If you’ve been around the block more than once or if you’ve done a handful of real estate transactions, I’m sure you will agree that there are certain “hot button” situations that raise your hackles… just like when someone rings your doorbell and your dog gets a little bit agitated. Here are the top 5 scary things that make most real estate agents want to run the other way… or at least be a little bit concerned about the smoothness of the forthcoming real estate transaction.
5 Scary Things Real Estate Agents Fear Hearing
- Relatives. I love big families and I love close knit families. But something that causes my head to spin a little bit is when a client or prospective client says, “My <INSERT RELATIVE HERE> says that we should list the property for X.” Insert any relative and any situation. Maybe, “my relative says that we should have received 10 offers already” or “my relative says that I should negotiate for the sellers to put new tile in the entire house.” It happens a lot and in most cases the relatives are unlicensed. While they may have some experience in buying and selling, it pales in comparison to my own. I know that in that situation, I need to either get them on Melissa’s page, or move on. Personally, I always want to work with people who trust me and my experience.
- Lawsuits. It is always great to know a good attorney. At my company, we have several. We have one that we call if we have challenges in property management, another for purchase and sale situations, and a third for generic stuff that doesn’t necessarily fall into those categories (establishing a corporation, etc). But when I get a call from someone who wants to hire me because they have just sued their previous agent, that is a red flag and generally I move on. While the situation that the person was involved in may have been reasonable and legitimate, I just don’t want to take the risk. I’m not interested in getting involved with someone who always has lawsuits on the brain.
- Over confidence regarding financials. How many times have you heard from a buyer who is so confident that they will qualify that they do not even speak with a lender before calling you? And, how often have you shown a home to someone who has not been pre-qualified. I certainly understand that sometimes it might be a good idea to show perhaps one home to establish rapport, but nevertheless often people do not qualify or qualify for a much lesser amount than the properties that they desire. As such, you’ve got to have property scripting to get people qualified before touring all the homes for sale in your community.
- Trust money forthcoming. Since getting my license over two decades ago, I’ve seen several situations where a buyer has stated that they have a windfall coming from a trust or a bank or some sort of settlement. They are always looking at multi-million dollar homes and they have no proof of funds and the month is always coming tomorrow. I actually know one agent who has an alleged prospective buyer who has been saying her money is coming tomorrow ($2M) for over 5 years! Now, that is a scary situation that makes me want to run the other way.
- Mold. In property management, we do see a significant number of tenants that throw around the word “mold” because they think it gives them power to manipulate the property manager. And, 9 out of 10 times, it is simply mildew from an improperly ventilated bathroom or the tenants own substandard cleaning skills. Nevertheless, if a seller mentions mold or a buyer is concerned about mold, it is vital that all the proper channels are used to make sure the home is clear of mold. Otherwise, everyone is going to end up in an unfortunately legal situation down the road.
I could go on and on about scary situations in real estate, but those are my top 5. Part of avoiding scary real estate situations involves being a good listener–listening to the cues as to situations that should be avoided. And, of course, have the gumption to say no and move on.
What types of scary situations have you encountered that we can add to the list?