As a real estate professional for over 10 years, I have seen some great agents, good agents, fair agents, and down right poor agents. After the downturn came in 2007, many of those agents only in the business for a quick buck which usually meant agents that were also unprofessional quickly left the business and went on to other professions to make a quick buck and the agents who were left were the ones who are professional and in the business because they loved working with helping people buy and sell homes. It was great to get back to work with other professionals and get transactions done even though the transaction became very difficult to say the least.
Lately, it seems that there is more and more unprofessional agents starting to pop back up or maybe I was a lucky one that just did not see them in my other transactions. I went back to the National Association of Realtors website recently and looked up the "Pathways to Professionalism" and reviewed it and found that there are many agents that need to also review this document. I know that there are some great agents out there and working with them is what makes this job great, but there are still some bad apples that need to be removed. The following are just a couple of things that I am seeing more of with regards to my dealing with some agents in my area.
My biggest complaint is the non communicative agent who does not let you know the status of their clients ability, does not return my phone calls, or worse; just goes AWOL never to be seen again. In one of my transactions, I call the agent to find out where the buyers stand with regards to financing. I am told that the buyer got denied but that there is a possibility of a co-signer that can get the transaction to close. When I asked when did this happen, I was told the agent had known about it but just wanted to wait to see if the problem resolved itself before letting me know. This same agent told me earlier that they were not submitting the contract to the lender to get the approval process started until after the inspections which I found out when I followed up with the lender after short sale approval. The agent did not call me back for over 24 hours to let me know this was happening on both of the above occassions.
Another problem I am seeing is agents that don't really know what they are doing with regards to the real estate transaction. I am seeing agents that don't understand the Code of Ethics, the laws pertaining to real estate, the procedures to get the contract done and other issues with regards to knowing the basics of doing the job. My one recollection that recently happened was the agent that was going to send me to Arbitration with the Local Realtor Association because my seller client would not agree to disburse all the earnest money deposit back to the buyers. She was also recommending to her client to make a complaint about my seller to the Real Estate Commission. This is something I would expect someone with a basic knowledge to know that this is not the proper avenues with regards to the complaint process.
All I can say is that I hope this is just a spur of bad luck and that professionalism will returns.
Gary Nelson, REALTOR, HarfordCountyHomes.net