Buy Alexandria Real Estate: February 2009

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

I Hate My Real Estate Agent -- Now What?


Don't Voodoo Your Agent -- Get a New One!Okay... hate is a strong word and one that my mother told me never to use.  Let's say you dislike them or just don't enjoy working with them anymore.

So, you're working with a real estate agent and things have gone sour.  Maybe your agent is not available according to your schedule.  Perhaps they don't return your phone calls.  Do they show you homes that they like but not ones that you like?  Whatever the reason, you've decided that you no longer wish to work with that particular REALTOR.

Now what?

Are you stuck?  Are you locked in to work with this agent?  What can you do?

Have you signed an agreement?

There are two basic types of agreements that somebody signs when they decide to work with a real estate agent.  If you are selling your home, you will always sign a listing agreement.  If you are working with an agent to purchase a home, you may have signed a Buyer Broker Agreement.

You should know your broker's obligations under these agreements:

Selling Your Home -- Know the Broker's Duties

Ready to Buy a Home? Know Your Buyer Broker's Duties

Listing agreements and buyer broker agreements have expiration dates. 

It is unethical for another real estate professional to solicit your business while you are still bound by one of these agreements.  However, it is perfectly okay for you to contact another agent when you are dissatisfied with your current one, even while the agreement is still in effect.

Please check any agreement you have signed for a clause that mentions a payment to terminate the agreement.  Some agents make you pay to stop working with them before the agreement is over.  I don’t think this is a good business practice.  If your relationship is not working, it’s not working.  I’ve never charged somebody to get out of an agreement.  Nevertheless, some agents do this and you want to be careful not to be stuck owing your former agent money.

Once your agreement has expired, you are entirely free to start working with an alternative agent.

If you have not signed an agreement, realize that there is nothing keeping you bound to “your” real estate agent.  This agent may have driven you all around town for two weekends, but without an agreement, they’re just counting on your loyalty.  But, there’s nothing keeping you legally bound.


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Comment balloon 67 commentsBrian Block • February 21 2009 09:36AM
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