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5 Signs That It’s Time To Fire Your Realtor

5 Signs That It’s Time To Fire Your Realtor

If you’re one of the brave souls that’s ever attempted navigating through the treacherous waters of selling your home, then you’re not a stranger to the stressful nature of such a transaction. Sure, selling a home sounds quick and painless, especially if you’re using a realtor, right?

Not necessarily.

Thousands of homeowners that don’t understand the anatomy of a real estate transaction (or just want mass MLS exposure of their home), will hire a realtor, aka a “glorified real estate agent”.  They do this under the assumption that a realtor will make the transaction go smoother, simpler, and most importantly, faster. Unfortunately, many home owners have quite a different experience.

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Here are a few signals to look out for that could mean it’s time to find another realtor:

1. You House Simply Isn’t Selling

The idea that a real estate agent, through their hard effort and experience finds just the right buyer for your home is simply a real estate myth. You see, there are only 3 main factors that will actually cause your home to go from unsold to…sold. They are: Price, Condition, and Location. No one can change the location, so if a home is priced correctly according to its condition, then anyone can sell it…not just a realtor.

So, if you’re house isn’t selling as quickly as you were told by your realtor, then why should you blame them? Because once you hire a realtor to represent you, they owe you a fiduciary duty.

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You see, in acting as a fiduciary to you, they should properly research the market, and advise you to list the property at a price that will bring offers. If the realtor advises you on an incorrect list price that’s too high, in order to “get the listing”, then you won’t know until months later when your house remains unsold.

2. Promises Are Being Broken

It’s not uncommon for a newbie real estate agent that desperately needs a listing to over-promise and under-deliver, especially in regard to the amount of money that they say they can get you for your house. But newbie realtors and agents don’t always intentionally make promises that they can’t keep; sometimes they lack the experience in properly determining home values for their clients.

If a realtor tells you that they can sell your house for $150,000 in 60 days or less without providing proof of similar homes selling at that same price within that same time period, then red flags should go up right away. Agents that list “over-priced” homes using this technique have a pre-planned strategy to encourage you (after a few weeks have passed) to reduce the list price of your home. If you’ve found that your agent/realtor has over-priced your home, ask them to release you from the listing agreement immediately and either sell your house without a REALTOR or hire a new one.

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3. There’s Zero Marketing Being Done

Believe it or not, the only marketing that a realtor really has to do to generate an offer on a well-priced home, is to list it in the local Board Of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (the MLS).  Once listed, your home is instantly available to hundreds or even thousands of other realtors and their buyers to see. So it’s actually the MLS that’s a realtor’s best and usually only marketing tool to get your home sold quickly and for the most amount of money.

If your realtor doesn’t take the time to have professional photos taken of your home, and quickly get all the details accurately entered into the MLS and on the market by the agreed upon date, then you should be extremely concerned. Why? Because if your realtor can’t do the ONE marketing task that is actually going to bring offers, then you have to wonder what else their letting fall through the cracks during the remainder of the selling process.

4. Communication Is Seriously Lacking

You’ve heard it before, “communication is key”, and in a real estate transaction, it’s not just a cliche; thousands of dollars could be lost if communication is lacking between you and your realtor.

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You should be concerned early on, if you believe that you’re realtor isn’t informing you of:

  • the feedback received from buyers that have seen your home but have yet to make an offer
  • offers from qualified buyers in a timely manner
  • potential issues with the buyer’s loan processing/approval
  • statuses of reports, such as inspection reports or appraisals
  • the status of your counter-offers

Realtors need to be in constant communication with their clients throughout the entire listing agreement period. If yours isn’t, you might consider a different realtor.

5. Questions Aren’t Getting Answered Accurately Or Honestly

If you find early on, that your realtor can’t answer simple questions that directly relate to the industry that they work in, then you could be setting yourself up for failure. You absolutely must make sure that your realtor/real estate agent is competent enough in their field to be able to hold your hand and guide you properly through the complexities of selling a piece of real estate. Their not selling cars or mattresses; their selling your nest egg that you’ve treated like your firstborn.

With that in mind, if your realtor isn’t able to answer these questions accurately, they are highly unqualified to be your Fiduciary:

  • When exactly does the “Option Period” expire?
  • The buyer wants to negotiate repairs before the inspection. Should we?
  • How do you know that this buyer is qualified to purchase this home?
  • Do you know the track record of the selling agent that is representing the buyer?
  • What factors are preventing my home from selling, besides price?

Summary

Due to the complexities of a real estate transaction, unfortunately, most home owners lack the experience to “know what they don’t know”. If that’s you, then don’t let fear stop you from hiring a realtor to represent you, just be mindful of what we covered in this article, before, during, and after you decided to work with a real estate professional.

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James Vasquez

Real Estate Investor

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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