Home Buying in Atlanta>Question Details

jenniferkjac…, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

How does the Real Estate Agent Relationship work?

Asked by jenniferkjacobs, Atlanta, GA Thu May 24, 2012

I'm a first time homebuyer which means nervous. I was referred to a real estate agent that I don't feel comfortable with. I have asked her several question and she has given me the incorrect information or misleading or doesn't know the answer - says she will check on it, but never gets back to me. I've wanted to look at a couple properties and I don't hear back for several days. She never took me there. I didn't sign a contract with her. I was interested in one property a friend told me about and i did take her there and her name is on the visiting sheet with mine. My friends told me to get rid of her. How does all this work and since I took her to that property if I want to pursue it do I have to use her now?

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Enrique Pagan’s answer
Well Jennifer, I can tell you that in NJ for example , being that you did not sign any contracts with her you have the right to search for a new Realtor that will be compatible with you and your needs. Buying or selling a home is a huge undertaking and requires a special chemistry between the client and the professional. So in my advice Do some research and find that perfect agent for your needs. Websites like Trulia has made it easier for customers like yourself to find that perfect agent. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 11, 2014
Hello Jennifer, You are well within your rights to move on to another real estate agent. Unfortunately, some agents do not offer the service requisite for a first time home buyer, but do not give up there are many agents who would welcome your business!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
As noted, if you have any hesitations with an agent then terminate the relationship. The public demands little of agents and if more were held to higher standards by the public - YOU - then the business would police itself.

Here are 7 direct questions to ask any agent - 10 minutes max - http://hounddogrealestate.com/about-hound-dog/how-do-you-fin…

You will be putting a tremendous amount of faith into an agent - make certain that you do your homework

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
“The most important thing a buyer can do is first of all work with a buyer broker.” As stated by AARP and the Consumer Federation of America from REALTOR® News.

My suggestion is to get a buyer broker working for you who will find you a better property and commit quality time to helping you. There could be "procuring cause" issues if you continue to view properties with an agent you are not happy with now, you will be miserable later. Let the buyer broker decide if a property is worth persuing and how that should ethically be handled if you have already seen the property or if they can get you a better property, what you have seen is a non-issue.

Let me know if you need me to find and qualify a buyer broker in your area, I will need your full name, phone number desired location to purchase, towns, counties where ever, mailing and email address. We might also talk about any special needs you might have so I can be sure I have the right buyer's agent or broker to assist you.

Typically there is no extra/hidden or additional cost for you to obtain “exclusive” buyer broker services in your real estate transaction. Check with the brokerage firm to see if they require a commitment in writing or a retainer fee. Neither of these are necessary to find someone willing to represent you as a buyer agent or broker, just be sure you dis-qualify their office listings as anything that would be of interest to you, so there is no conflict of interest if they are a listing agent. You won’t want them changing of sides or status with regards to your originally obtaining “single agent” representation from the agent or broker. It is illegal in Florida for an agent to work as a Dual Agent representing both seller and buyer at the same time. Some States may still allow this, but it is not the best relationship for a buyer, because the agent is caught between the two sides. In Florida they call agents/brokers who work on both side of the transaction “Transaction Brokers” and they have very little liability in the transaction. A “Single Agent” buyer broker represents the buyer and has much more liability in the transaction if errors are made of the part of that agent or brokerage firm.

On my informative homepage http://www.FloridaBuyerBuyer.com you will learn about:

The #1 Mistake Real Estate Buyers Make (Explains buyers relationship to agents/brokers in FL)
21 Critical Mistakes Buyers Make
20 Things the Listing Agent Does Not Tell You about Short Sales
Short Sale Fraud
Foreclosures - the Wild West of Real Estate
Unrealistic Buyer Expectations
Buyer Beware
Chinese Drywall

There is no obligation required of you to access this important free educational information on my homepage. The information will help buyer's anywhere not just in Florida.

The site is informative but does not give the buyers the benefit of my 30 years experience working in the Southwest Florida real estate. On my general “Search Property” link you will be able to search property anywhere in Florida. Please see “Search thru MLS Data” on my homepage to for instructions on how the search Lee and Collier Counties which tie into the true REALTOR MLS data. Most of the consumer puplic does not know that this site is not the true REALTOR MLS, nor is REALTOR.com or Realty Trac.

Many homes built between 2000 and 2009, including some renovated homes were built with Chinese Drywall, Lowes had a class action law suit against them for selling the product nationwide. I hope you will take time to learn more about this serious problem at the Chinese Drywall link on my homepage.

In the State of Florida only a buyer broker can legally negotiate for a lower price for the buyer and must take care of the buyers’ best interest through out the transaction. A buyer broker is required to give the buyer loyalty, confidentiality, care and diligence, accounting, disclosure of all known pertinent facts and your financial status is protected. This is my 30th year selling real estate in the Southwest Florida. I have been working as an “exclusive” buyer broker since 1993 and licensed to sell real estate in Florida since 1981.
I am friendly and easy to talk to 1-800-283-7393
Beverly Howe, ABR, GRI, TRC, CIPS Informative homepage: http://www.floridabuyerbroker.com
Owner – Broker
Email: broker@floridabuyerbroker.com Florida Buyer Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
Dear Jennifer,

I am very sorry you have had such a poor relationship with your first agent. That agent's unprofessional behavior toward you reflects badly on all real estate agents. Since you have no signed agreement between yourself and this agent, you have no obligation to work with them, however you should formally end your relationship with them.

