Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Waterflower, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

Buying a home and my realtor is doing a crappy job! I dont want her to close on thus doent deserve it. Can i do anything?

Asked by Waterflower, Portland, OR Sat Jul 9, 2011

I told her i wanted seller to pay for closing and she only put a credit for $5000 and its $7000! She had to change the purchase price to fix it so i wouldnt have to pay it out of pocket! She is not getting back to my question in a timely matter. My lender has even called telling me she wont respond to her emails. Closing has been put off again and again! I am ready to call the sellers agent myslef to get some answers! Can i not use her to close and find someone else? I am so fustrated and just want to move!

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Good communication from your agent is imperative and should be expected. I would suggest that you should request to turn the remainder of the transaction over to your agent's principal broker to complete.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Ugh sounds like a tough spot. Sounds like your in contract. You signed those documents that she changed? I would suggest a call to her managing broker to get things going. I maybe would suggest a new agent within her office if the managing broker could arrange that. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
You could sever your agency relationship but in doing so at this point will move you further away from your goal. Because the communication has fallen apart it's necessary their Principal Broker be involved to see it through for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 12, 2011
Enough can't be said about the importance of hiring the right Broker for the job. All buyers and sellers should be interviewing Brokers and asking tough questions about their abilities and experiences. If you find a Broker is tripping over their tongue with you, how do you imagine they'll do in front of another person. Your Broker should be one that is knowledgeable, confident and transparent. Most importantly they should be a "hyper-communicator". Keeping the Buyer or Seller apprised of the transaction around them is extremely important, and cannot be overstated. Good Luck Waterflower.

Paul Wells
Certified EcoBroker | Principal Broker | Managing Broker
EcoPro Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
No, Waterflower, I don't think you can prevent her from closing on this transaction. She will be considered "procuring cause" if the sale closes, and the thing about real estate commissions is that they are considered earned when the sale closes.

In theory, you could hire another agent to represent you (at your own expense), they probably wouldn't want to get involved.

As an insider, my advice is to call your agent, tell her that you are going to ask her managing broker to see the transaction through to closing, then call her managing broker and simply - without frustration and complaint, because you want this person to want to help you - explain to them that your agent has not been responsive, that the closing date has had to be repeatedly extended, and that you need someone to apply themselves to the task of getting this sale closed on time, or explaining carefully when it actually can close.

(If you call up and rant and rail, nobody's going to help you!)

I do wish you the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
I am hesitant to answer your question; you make me feel that I will be named in your lawsuit:
1.) $5000 instead of $7000
2.) "not getting back...in a timely manner"
3.) "Lender.....won't respond to e-mails".
4.) "Closing put off...."

I think the jury is ready to convict, but,
you know how jury's are, they want to help the other side.

1.) The space in the Contract needs a number, she put $5000. We always estimate that it will be 3% but there can be unexpected things; I would bet that yours is more than 3%.
2.) Timely manner; are we talking hours or days? Are you her only Client? Is she busy? Didn't you want a Realtor who is successful and busy?
3.) Lender complaining about communications: That is new and refreshing! particularly about e-mails, which most lenders will not even use.
4.) Closing put off; how is this the Agents fault? Only the Buyer and Seller can delay the Closing.

The bottom line is that your only objective is to Sell your house; so put everything else aside: Please remember that Selling your house is one of the three most stressful things that can happen to you, and we don't want to talk about the other two.

Good luck and May God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
This is not a situation anyone should have to indur when they have hired a professional to act as their fiduciary. Open, honest, and regular communication is vital in any real estate transaction.

Okay, so you have come this far. It sounds as though you are down to the wire in terms of getting your transaction closed. However, you do not have to stick with an agent with whom you are either uncomfortable or simply do not like. Because you are so close to closing I would recommend having an immediate conversation with your agent's principal broker. If you signed an Exclusive Buyer's Agreement with your agent she is likely going to try to get you to honor her commission should you move on to another agent this late in the game. HOWEVER! The commission actually belongs to her brokerage, not her. This means you can request of the principal broker someone else within that agency (including the principal broker herself or himself) to complete the job.

Additionally, it sounds as though you may have a valid complaint with The Real Estate Agency. If you do, your current agent is likely to be willing to have you switch agents rather than file a complaint against her. And, finally in regard to signing an Exclusive Buyer's Agreement, you have every right to "fire" your agent at any time with due cause without owing the agent a commission.

