Choosing the wrong real estate professional is like wearing an incredibly expensive pair of uncomfortable shoes. Unless you swap them out for a better fit, you’re going to have blisters to deal with at the end of the day. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t force it. The easiest way to tell that you have the wrong agent is if they make you feel doubtful or uncomfortable in any way.

If find yourself questioning whether you have the right agent, do a little research to discover whether your doubts go beyond just a personal dislike. The internet has made this such an easy thing to do. Simply fire up a search engine, type in the agent’s name with the word “complaints”, and you’ll know within minutes if others have experienced similar gripes with the agent under consideration.

As a general rule, there are three types of agents buyers and sellers need to avoid:

False-Promising ‘Pete’

‘Pete’ is a born showman who makes all kinds of lofty promises embellished in exaggerations. After he is done with the sales pitch, you’ll believe that your property will be sold within the next hour. Look out for phrases such as ‘instant sale’, ‘double your asking price’ and ‘I’ll be contactable 24/7’. To make sure the agent’s claims are not just wishful thinking, ask to see the evidence that enables them to make these claims. A reputable agent will have done market research and should be able to supply you with facts around their own recent sales in your area. You can also ask to see their sales track record over the last few years.

Absent ‘Annie’
While it is unreasonable to expect an agent to be instantly contactable at all hours of the day, it is not too self-important to expect that your agent gets back to you within 24 hours. The early stages of the home-buying or -selling process is a good indication of how responsive your agent will be. If they are not easily contactable from the start, then you should not waste your time with them.

Never-wrong ‘Ned’
These agents are by far the easiest to spot, usually because their ego makes them appear twice as large as they actually are. These agents steamroll over the wants and needs of their clients. Be very weary of these characters because they will end up wasting a lot of your time. They will claim to know what is best for you without even taking the time to find out what you’re looking for. Good real estate agents ask more questions than make statements. If your agent is more interested in hearing their own advice than in hearing about you, then you really need to start looking for another agent.

No matter how strong the personality is that you are dealing with, you need to remember that you are still in control of your own real estate transaction. Purchasing and selling a property is a time-consuming process fraught with important financial implications. If you feel that the agent is not doing a good job, then you are fully entitled to trade them in for an agent who you’re more comfortable working with.