Home Buying in 94705>Question Details

Jane Logan, Home Buyer in Berkeley, CA

How do I get rid of my agent? It feels like its not working out...

Asked by Jane Logan, Berkeley, CA Tue Nov 24, 2009

Help the community by answering this question:


What do you mean, "how?" If you have a contract with them, look for the "how to terminate" section and do what is necessary. If you don't have a contract, well, it's like any other breakup - you text them! I mean, leave a message on their voice mail! I MEAN, call them up and tell them.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Hey Jane,

Is this for a listing or with finding a home?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
First, clarify the issues. Why does it "feel" uncomfortable?

Specify the issues with the agent and ask him for a plan to address your concerns.
Second, if the agent becomes defensive or cannot address your concerns to your entire satisfaction send a fax or letter with your objections to his continued representation of your interests.

As with any professional, CPA, Attorney, Contractor; if you have an ongoing, unaddressed issue with the job they are performing you have every right to end the business relationship and choose another that represents your best interests. Move on...
Scott Wilmore, Broker Associate/Appraiser Melissa Bradley Real Estate, Marin County
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 14, 2009
Be honest, prepare the "separation" speech, email & mail (which one is more suitable for you or the circumstance ) and part ways in a friendly way !!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2009
What is wrong with your agent? Have you spoken with them regarding your issues. Many buyers believe that an agent is not working out if you are strictly looking for foreclosures your bids are not being accepted.

Have you discussed with their broker? Do you have a buyer's rep agreement?

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
With so many good responses to your question I don't want to be redundant. I think its best to have a conversation with your agent. That's what I would like, if it were me. You may not feel comfortable doing this and if that's the case a simple email telling your agent that you wish to work with another person should be suffiecient. If you're not comfortable with that you can ask your new agent to have the conversation with the old agent. I've done that a few times and though its uncomfortable it is appropriate. Working as independent contractors realtors don't often get timely and accurate feedback about job performance. Sometimes expectations aren't communicated clearly. This can happen in any relationship. Sometimes the chemistry isn't there and its just not a good fit. but bottom line is that you have the right to fire your agent and if they have spent a lot of time working on your behalf you may ask them to refer you the agent you want to work with, or stipulate when you are interviewing new agents that part of the deal is sending a referal fee to the "fired" agent. You are the boss. This process is about meeting your needs. And a home purchase or sale is a very big deal. You need to have a team, realtor, lender, title company, inspectors, vendors, all working together on your behalf. I hope this helps and I wish you the very best as you move forward. happy thanksgiving too!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
I would speak to your agent and let them know that he/she is not meeting your expectations. If you have signed a contract, which many agents do not ask for in this area, then you are legally binded to them and must review the logistics of the contract. Remember that your agent does not get paid until a deal is closed. If you feel like your agent has put in a good amount of time working with you, I suggest that you ask your agent to refer you to another agent who might be a better match for you. Then at least your agent will get paid a referral fee when you do buy a house. However, it is your choice and you are free (if not legally bound) to walk away and find someone else to work with and make sure the next agent knows exactly what you want and what you expect in terms of customer service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
Have you talked to the agent and clearly expressed your concerns? That is the first step to get to a working relationship. If you move on and don't express your expectations to the next agent you will probably feel the same in a short time.
If you've signed a contract with this agent and the borkerage tey are affiliated with you will need to work with them to get released from the contract. Be sure you don't hook up another agent until thats done.
We are service providers and no different from any other service provider. If we don't meet expectations it doesn't mean we can't and the good ones want to know when they are not measuring up and how so they can improve and be succesful.
If you've done all you can do to have the relationship that you need and still want to move on tell them straight, don't just let it whither away that is too rude.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA

There are SO many factors here – but the biggest is whether or not you “fit.”

There are some people that are a joy to work with and then there some that are … not so much. Some exude confidence and knowledge, others don’t seem to be able to answer a single question or they project the impression that they don’t know what they are doing.

YOU are the one buying the house – you are the one who sets the standards and expectations. If you feel your agent is not meeting either, let them know. It might be a very simple misunderstanding. However, if you have a gut feeling that all is not going well … go with your gut, sever the relationship in a professional manner and move on. That gut feeling is not likely to go away.

Usually a call and/or email with a simple explanation will work. If you have a buyer/broker agreement, you may need to wait until it expires before you can start to work with another Realtor. Most Realtors, even if there is a contract, understand that sometimes things just aren’t working and will release you from any contract.

Take time to develop a list of expectations and standards for the next Realtor, interview a few, be brutally honest with them and then choose one that works for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
We recommend a meeting with your agent to discuss your personal needs relative to their performance. You may find that they are doing more than you are aware of.

Putting your cards on the table as well as being willing to engage in a productive conversation may just help you identify the direction you are seeking.....and it may not require dumping your present agent.

Good luck,
The Eckler team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2009
The biggest issue is from unmet expectations. If you are a first time buyer the process can be very confusing and frustrating. You don't know why you are not progressing, why there are not homes in your price range, etc.

