6 Signs Your Real Estate Agent Needs to be More Transparent

January 18, 2019 / Tips

“Hmmm,” you think. “That was a little odd.”

You’ve just ended a phone call with your real estate group and you’re not exactly sure what happened.

You wanted an update on your home search (or home sale), but instead of answers, you were left with more questions:

  • What is your real estate group doing to improve your experience and outcome?
  • Do they understand what you need?
  • Do they want to understand at all?

That’s when you realize it: your real estate agent is not transparent enough.

Real estate transactions can be stressful times for anyone: in addition to the financial commitment, a new real estate purchase or sale can require a lot of energy, paperwork, and time. A high-end real estate group should not only take a tremendous amount of that work off your plate, but they should do it in a way that makes you feel confident that your interests are truly represented.

Not sure if that’s what you’re currently getting? Let’s look at seven signs your real estate group should be more transparent:

Sign #1: Poor Response Time

Have you ever called a real estate agent or group and left a voicemail, only to then wait 24 hours…then 48 hours…then 72 hours—and on and on?

If so, you’re not alone. Poor response time is a surefire sign that your real estate group isn’t taking your project seriously. In some cases, it’s perfectly possible that there’s a misunderstanding; maybe a particular agent is on vacation and hasn’t gotten around to returning every voicemail. But these episodes should be few and far between.

Why is a poor response time so important? Because it reflects a real estate group’s priorities. Good communication is vital to making a client feel valued. It’s an essential way for a real estate group to remain open to feedback and changes in priorities.

When you can’t seem to get in touch with your real estate representatives, however, that all goes out the window.

Sign #2: A Dropoff In Service After You Sign Up as a Client

We’ve all been there: a sales representative treats us with the utmost respect, diligence, and patience throughout the sales process.

Then, once the sale’s made, the real estate group seems to drop off the face of the earth.

It may be unrealistic to expect that a real estate group can give you their attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect a very high level of diligence and professionalism on their part throughout the process.

A real estate group that makes you a high priority will find a way to work hard on your behalf and provide you with all the information you need to know throughout the process. That should be more than just handing you a random stack of paperwork and hoping you figure out everything else on your own.

Sign #3: Saying Much, Telling Little

Thus far, most of the signs have focused on the problem of under-communication. And under-communication is problematic. It means that your needs aren’t being listened to and that you’re more likely to feel out of the loop in your own efforts to buy or sell real estate.

But what about when your real estate group…says too much?

Saying too much and revealing too little can also be a problem, because it’s still fundamentally a problem of under-communication. Even if an individual real estate agent were to respond to your every email or phone call within a few minutes, those responses won’t help much unless they tell you something meaningful.

That’s why it’s not only important that you focus on the quantity of the communication, but its quality.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • After an interaction with your real estate group, do you come away from it feeling empowered and informed?
  • Does your real estate group provide you with knowledge and insight you don’t have access to on your own?

A real estate group should not only place a high value on the business you bring them, but to your time as an individual.

Sign #4: A Lack of Options

Transparency is about more than updating a client on the newest developments in their transaction. Transparency also means including clients in the plans.

In some cases, a real estate transaction can slow when there aren’t many options, and it’s not the fault of the real estate group or any individual or particular.

But when there are plenty of options on the table, it’s the real estate group’s job to present them to the client. Presenting those options not only involves the client in the decision-making process, but it helps educate them on different ways to reach their real estate goals. Ideally, a real estate group can even present alternatives that might not initially seem in line with the client’s goals, but can actually be better in the long run.

Sign #5: Unwillingness to Adapt

Imagine recognizing a sign or two from this list in the real estate group with whom you’re working. If you bring up that issue, do they change? Are they open to feedback and do they understand that communication is a two-way street?

If not, they’re demonstrating an alarming unwillingness to do one essential thing that every real estate group needs to do:


A strong real estate group realizes that not every house, client, neighborhood, or location is like another. Circumstances change. Markets shift. Context matters. And if their communication style is not helping them remain open and transparent with their clients, there’s a problem brewing.

Sign #6: Lack of Understanding

This is especially common with those who aren’t involved in real estate transaction for a living: they don’t always fully understand every step of the process, and their real estate group isn’t helping the situation.

Under-communication is an issue, but it’s just as much an issue when your real estate group talks at you without taking the time to make sure you’re on the same page. For instance, consider the following questions:

  • Does your real estate group take the time to make sure that you’re following and that you feel fully informed throughout every step of the transaction?
  • If you feel that you’re “behind” or out of the loop, do you feel self-conscious about bringing that up, or does the real estate group make you feel comfortable about asking questions?
  • When you do ask them to repeat something or to clarify an issue, do they make you feel as though you’re taking time out of their day? Are they frustrated when you don’t seem to understand some aspects of the process, or are they willing to engage with you until you do?

You don’t always come into every real estate transaction with 100% sophistication and understanding, and a professional real estate group will understand that. The more they help you along, the more they’re demonstrating their commitment to mutual understanding.

Why You Should Care About Transparency

We haven’t answered one question yet: why should transparency matter? Isn’t it all about the price you fetch for your home sale? Isn’t it about finding the home of your dreams?

The truth is that all of these questions are intertwined–

  • Transparency makes clients happier. According to a J.D. Power survey, satisfaction is substantially higher for real estate clients who receive quick responses to their questions. The more transparent a real estate group is with the transaction, the more likely it is that the clients will report being happy. That may seem like common sense, but it’s at the core of what a good real estate group will do to help people achieve their real estate goals.
  • Transparency is good for the transaction. The more you know about the transaction, the better you are equipped to make the right decision. Knowing as much as you possibly can about buying and selling real estate—and having the right real estate group advising you along the way—can be a tremendous benefit that helps you reach your goals faster.
  • Transparency is good for your stress—or lack thereof. Let’s be honest: real estate transactions can be stressful. You can second-guess yourself at every turn. A real estate group that is open about the twists and turns in real estate will help you feel that you have more control, which in turn gives you the confidence you need to make the right decision.

Transparency will not only help your real estate transaction, but it will give you the confidence that you’ve chosen the right real estate group from the start. That’s what we do at 2nd & Elm—we bring the same dedication and personalized service to every client from the start. Contact us and find out why we might be the real estate group for you.


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