In regard to your closing costs: In fairness to your agent, she probably did not know at the time of writing the offer how much your closing and pre-paid expenses would be although a quick call to your lender may have given her a better idea. Also, lending rules have changed significantly during the past few years (and continue to change on an almost-daily basis) and some lending programs limit how much the seller can contribute toward a purchaser's closing and pre-paid expenses. If your agent thought you were going with one type of lending program when she wrote the offer and then you decided to go with another lending program after the offer was accepted, this could explain why she only asked for $5000.

I wish I had a dollar for every instance when someone seems surprised that I answer my phone! Again, communication is key in real estate transactions.

I hope this helps and I sincerely wish you the best in getting this closed successfully!



Patrick R. Smith, MBA, EcoCertified Broker
Oregon Realty Company
4001 NE Halsey Street, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97232
Direct: 503-421-3824

Licensed in the State of Oregon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Hi Waterflower,

Expectations. How easy it is to have different ones. Both you and the agent have them, and it looks like they haven't matched very well.

Without defending your agent's service, what frequently happens is that buyers (or sellers) come to the table with expectations based on what they have "heard" about how real estate transactions/negotiations happen. Then they bump into reality. I always see part of my job as educating my client. Because I've been through it many, many times I have some expectations about what's "normal" but it almost never meets my expectations exactly. It's my obligation to explain to clients what is "normal", even though any one transaction will deviate from that, sometimes at many points.

Example: I have a current buyer who did not want to get preapproved (not "prequalified" - different process, but that's for another post) for financing until they had an escrow opened. While that's technically possible, these days sellers want assurance that if they accept an offer the transaction will actually close, and part of that is knowing that the buyer has their purchase finances in order. My client thought it was a waste of time to go through the loan application before they knew they had a deal. Different expectations.

So a large part of my job is education and managing expectations. Of course I have high expectations for my own customer service, too. Part of the reason I became a Realtor eight years ago was that I knew I could provide better customer service than five of the six Realtors I'd worked with in my earlier personal real estate transactions.

I do agree with previous writers that you need to have a face-to-face with the Principal Broker, though this may need a little explanation I haven't seen. All transactions are legally the responsibility of \the Principal Broker, who holds the individual Broker's license. It's not a typical employer-employee relationship, but the buck stops with the Principal Broker, and you should talk with that person. One last note, in any office there may be several agents who have Principal Broker's licenses, but are not functioning as THE Principal Broker for the office. It's a category of license that gives that ability. Every real estate office has a managing Principal Broker but every Principle Broker does not manage an office.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Need much more information to give good advice. Who came up with the $5,000 figure? Was that placed in the original offer and did you read and accept it? How was that figure computed and did the agent go over it with you before placing it? Its almost impossible to know exact closing costs when creating an initial offer. I wouldnt have placed a dollar figure (Or possibly would have depending on circumstances) Perhaps thew agent thought $5000 would cover everything? $7,000 sounds like a LOT but I dont know what type of loan, how much the lender is charging, prorata taxes, etc etc.

Regarding the communication, as others have suggested call the office owner. If the agent IS the principal broker/owner---call the board of Realtors and file a complaint. Lets dig deeper---are you sure your LENDER isnt the culprit here? Maybe they are the cause of the delay/s and are blaming the agents communication? Not trying to exonerate the real estate agent ---I have seen this happen over the years.

Who found the house? Did your agent? If so, she is due a commission. About her performance being worthy of pay, that could be up to a judge. As I said, this could be a lot more complicated than your question as stated and cant be answered without elaboration.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
You're in a tough spot. Although it's possible to fire your agent prior to close you will probably cause even more problems for yourself, and the agent will still probably get a commission.

Try to engage your agent's principal broker to see about getting better service.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.pdxhomeloan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Purchasing a home can be stressful, for sure. Have you communicated with your agent about how your feeling? If so, and you still feel neglected, I suggest having a conversation with her Principal Broker. Give him/her a call at her main office line and let them know whats going on. Everyone wants a successful transaction and a happy client and it is the Principal Brokers job to manage this. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Contact her managing broker, and spell out all your complaints, and ask to be reassigned to another agent for the balance of the transaction.

now... I presume when you say... "she only put a credit of $5,000... and it should be $7,000"... that you READ the document before you SIGNED it. Did you not notice that it said $5,000??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 9, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
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