The 5 Unmistakable Signs of a Weak Upstate SC Realtor®

and what to do when you spot one

There are good and bad Realtors® in every city and the same goes for the Upstate here in South Carolina. Finding a great buyers agent may not be too difficult for your new home, but what if it's unclear if the real estate agent sitting across from you is a good fit? New home sales take a certain understanding of people, contracts, and savvy business acumen to navigate. You can have a truly wonderful time using a buyers agent to buy a new home!

On the other hand, having a bad experience with a buyers agent is like watching that couple on Married at First Sight hate each other and regret everything they've ever done, except you are the one in the show. 

Don't be the 'Married at First Sight' Couple. 

Truthfully, a weak real estate agent may be hard to identify. In their natural habitat, a not-so-good agent can appear great with the following:

Nice desk? Check.

Nice suit? Check.

Fancy titles? Check.

Lots of billboard space and marketing? Check.

Still, could you be working with a weak agent. This is scary.  

Avoid working with these weak agents at all costs. Especially in this market, you have to have someone fight for your best interests and be on your side. Someone who knows real estate contracts. An agent who does not see you as a means to a paycheck, rather someone who has a mission to serve at the highest level.  

Your challenge is this: there are over 2,000 active agents in the Upstate of South Carolina. More good news! There are more Realtors® than places to buy ice cream and it's regularly 104º (Celsius!!!!) here.

Want to know how to spot a weak Realtor®? Read on.

1. They tell you they represent you when they represent the seller.

(A listing agent represents the seller and not you.) This is a lie, and I don't have to tell you not to believe lies. 

2. A weak buyers agent won't ask you [read:negotiate] for your business. 

It's supposed to work like a beautiful, happy marriage. You promise to hire the agent, they promise to give you 100%. 




Would you choose the agent who can't even gather enough confidence to ask for your business or would you choose the one who has the guts to ask for 100% commitment? 

3. A weak agent will open doors for you... without an agency agreement. 

Red flag. Sometimes it's because they hope you will buy the house. They are not fully disclosing how real estate works in South Carolina. Sometimes it's because they are the listing agent. Taking real estate advice from them is like taking a red apple from an old woman and your name is Snow. Stop. Bad human. It may feel nice to get to know the agent with "no strings attached," but without an agency agreement, if they give you one piece of real estate advice they are acting illegally. 

4. A bad agent is happy to slap their name on your contract to get paid without acting in your best interest. 

For your own humanity, do not sign a contract unless the agent who wrote it represents you. If you are not a real estate attorney, stay away from signing a contract to buy a house without signing a buyer or seller agency agreement. 


"What? I'm not going to sign anything!"

Sound scary? I guess you haven't heard about Agency in the Upstate of South Carolina yet. Everyone who enjoys a good experience with real estate chooses to sign an agency form. 100% of my clients choose AGENCY. It's normal. Ask any of my clients (I'm serious - call me and ask for a reference - 864.416.4505).  Agency means you get Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accounting, Reasonable Care, and Skill. Without it, you represent yourself against - you guessed it - someone who has an agent representing them.  Is that really the strongest position for you to be in? 

Every buyer agency agreement in South Carolina can be terminated at any time by both parties.

Pro Tip #1: You get Agency by signing an agency agreement. It protects you and puts the agent on your side.  

Without Agency, you get nothing. Without agency, an agent could legally and ethically use any information you share with them against you. They could write a contract with all kinds of not-in-your-favor things. In fact, they are obligated to! They will not be held liable for anything you sign. Why? Because they don't represent you, plain and simple. Weak (sometimes misleading and dishonest) agents will "work" for you, when really they represent the other party. Want to avoid walking in to this situation? Easy. Get represented yourself.

5. You don't feel like you can trust them, or they are unprofessional.

 If you get a bad vibe from an agent, give the rose to someone else. This goes without saying, but trust your instincts. Sometimes, it's not a good personality fit, and that's OK too! 


Need to dump your agent? Here are 10 ways. 

For buyers:

- "Do you take Euros for the earnest money deposit?

- "Is it OK if we bring my pet snake to the showings? Crusher is only fast enough to catch his prey on certain types of carpet. 

- "Tell you what, I'll pay you a flat fee of $30. I get a teacher discount everywhere else."

- "We are nudists, and any showings we must be completely nude. Otherwise it will ruin our perception of what living in the home is really like. We must also test all the furniture."

- "We only want a house that has doors that open vertically and are sound activated. Anything else and we are not paying an agent."

For Sellers:

- "Can I sell 400 acres of marshland? It's a protected wetland, so it's got beavers. Real big teeth. No idea where the boundaries are, it hasn't been surveyed in 150 years...BUT it was subdivided for mobile homes!" That'll get it sold quick!

- I heard if I put my house on the market, I can stop my mortgage payments! Is that a thing?

- I got a $8,000 angel statue on the front yard. That should raise the sales price by $16,000. 

- Trees will not sell with the property, those are mine... but can leave them there 6 months after I sell so I can let them mature?

- Can I subdivide my 50 acres into 28 acres and 28 acres?

- My collection of 30 frog figurines are what will add to the fantasy flair - you can't take them down for showings! Also, don't let anyone let out my pet ferret!


Ready to start looking? Let's get connected!

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David is a REALTOR®, New Homes Buyer Specialist, author of the only new homes website in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Are you buying a new Upstate SC home in the next 3-6 months?

Call or text: 864.416.4505    |