A Bad Real Estate Agent is Like a Drunk Driver. Reckless & Dangerous- But Licensed.
Having a real estate license, without a firm knowledge of the real estate industry, is like having a driver’s license, and choosing to drive drunk. It’s reckless, and puts the lives and the livelihoods of others at risk.
That sounds harsh. I know it does. But it’s true. Everyone knows a real estate agent. You meet them at social events, school functions, at the local grocery store… Everywhere. The problem is that to say I am a real estate agent, simply means I passed the state exam. I have a license. It doesn’t mean that I’m actually good at the job. It doesn’t mean I have the knowledge and experience to expertly guide you through the complicated process of buying or selling a home. It means I have a business card, with my picture on it. 500 of them in fact, because there was an online flash sale- 500 cards for $9.99. There you go, instant real estate agent.
Why, as a consumer, should you be thinking about this? Because many people hire an agent, without doing any investigation into whether or not they are worth their salt. They are your hairdresser’s boyfriend’s friend… of a friend. And the agent certainly isn’t going to tell you. Nooo- I can’t imagine you will hear “Well, truth be told I haven’t been doing this all that long, and I’m a little fuzzy on filling out the contracts, but the commission checks are enticing so let’s give it a whirl. What do you say?” Nope. I don’t see it. The problem is that your agent’s level of expertise matters. It’s vital.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being new. We were all new once. When I was new I studied under some of the best agents I’ve ever seen. I apprenticed until I was good enough, and knew enough, to be a resource (not a liability), to my clients. “New” is a temporary stage, but where I take issue is when an agent gets into a situation that far exceeds their level of knowledge, standing right next to a client that is looking to them for guidance. It’s selfish. It says “I am willing to chance putting you in harm’s way, because I want to get paid.” Please, PLEASE don’t hire a person like that.
Putting clients at risk due to a lack of knowledge, is like driving drunk. It’s reckless, dangerous, and utterly unnecessary. When you decide to hire someone to represent you in the purchase or sale of your most important asset, make sure that they are up to the task. The consequences if they are not, could be something you deal with for a very, very long time.