The only way to find out what's going on is to talk with your Realtor and clarify your needs. We are not mind readers.

My experience is the buyers in most cases need some education on the buying process in order to set the proper level of expectation. Perhaps your Realtor thinks that everything is fine, so you'll need to educate them. Most Realtors do not want to provide bad service. Be straightforward. If after discussing your concerns, if it is apparent you two cannot work together, ask them to refer you to someone that can help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
You could be nasty or be cordial, I recommend the later, by calling the agent to end his/her service.

If you did NOT sign any of the following documents, then you should have no issue to sever the represetation relationship:
1. Buyer Representation Agreement - Exclusive (form BRE)
2. Buyer Representation Agreement - Non-Exclusive (form BRNE)
3. Buyer Representation Agreement - Non-Exclusive/Not for Compensation (form BRNN)

I also recommend that you should interview the next agent and ask the following questions:

1. Recent sales/listings? Demonstrates experience and knowledge

2. Is he/she a full time or part-time agent? Reflects the amount of time the agent's availability to service you.

3. Ask the agent to describe to you the current real estate market trends.

4. Ask about the recent change in State and Federal Housing laws for distressed homes and the new appraisal HVCC guidelines - how it may impact you as the buyer.

5. Are you consdering condos or townhomes? If yes, then ask the agent to explain HOA CC&Rs, explain the risks of insufficient reserves, special assessments, current aging of HOA dues, etc.

As a buyer, it's important that you are aware of the above so you could make a prudent decision on your purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Whether you signed a buyer/broker agreement or not, the first thing you should do is simply have that conversation with your agent. Who knows, he/she may be able to offer some resolutions or compromises that will work out best for both of you. You won't know unless you talk it out.

Not knowing the reasons for your unhappiness, it's not fair to to simply dismiss your agent without some kind of explanation. As a courtesy, particularly if you and your agent have spent time together discussion your requirements and looking at properties, please have a conversation with your agent on why you think it's not working out.

What isn't working out? Have you written offers and not have an offer accepted and therefore you're disappointed? How were your offers written?

Your agent isn't showing your properties that you think you've missed out on, and then you find out after the fact?

Do you find properties that you ask your agent to research, only to find out the properties are already in contract?

You call/email/text your agent but you don't hear back from them within the day as you expected?

You have a budget limit, but your realtor shows you properties above that range?

What is causing the problem in your agency relationship?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Simply put, tell your current agent that you feel he/she is not up to par of what you expected or wanted when you two started working together and no longer wish to continue working together. The next agent you get I would interview thoroughly to make sure they are the type of agent you want. I have a reference checklist for this on my website at http://www.vgrouphomes.com/atj/user/AdditionalPageGetAction.…
This should really help out at getting the agent you desire most.

John & Sarena Villaescusa
Keller Williams Realty
Cell: 562-818-2671
Email: Johnv@kw.com
Website: http://www.VGroupHomes.com
Web Reference: http://www.VGroupHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Hi -

I am sorry to hear that things are not working out with your agent.
I agree with Michelle - and a need to clarify if you are using an agent to represent you on the sale or purchase?
Like most things clear and honest is the best approach - no one wants to have a bad experience (you or the agent) as things are tough enough without adding this to the mix.
I would simply tell your agent you don’t want to work with them – keep it professional and move on.

Best of luck and please contact me specifically if you have any further questions.

Lawton Associates
415.225.4593 - cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Open communication is the key to just about every relationship in life; your relationship with your agent should be no exception. Being up front with your agent about what you expect from him/her and detailing the perceived shortfalls can be very productive.

As agents, we deal with clients of varied personality types, so it can be challenging to tailor communications to fit everyone's expectations. Personally, I sit down with each new client and present them with a list of the services I provide and go over it with them in detail. This typically leads to the "how I work with clients" conversation.

If you haven't had this conversation with your agent, it would behoove you to do so. If you don't, you may find yourself with the same problem and a different agent a bit farther down the road.

Best of luck in your search,
Cameron Platt, JD, CRS
Web Reference: http://www.plattinc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
Jane, do you have a "listing agent" for selling your home? OR a "buyer's agent" for purchasing a home?
Either way, if you have signed a contract with this agent's firm, read it over and see what reslotuions are spelled out for terminating the contract. If you have an attorney, call and consult with them regardind ending this legally binding agreement.
To be fair to your agent...have you had discussions about whatever it is that has caused you to feel that termination is necessary?
If that agent is not providing and taking care of their end of the agreement...then you do have cause to seek termination of the contract.
If you are uncomfortable, for whatever reason, with speaking with the agent, you might consider calling the broker/owner of the real estate office.
Good luck with your situation!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
First have a sit down with your agent and let them know how you feel. They may not be aware that there is a problem. If you can't resolve anything, then ask to be released from your listing/buyers agreement. Make sure that they are not going to hold you responsible for things like fees or commissions due to them. You should be able to make a clean break.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 24, 2009
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