Nobody wants a wishy washy real estate agent.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

One of my electricians used to say, "Nobody has confidence in a wishy washy electrician," and he was right. You want to know the person working on your home is confident and skilled at his job. The same is true in real estate. Nobody wants a wishy washy real estate agent.

Think about that for a second. A client is handing over the biggest investment he/she is ever likely to make to someone he/she may not even know. One of my late year deals fell apart because of a wishy washy real estate agent. This agent was so clueless about the business, she did practically everything wrong from the first contact we had. That made me wonder, where was her broker? She was not ready to be in the game as a solo agent.

If you're just entering the business, don't be afraid to seek help at all levels. There is always someone somewhere who will help you learn the ropes. If you have questions, ask. If you're uncertain, seek clarity. If you're afraid to meet up with clients, partner with a seasoned agent and visit the client together. This is a business with legal consequences. It's not one that you should learn on the job without some experienced guidance. 

Nobody wants a wishy washy doctor and nobody wants a wishy washy real estate agent. Do your homework, read, attend seminars, take classes, run practice scenarios in your office, review documents before you need them, keep good notes about everything, and always be willing to say, "I don't know, but I'll find out." Find a mentor who can walk you through your first few deals, and one day, you'll be that mentor. 


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  1. Ginger Harper 01/01/2019 05:55 PM
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I believe it's a problem in this industry that agents are told they are their "own business" from the moment they get their license and that brokerages have become fee collectors without giving guidence and mentoring.  All the technology and tools in the world don't make you a good agent... experience does.  I loved this post.

Jan 01, 2019 05:50 PM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Mike and Happy New Year!!!   Buying or selling a house is a major investment. Both parties need to have confidence in the agent who is handling their transaction. 

Jan 01, 2019 06:10 PM #8
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

So true.  I’ve mentored rookies just out of college and rookies who have already had a long career in another business, and it’s the experienced rookie who has enough sense to know what they don’t know and ask questions. 

Jan 01, 2019 06:20 PM #9
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Mike, what a great post I am so glad it has a Gold Star attached to it. Yes there is no substitute for Character and willingness to take a position, Endre

Jan 01, 2019 08:31 PM #10
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

When I started I had a lot of questions, sad to say there was no formal training with my first agency.  Now, things have sure changed.

Jan 02, 2019 12:42 AM #11
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I don't want a wishy-washy anything! Confidence is the key!

Jan 02, 2019 04:22 AM #12
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Mike,

Glad to see this post are right no one wants a wishy washy anything! Just having an "okay" agent not well versed is not what a buyer or seller is looking for. It reminds me of the commercials I saw on TV during the Sugar Bowl..okay is not good..your looking for great!

Jan 02, 2019 06:04 AM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Amazing to notice how we all are in different places at different times. Add we are in constant states of development and it becomes even more fascinating

Jan 02, 2019 06:47 AM #14
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Mike, one lesson is that when you are new, not only seek out a good real estate office, but INTERVIEW your principal broker. That is vital in the protection of being not only a new realtor, but can teach you such good lessons. I believe that you need to do the same thing when you decide on a doctor. It's not a one-way street. 

Excellent points and one can ALWAYS learn from each real estate experience, which is part of the fun of this business...definitely the opposite of being boring. And put the ego aside and say, "I don't know what I'm doing, could you please help me?"

Jan 02, 2019 07:22 AM #15
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Unfortunately this business seems to attract a lot of wishy washy people.  As one long time real estate agent once told me, most people in this industry fall into it due to some life circumstance, not because they CHOOSE they industry.  The good ones just have to stay good and overshadow the wish washy ones. Best of luck to you in 2019 Mike.

Jan 02, 2019 08:10 AM #16
Josh Martin
Cream City Home Buyers, LLC - Milw, WI
We Buy Houses in the Milwaukee Metro Market.

Agreed. People like to see decisiveness. I've made this mistake before, working with buyers and with sellers. Oddly enough, I bet sellers would rather see you be overly optimistic about list price but also decisive, rather than "Well we can try and get it but I think it's high," I always default to the latter because I have trouble lying (I mean selling ;) but people want to be led and often hear what they want to hear. 

Gotta lead the way. 


Joshua T. Martin

Cream City Home Buyers, LLC

Jan 02, 2019 09:05 AM #17
Macy Babb ... North Georgia Realtor
Re/Max Around Atlanta Realtor - 404-234-6166 - Cartersville, GA
Realtor, SFR, HUD/REO Certified

Agree... it's always the question you get, what do you hae to offer...and my answer is ME... you never know enough to not always be learning!

Jan 02, 2019 12:17 PM #18
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Mike, we were all new in the business at one point and I'm certain those who are still in the business did things the right way. I've done a lot of hand-holding and will do it again if I need to but there are some things we have no knowledge of that are vital to hold the deal together. Sellers must do their diligence when selecting their agent. 

Jan 02, 2019 01:29 PM #19
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Wishy-washy or ignorant but decisive - clients don't need either one.

Jan 02, 2019 04:09 PM #20
David Smith
Brokers Guild Classic - Lakewood, CO
Residential and Commercial Broker

Extremely good advice and very true.  Once you know the business better, fine line between confident/competence and being over-bearing which we all have to consistently tread.  Love the concept of mentoring and becoming a mentor, pay it forward out of respect to those who helped you!

Jan 02, 2019 07:50 PM #21
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I so appreciate this post.  I feel that way when I review listings with solar panels and no info regarding lease, owned, cost,  much less an agent in the middle of a transaction!

Jan 02, 2019 07:58 PM #22
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mike

Wishy washy Realtors don’t accomplish much of anything and can certainly cause more problems for their clients, and others in the transaction, as well being a liability.


Jan 02, 2019 10:11 PM #23
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I do agree with you. Sometimes it's difficult to give a positive, confident answer, for example..."Does this basement take on water? "  or "Is this the best the seller will do?"  I understand these are subjective questions.  And being honest about not knowing is worthwhile.  You have to build trust with the client.

Jan 03, 2019 01:43 PM #24
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay

Hi Mike and Happy New Year! Yes you are correct! We've all been there, we learned along the way, its always good to ask questions! 

Jan 03, 2019 02:06 PM #25
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Wait.  Walt Disney said we should wish upon a star (Jiminy Cricket), and we should wash every day.

So wishy washy can't be all bad.

Jan 03, 2019 03:29 PM #26
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