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Those annoying things that real estate agents do

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Most real estate agents are awesome – considerate of others, punctual and a pleasure to work with. But like every industry, a percentage of people make it their mission to drive others bonkers.

Jennifer McIntosh

Jennifer McIntosh

Jennifer McIntosh, a real estate agent with eXp Realty in Calgary and the owner of The Big Pink Chair Real Estate, lists her pet peeves with other agents:

  • “Agents who refuse to talk on the phone when dealing with an offer, only texting or emailing (sometimes, things get lost in translation).
  • “People who don’t follow protocols for COVID-19 (not wearing masks in homes or having too many people in showings).
  • “When agents ask their clients to call the selling Realtor to show the listing because they are too busy.
  • “When agents feel that the negotiations need to be adversarial – you get more bees with honey…
  • “When you show a home and the Realtor hasn’t put a keychain on the key in the box (CRAZY EASY TO LOSE). It may fall into the porch or cracks and then we need to hire a locksmith (and yes, this has happened!)
  • “When your photos that you paid for or took the time to take yourself are stolen from a previous listing of yours (expired or terminated).”

Speaking of pictures, some sales reps use a heavy hand with Photoshop. It’s happened to most agents – their buyers find an MLS listing that looks perfect for them so you set up a showing. But when you get there, the home doesn’t even resemble the pictures that have been Photoshopped to the point of absurdity. What a waste of time! We won’t even get into descriptions of listings that don’t even begin to accurately represent the property.

Amber Jenings

Amber Jenings

Amber Jenings is the broker of record and owner of Peak Point Real Estate in Sauble Beach, Ont. (the location of my current favourite Netflix binge, Motel Makeover). I laughed out loud at a call she had from an agent regarding her location. “It triggers me when out-of-town agents call and ask if Sauble Beach, in fact, has running water and electricity. (Insert hand slapping own face emoji here.) Good Lord.” I doubt Jenings laughed at the idiocy as she was too busy cringing.

Incorrectly written offers are a huge annoyance for every agent I contacted for this piece. Jenings says it best, “The amount of offers I receive from other agents that are poorly written is literally mind-blowing. I’m not sure the multiple-choice exams for new registrants are doing anyone any favours. Back in my day, we actually had to write out the full answers on exams, not just pick ‘C’.” Offers that go ignored for days are not cool either, another peeve of many.

Showings are a hotbed of frustration when dealing with other agents. Not just being late for showings but overstaying past appointment times, causing the next appointment to have to wait. Or being a no-show without giving the listing agent (or anyone else) a heads up. It’s a blatant lack of respect for everyone else’s time.

Jenings has her own pet peeve with showings. “It triggers me when out of town agents call to book a showing but say they’ll just give their clients the lock box code as they can’t make the three-hour drive this weekend. Ya no, sorry bro. Is this an alternate universe? In what world are we sending clients to view properties on their own, much less giving out lock box codes to non-registrants?” We won’t even touch the safety issues with that scenario.

MLS listings are another deep well of frustrations when it comes to fellow agents. Not updating a listing for a ridiculous amount of time once it is sold is a huge irritation. Agents often slack on changing a listing to “sold” (or leave sold listings on their websites for months) with the hopes of getting their phone to ring, but it’s still irksome to other agents.

“I love when I see pictures posted to MLS with dark rooms, or ones that are literally upside down, or where you can tell the agent has taken a picture with their smartphone,” says Jenings. “It really underscores to the public the value of using a Realtor.”

A number of agents were happy to share their pet peeves about other agents off the record. Here are some of their comments:

  • While it is a few bad apples that make the rest of us look bad, agents who don’t ask for help when they are clueless are doing everyone a disservice.
  • Agents who are only focused on making a lot of money and could care less about the best interests of their clients.
  • Agents who don’t identify themselves when they call.
  • Agents who treat real estate like a hobby instead of a business; they are usually impossible to reach when they are working their day jobs.
  • Making statements that they have no knowledge about.
  • Agents who never call you back.
  • Realtors who suck at communication.
  • Agents who submit an offer to purchase before qualifying the buyer.
Boyd (Cowboyd) de La Boursodiere

Boyd (Cowboyd) de La Boursodiere

Boyd (Cowboyd) de La Boursodiere is president of Cowboyd Realties in Montreal, vice-president of the West-Island Brokers Association in Montreal and a real estate agent with Sun Realty in Naples, Florida. He shares one of his main annoyances with other agents: “It would trigger me when agents would call me on one of my listings and their first question was, ‘Why is the price so high?’

“I would then answer them, ‘Do you have a buyer for my property or are you just calling to bug me?’ Inevitably they did have a buyer, and I would say, ‘Why don’t you look at the 3.5 per cent commission you’re getting?’ Then they would say, ‘How do you work on ½ per cent?’ My answer was, ‘Why is that? My sellers are very generous and pay me seven per cent, not four per cent, and that’s why you’re getting 3.5 per cent. Now why don’t you just let your buyers decide if they want to visit the property or not? Then let them decide if they would like to make an offer or not?’”

Thankfully it’s a small percentage of real estate agents that seem to make it their life’s mission to annoy everyone else in the industry. No matter how much an agent bugs you, try not to let anyone ruin your day. As Cowboyd says: “Don’t let anybody irk you, nobody.”


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