How to Break Up With An Agent

Everyone knows buying or selling a home is a long process, and it’s quite normal to work with several real estate agents along the way. In any best case scenario, the perfect agent shows up right when you need them to, and the transaction happens smoothly and timely.

As life usually has its way, things don’t always go as planned. It is possible that you don’t get along with your real estate agent and the relationship is painful. It could be from a single factor, or several. Maybe they are working at a different pace than you’d like, or you can’t agree on specific prices or terms.

So what is to be done? IS it alright to separate from the agent? And if so, how do you do it peacefully? It all matters on if you are buying or selling.

Buyers

Agents make their money at the time of closing by the sellers. They typically split their commission from the buyers’ and sellers agents. Normally as a buyer, you aren’t going to enter into a financial agreement with the agent. Usually, you just shake the agent’s hand pledging you will allow them to be your agent; and your word is good enough.   

An agent works diligently with other agents, studying the market, writing contracts, showing properties, going over paperwork to make sure everything is in line, etc. Yes they make their money at the time of the closing, but all the time they spend up to that point is when they earn it. So if an agent spends all that time working only to be told another agent found the client their dream home, then it would have been a giant waste of time.

So before you give an agent your word they will represent you, make sure they are the hard-working agent you deserve. Ask for references, online reviews, and see what other info you can find about them.

Open houses are great opportunities to meet agents and interview them. Just like any relationship, you won’t go with the very first one you meet.

The worst thing you can do is tell an agent you are ready when you truly aren’t. They could want to move things along as usual, while you are dragging your feet, creating stress and tension on both ends. Only employ an agent when you are ready, and they will give you the proper time and attention needed. The relationship will then begin to develop and you will be communicating quite often in order to find you the right house.

If an agent isn’t meeting your needs and you feel you need to move on, it’s best to break it off sooner rather than later. Provide them with constructive feedback and why you had to back away.

Sellers

Because the seller is the one who pays the agent, the brokerage firm requires the seller to sign a listing agreement before hand. While the property is listed you must work solely with the agent and brokerage firm on the sale of your home.

Even if you find the buyer yourself, the listing agent is still going to get their commission.

The seller is somewhat even more responsible to do their research. Most listing agreements say that if a listing agent brings an offer at the asking price to the table, and the seller rejects it, the agent is still due their commission. This can often happen when the selling agent and homeowner aren’t seeing eye-to-eye.

If there is still time left, and the selling agent isn’t doing the job you’d like, just let them know this isn’t going to work out.  An honest, and moral agent will understand your needs come first, and release you from the contract. This doesn’t always happen though; it’s not uncommon for sellers to deny open houses and any offers the agent receives.

Sometimes it’s the agent who wants to fire themselves. Perhaps the seller’s asking price isn’t a realistic one and refuses to budge, or they aren’t taking the agent’s advice on how to show a home properly. At this point the agent feels their efforts are going nowhere and this listing could take forever.

If you sense your agent is growing frustrated with you because you aren’t taking their advice, you may want to do them a favor and let them go. Perhaps you aren’t as ready to sell as you thought.

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