Selling Land

Desperate Agents are Dangerous

Desperate Agents are Dangerous

Working with a desperate real estate agent can be hazardous to your financial health. When conducting a real estate transaction you need the best information and advice possible to have the best possible outcome. An agent that is desperate for their paycheck can compromise your best interest, for their own. Let me say up front, that most of the land professionals that I deal with are good, honest people. There are some, as in any profession, that you need to be on the lookout for.

Before we get into the meat of the article, I want to make clear that I am saying that understandably there will be times when an agent (as in any profession) may need to close a deal to ensure their livelihood. The danger comes when you have a person that lives in a constant state of crisis. I am familiar with a family-run business that has had 2 or 3 different office managers that went from crises to crises and eventually ended up stealing money from their company.

The Realtor Code of Ethics addresses loyalty to a client in Article 1: “When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary…”

Agents have a primary, fiduciary duty to ensure that the client’s needs come before all others, except where prohibited by law. With that said, take a look at the list below to see if you are dealing with an agent with symptoms of desperation:

Possible danger signs from your agent:

  1. The agent talks about their needs above your needs. “I really need this deal to close.”
  2. You are encouraged to skip over the fine print. “Don’t worry about the details, we will hammer those out after we get a contract.”
  3. Everything for the deal has to be in a hurry. “We have to do this right now.”
  4. A general withholding of other relevant information about things you might find helpful. “I don’t know what has recently sold, but I know this is a good deal.”
  5. You are getting the “hard sell”. If someone has to keep trying to convince you that you are getting a good deal, then maybe you should take a step back. I hate being sold.

If you encounter one or two of the symptoms above, it may or may not indicate that you are in danger, but you should be alert to the possibility of it. There may be times when your agent needs to push along your timeline to help you take advantage of a good deal. But if you start getting a bad vibe about the whole deal, it is best to put the brakes on and assess what is really happening.

Any time you are dealing with people you have to be aware of human nature. Human nature lends itself to people looking out for their own interests. Make sure you find a quality agent that is looking out for your interests. A respected agent will get you the information you need to make the best possible decision in a timely manner. You will have a more positive outcome and are much more likely to be happier with the result of your deal.

This content may not be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in part or in whole, without written permission of LANDTHINK. Use of this content without permission is a violation of federal copyright law. The articles, posts, comments, opinions and information provided by LANDTHINK are for informational and research purposes only and DOES NOT substitute or coincide with the advice of an attorney, accountant, real estate broker or any other licensed real estate professional. LANDTHINK strongly advises visitors and readers to seek their own professional guidance and advice related to buying, investing in or selling real estate.

About the author

Jonathan Goode

Jonathan is passionate about helping people buy and sell land. He is an associate broker with Southeastern Land Group, LLC (SELG) and is the Responsible Broker for the company in Mississippi. Jonathan is an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC), working with Southeastern Land Group (AlaLandCo) since 2008, serving Alabama and Mississippi. He is a member of the Alabama and Mississippi chapters of the Realtor’s Land Institute (RLI), and is currently serving as Vice President of the Alabama Chapter. Jonathan specializes in marketing rural properties online, and is a contributor for, writing articles focused on helping people buying and selling rural land.


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  • Two prods that I have recently encountered:

    1) If you aren’t going to enter into a contract to purchase, the seller is going to auction. I walked away and the farm never went to auction and the broker lost credibility with me.

    2) Another experience happened in Dec 2012 involved 400+ acre farm that I had been involved with due diligence for 5 weeks and suddenly “multiple Offers’ appeared. I walked away , the farm is still for sale.

  • I have to wonder why a Realtor wrote this article and what his point was supposed to be. I am a Realtor and find this offensive. You want to beware of anyone who is “Desperate” in all facts of life. Don’t just throw a negative aspect on Realtors.

  • Jim- Sorry you’ve had two frustrating deals. Come down to West Alabama and we can help you find a good investment property down here.

    Sheri- The article was aimed at amplifying the spirit of Article 1 of the Realtor Code of Ethics. It was aimed at helping buyers and sellers be wary of agents that could hinder rather than help them because the agent is so focused on their personal needs. I witnessed this a few weeks ago with a clueless agent “representing” a high net worth individual. The agent could no more provide good service than my 8 year old could.

    I am not throwing a bad light on Realtors. I am shining the light on bad Realtors.

  • I was taken by a realtor who insisted the deal had to “close fast” in order for me to get the land for the price I offered. “No time for a survey” he said. Turns out I ended up buying alot less ground than what his plat map showed me I was getting. I’m 4 years into a lawsuit with no end in sight.

  • Sam, very sorry to hear that. Lawsuits suck the life right out of you. Hopefully by pointing out in the article that if an agent is rushing you that you should be wary, someone down the road may be spared what you are going through.

  • “I am not throwing a bad light on Realtors. I am shining the light on bad Realtors.”

    I have to agree with Jonathan here Sheri. Though I understand what Sheri is saying. I don’t think these points would have the same effect if they weren’t framed in the context of real estate/Realtors. For example, if they were about desperate salespeople in general. Most sales that occur don’t even need a contract … and don’t matter in their consequences nearly as much as buying or selling real estate.

    Just be a good Realtor, shine on, and it won’t be a problem. Btw Sheri, I bet you’re totally awesome 😀

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