Buying or selling a house is one of the biggest decisions that a person makes in their life. It is a high-budget, high-pressure situation, usually with a person’s life savings on the line. The real estate market in India, in recent times, has become flooded with real-estate agents and brokers vying to win over home buyers, and thus, you need to be careful. So in order to determine which broker you can trust, here are five red flags that you should look out for while working with them:
The Broker is Unresponsive and Unavailable:
While you shouldn’t expect your broker to be in touch with you 24/7, they should be regularly in contact. If frequent updates are not being given at a timely fashion, that can be grounds for trouble. Having an on-going conversation with your agent could mean the difference between buying or selling within the ideal timeframe of five to seven months, or leaving it to languish on the market.
Broker Does Not Listen:
You can be sure you’re on the right track when the broker takes the time to listen to you, and ask you thoughtful questions on the following:
- Timeframe for buying/selling.
- Detailed information about the house you want to buy/sell.
- Expectations from them – the broker.
- Previous experiences with other brokers.
- Kinds of neighbourhoods you are interested in.
Refusal to carry out such conversations means that the broker is not giving you adequate service. This is a clear red-flag and is an indicator for you to start looking for a new broker.
The Broker is Inexperienced:
In today’s battered real estate market, it is extremely important to find an experienced broker. It is also conducive for your dealings if they have at least two years of experience in the real estate market and you can check their portfolios for a better understanding of the work they have done. You want someone who’s well-educated, up to date on current issues and who has a solid idea of professional conduct and ethics and is a RERA registered agent.
The Broker is Shady:
Speaking of professional conduct and ethics, flip-flopping on broker fees or disclosing personal issues are significant signs of trouble. You need to look out for such fraudulent behaviour and have zero-tolerance for it because not only does it put your property at risk, but your reputation as well. Lying about bids or withholding information about a crack in the foundation, for example, are patently unethical behaviour and signs you need to have a serious one-on-one with your broker, in order to deal with the problem.
Broker Does Not Know the Area and Does not Have a Network:
A cardinal rule of brokering etiquette is that brokers must always be well-versed on the positive attributes of the homes they list and the neighbourhoods they serve. They should have good knowledge about general stores, banks, educational institutes and restaurants in the vicinity. Another strong trait that brokers should have is a well-connected network of individuals such as contractors, registration agents, insurance agents and others. An absence of this is a major red-flag and is an indicator for you to look for another broker.
The Broker Makes You Uncomfortable With High-pressure Sales Tactics:
Any buyer or seller working with a broker should feel very comfortable working with them. They should not try to push a home for their personal gains. A good broker will not suggest that you try something different when things are not working, they will observe you and work hard to find a home that actually fits your needs. Regardless of how hot the market is, interactions with your broker should not leave you feeling stressed or concerned. If you are left feeling uncomfortable or are being pushed into a transaction you do not want, it is time to find a new broker.