If you’ve had a home buying or selling experience that wasn’t quite what you expected (or hoped for), you may be familiar with some of the realtor tricks to watch out for. From communication mishaps to “administrative fees,” real estate agent tricks and traps can be frustrating and costly. Here are some of the most popular real estate agent tricks to avoid.
Read the fine print
A real estate agent’s commission fee is expected, but you could be surprised by an additional “administrative fee” to help cover brokerage costs. Some agents charge anywhere from $250 to $1,500, but keep in mind this fee is negotiable and you have the right to ask questions if something seems unusual in the contract.
High home valuation
Although it sounds nice at first, an agent who tells you your home should be listed at a price far beyond what any other agent has recommended may simply be trying to buy your listing. You want an agent who will be direct and realistic about your property’s value. You don’t want your home sitting on the market because it’s overpriced.
Too popular for you
Highly recommended real estate agents are likely very busy as they’re nearly always in high demand. If you want to team up with the most popular agent on the block, ask who you will be working and communicating with before signing the contract. Busy real estate agents may meet with you initially, but eventually pass you and your property on to a real estate agent team member who has more time (and possibly less experience).
Double check the references
It’s natural to request a list of references from any real estate agent you’re considering working with, but make sure you take a double glance through the list from a real estate agent who’s still establishing themselves. References may be relatives or good friends so be sure to ask any reference you call how they found the real estate agent.
It’s completely okay for you to ask a real estate agent upfront if they work as an agent full or part time. And of course, it’s completely okay for you to work with a part-time real estate agent, but you should know that an active real estate license doesn’t necessarily mean the agent has sold any houses lately. Be sure to ask for recent numbers when it comes to properties sold.