8 Things a Real Estate Agent May Hide From You
Being a real estate agent isn’t always easy. It’s the agent’s job to guide their clients through every step of the purchasing process. This includes finding suitable buyers or sellers, negotiating property sales and closing out deals.
But sometimes an agent prioritises making a sale over serving the needs of their client. They cut corners in order to close out deals as quickly as possible. Some even engage in underhanded tactics just to get a huge payday. This often leaves clients dealing with the repercussions of a bad purchase.
If you’re looking to hire a real estate agent, I suggest reading this article first. We’ve uncovered 8 important things that some agents try to hide from their clients. Check and see if your agent is already trying to pull one of these on you.
1. You don’t have to buy a home larger than what you need
Let’s face it: not all real estate agents can be honest with their clients. Some don’t disclose every detail about the home that they’re offering. If they can sell you a house that’s a square metre larger than what you need, they’d do it. The larger the home, the more they can make out of the deal.
But where does that leave you? You’ll be stuck with a home that’s probably too big for you to handle. You’ll also end up with higher electricity bills and maintenance costs. In this particular case, going big isn’t always a good idea.
Only buy a home that fits your needs. If you’re looking for a good starter home, a house with one or two bedrooms may be ideal. You don’t necessarily have to buy a large house unless you’re planning to start a family and have kids.
Be wary of real estate agents who try to sell you a big house on account of extra space. If it doesn’t match your buying plan, you can politely turn them down.
2. You don’t have to change homes frequently
You’ll rarely see a real estate agent tell their client that the best thing to do is to stay put. After all, their first priority is to sell property. Some agents even convince clients that they should change homes frequently. But in reality, it’s not always a good choice.
For investors, buying property offers a great way to expand their portfolio. They have a higher chance of making a profit if they own more than one property. Of course, there’s a big trade off to all of this. They’d have more properties to manage, which can be overwhelming if you’re doing it alone.
Sometimes it’s better to buy and manage one house at a time. This allows you to focus all of your energy and resources on a single property. You won’t have to stretch yourself thin just to bring out your investment’s full potential.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of managing your first property, then you can go ahead a make a second investment. Your buying plan should always follow your own pace. Don’t let anyone else dictate how often you should a house.
3. You don’t have to sell your home privately
Selling a home off market can be a lucrative deal. That’s why some real estate agents urge sellers not to list their properties. If your agent asks you to list your home privately, you might want to think twice before hiring them. They might not necessarily represent your best interests.
4. Great-looking houses might not always be the best deals
Most inexperienced home buyers go for houses that look great on the surface. But more often than not, these properties often out to be pocket-drainers. They tend to be a lot more expensive than what they should really cost.
What’s worse is that these properties often end up not to be very ‘liquid’. You’ll have a hard time trying to find another buyer to get the property off your hands.
Some real estate agents offer clients properties that are very difficult to sell on any given day. They’d try to pass it on as a good deal, but in fact they’re not. They’d rather throw ethics out the window if it means getting paid for that hard-to-sell property.
5. Your real estate agent always has to be upfront with you
A real estate agent’s first job is to be honest with their clients. They shouldn’t go soft on a seller just because they’re emotionally attached to their property. Unless their upfront with their client, they won’t be able to do their job right.
If something needs to be fixed in a property, the agent should be confident enough to tell their client. The same goes if there are any improvements that need to be done. Otherwise, it’ll be harder for them to find a suitable buyer for their property. I don’t think anyone would want to go through that.
6. Your home inspector might not tell you everything
Before you buy any property, it’s always best to have it inspected first. This allows you to see if the house is as good as advertised. It also lets you check if there are any issues with the home that needs fixing.
Your real estate agent may recommend a licensed home inspector that they know. They may say that they prefer working with this person because they’re dependable. But don’t just take their offer at face value.
It’s in the best interest of real estate agents to close out a deal as quickly as possible. To do this, some agents pressure home inspectors to not do their job as thoroughly as they should. They threaten inspectors of not hiring them again if they refuse. Or worse, they might even be in cahoots with each other.
Make sure you get an honest appraisal from a home inspector. Only hire professionals that you can trust. You can do some research on reputable home inspectors in the neighbourhood you’re buying into.
If your real estate agents recommends their own inspector, don’t agree to them immediately. Get to know the inspector first to see if they can do a good job. You can also turn your agent down and hire your own trusted home inspector.
7. It’s not necessary to check the background of your real estate agent
Buying property is serious business. You’ll spend a lot of your hard earned money on a property that should serve your needs well. That’s why you can’t give the responsibility of making the purchase on just anybody.
Before you engage a real estate agent, do some research about them. Find out how they stand in the community, whether they’re trustworthy or not.
You’d be surprised at how much of a headache you’d avoid if you choose the right person for the job. Imagine if you’ve hired an agent who’s actually a fraud or had some illegal dealings before. Will you be able to trust them fully?
I know it adds a lot of work on top of the hassles of looking and buying property. But believe me, it’ll be all worth it.
8. You need to pay attention to the fine print
Before you sign any document, always read the fine print. This is especially for any contracts or agreements your real estate agent presents you.
Some unscrupulous agents try to charge their clients extra without them knowing. They usually hide these bogus fees in contracts under different names like ‘Real Estate Transaction Fees’ or ‘Administrative Fees’.
Don’t be afraid to ask your agent if there’s anything you don’t understand in the contract. Let them explain to you what each item really means, so you know what you’re dealing with. If they can’t provide a good account of what these items are, then you might have to cancel the deal.
Finding a trustworthy real estate agent
I can’t stress enough just how crucial it is to find a real estate agent that you can trust. You need someone who can guide you through all the intricacies of buying property. It’s important that you get an honest appraisal of the offers being given to you.
As a professional Buyers Agent, I’ve built my reputation on the trust that my clients give me. They can always rely on my honest opinion on the property deals that we find. Because of it, I was able to help them land their dream property in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.
It’s OK to demand the same level of honesty from your agent. Make sure you hold them accountable to the promises they gave you when you hired them.