4

Good advice except #4. That sounds like full timers wanting to keep business to themselves. I know an excellent, award-winning part time realtor who is better than ANY realtor we've hired. He isn't able to rely on real estate solely for his income but he goes the extra mile for all his clients. Full time realtors we have dealt with are all about themselves. Oh, and who told them they are experts on "staging"? Don't get me started.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.