A lesson in manners: Things Your Agent Shouldn’t Do While Looking at Houses
It was brought to my attention this weekend that some agents do very unprofessional, somewhat funny things while showings houses to their clients. If your agent does any of the following, I highly suggest you reevaluate your representation:
1. If a listing says to call first, make sure your agent does. If you show up to a property and a seller looks utterly dumbfounded that someone is at their door, chances are your agent never called to schedule the appointment. Likely, depending on the scenario, you won’t actually be allowed in the house…thereby wasting your time.
2. If your agent brings their pet along on the tour, fire them. I don’t care if you’re a pet lover or not, bringing a pet along with you and actually into a strangers house is rude and disrespectful. If they do that now, imagine how they’ll handle the other agent in the transaction while negotiating on your behalf. Complete and utter disrespect for anyone else. What if the sellers have pets of their own? Or kids with allergies?
3. Your agent should help you evaluate properties. The decision is yours alone. It’s not our money, and we don’t have to live there. If you’ve given your agent specific “must haves” I would expect them to remind you of that, such as space for a home office or a backyard, etc. In the end, if you decide to forego your list, that’s completely up to you. But I have never said “you must buy this house” or the opposite. I like to help people evaluate their options, such as “where would you put kid #2?” Or “this is a main street, how do you feel about traffic and noise?” Your agent should be your sounding board, not a home-pusher.
4. Your agent should point out potential loan/code violations. For an FHA loan, if there’s a staircase more than 3 or 4 steps, it must have a handrail. If there’s an outlet within 6 feet of water, there must be a GFCI protected outlet. Outlets with 2 prongs instead of a 3-prong grounded outlet could be a potential safety hazard. Things like that – you should be aware of things that might be flags later on, otherwise you might be blinded by that on an inspection or appraisal. If they’re not pointing these things out, ask them to. If they don’t know of any – fire them.
5. Trust your gut – if it seems sketchy, it probably is.