Having the right estate agent can often lead to success in property transactions. A good agent looks out for your best interests and provides you with a clear view of your options. But what if you end up with someone who, rather than help you in your investment journey, turns your whole experience into a nightmare?

Here are seven signs that you need to let go of your agent:

1. Poor communication

Like any profession, the ability to communicate effectively is among the top soft skills one should possess to succeed. This is especially true in real estate, where poor communication can result in missing out on massive investment opportunities. In today’s digital age, there is no reason for you to be waiting around to hear from your agent. They should be able to give you regular updates on the status of a property, be it through texts, e-mails, or phone calls. If you constantly find yourself begging your agent for information, then that’s a clear sign they’re not the right one.     

2. Dishonesty

Trust plays a very crucial role in any business transaction, so it’s always important to have a real estate agent you can trust. A bad agent pulls out lots of tricks just to impress you or earn more cash. They may lie about the properties they’ve sold. They may undervalue or overvalue your property. They may even ask you to make a false claim in an advertisement. If you’re struggling to distinguish when your agent is being truthful or telling a lie, then it’s time to say goodbye.

3. Unprofessionalism

It often doesn’t take long for you to tell if a person conducts themselves with a high level of professionalism. Sometimes, all it takes is a first meeting or a short conversation. Did your agent show up in time? Did they dress appropriately? Did they appear clean and well-groomed? Were they able to answer your questions with authority and in a respectful manner? If you see signs of unprofessionalism, it might also indicate they are not the right agent for you.

4. Lack of experience

While inexperience in itself doesn’t necessarily make a real estate agent bad, working with someone with years of experience buying or selling properties in your preferred neighbourhood could pay huge dividends. Like any profession, real estate has a learning curve. More experience doesn’t just yields better results, but it also offers you peace of mind.

5. Poor marketing skills

If you’re selling a property, it is your agent’s job to attract as many potential buyers as possible. This means having a sound marketing plan that goes beyond putting a sign in the yard and posting a photo on their website. Having a real estate agent who knows how to take advantage of the various online platforms to draw in buyers is a huge blessing in today’s digital world. When choosing an agent to sell your property, make sure to ask how they intend to do it. If they can’t provide a concrete marketing plan, then you might be dealing with the wrong agent.

6. Lack of references

Referrals say a lot about an agent. Someone who is in good standing in the real estate community will have many happy clients vouching for them. In contrast, a dodgy agent will have lots of complaints lodged against them. It’s not rocket science to separate the good apples from the rotten ones. All you need to do is a quick internet search and see what comes up. If a negative review turns up on the agent you are eyeing, consider yourself warned.

7. Causing pressure

You should never be coerced into doing something you’re not comfortable with. A bad real estate agent will often force you to purchase an investment property or accept an offer you don’t like. Always remember that in your transactions, you are the boss. If dealing with your agent feels like a constant power struggle, it might be time to move on from them.

What should you do if you hired a bad real estate agent?

If you suddenly realised that you’re dealing with someone dodgy, don’t be afraid to articulate your dissatisfaction – but try to do it in a respectful manner. People often respond to kindness and compassion in a positive way, raising the chances that your agent will release you from your agreement.

However, you must also remember that terminating a contract often comes with conditions that might require some form of compensation. Still, this might be worth it in the long run, especially when dealing with mounting levels of disappointment and frustration from your agent.

And remember not to let this experience warp your view of real estate agents in general, because for every dodgy agent who is there only for a quick buck, there are many agents out there who would go miles just to get you the best deal for your investment property.