You mentioned that you are interested in a home that you took your agent to. An agent must be able to show that they were the procuring cause of you purchasing the home to be entitled to a commission. If they did not find the home for you, or follow through with any steps necessary to help you purchase the home, they probably are not entitled to a commission. To protect yourself, you should explain the situation to the agent's managing broker and ask to be released from any obligation to pay a commision to that brokerage. Be sure to get such a release in writing.

Next, ask friends, family and co-workers to recommend an agent to you, and research them on websites such as Trulia. Then interview them on the phone. They should return your call promptly, be knowledgable about the area and type of home you want to purchase, they should ask you lots of questions, and most of all you should sense that you get along with them well. You will spend lots of time in their car, and listening to their advice, your experience will be informative and enjoyable if you get along well.

Best of luck to you in the future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
"All brokerage firms are required to have a responsible or a qualifying broker. In the majority of real estate transactions, the consumer interacts only with his or her real estate agent and not the real estate broker. The real estate broker in those instances works behind the scenes to solve problems and support, supervise and assist his or her agents."

Start with the lousy agent's broker if you want to resolve your problem, because it sounds like the agent is your problem.

Technically speaking, "Buyer agency occurs when the real estate broker represents the buyer in locating and assisting the buyer in negotiating for the purchase of property suitable to the buyer. A buyer agency is created when the buyer enters into an agreement commonly known as a buyer brokerage agreement."

Sounds like you can solve your problem by taking the advice of your many friends.

I cut and pasted the quoted statements above from the ABC's of Agency document that the Georgia Association of Realtors has published.

Our job as agents is very simple, but we have licensed agents across the country who don't grasp simple sales professionalism.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012

Most agents will be as loyal to you as you are to them. I know it sounds harsh, but it is a reality. Most that answer your question are going to do so with the hopes of winning over your business so you'll get very detailed information that may be overwhelming when reading it. I'm going to give you the skinny of it all.

Has this agent requested that you sign a Brokerage Agreement with her/him prior to or after showing you the one property? If so, you've stated that you have not signed one with him/her, that could be the reason the agent isn't giving you a lot of information. We as agents do a lot of consulting and advising. Giving good information to potential clients that are not loyal to us. You show them a home of two, spend several hours speaking with them, pulling and emailing searches of properties that meet their criteria, and they tell you they don't feel comfortable signing a brokerage agreement. You have to decide you would like to team up with your chosen professional and put it in writing. You'll see the difference when you actually team up with a real estate professional. They will or at least should work hard to find you the home you desire with as many of your wish lists in the home as possible. You may want to interview a few before deciding, and let those you speak with know your searching for a real estate professional and that he/she is not the only one you'll be speaking with to make a more comfortable decision for yourself.

Have you already been pre-approved for your loan amount and provided that proof to your professional? If not that may be the reason the agent is not getting back with you as well. Time is money, and no one works for free. We don't want to waste your time nor ours, showing you homes in the price point you would like to see not knowing if you can actually qualify to purchase. That also can be disheartening for the buyer after looking at homes in one price point to find out they qualify for much less. Those homes will not compare to what you've been interested in and can break your spirit when searching in the new lower qualified price point. I'm not saying that is you, but when dealing with an agent we don't know until its in writing.

Have an agent send you a Brokerage Agreement so that you can look it over, or ask for the ABC's of Agency. In both you will find what the relationship of an broker and client should be like. Actually your relationship would be with the brokerage that holds the agents license, and once a brokerage agreement is signed I'm sure that agent would keep that relationship with you and the brokerage in high regards. The agent after all is representing the brokerage.

You also might have just run into an agent that isn't knowledgeable and you might need to keep searching. Hope this helps with your question, and that you find someone you can team up with make your home search and purchase a win win transaction for all involved. If you have anymore questions please feel free to contact me.

Thank you in advance

TATIA L. OLDS - REO's, & Short Sale Specialist
Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate US Llc..
2078 Teron Trace. Ste 250
Dacula, GA 30019
O 678-804-6104
D 678-697-5119
O-Fax 678-804-6068

If you or anyone you know is interested in Buying, Selling, or Leasing, Relocating, or Investing, to or from, in or out the state of GA, it would be our pleasure to help. Please forward their contact information ( telephone, cell, and/or e-mail address) to us so that we may be of assistance. My staff and I will take perfect care of you and your referrals. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE~~~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
Hello Jennifer,

For most of us, buying a home is the biggest single investment we’re likely to make – and we’re only likely to do it maybe once or twice in a lifetime. The process is, by nature, filled with checks and balances – and many complex details. Traditionally, agents were legally obligated to protect the interests of the home seller. Today preferences are changing. One of these changes is that more homebuyers are choosing to have their own real estate agent, known as a buyer's agent, to legally represent them.

A buyer’s agent represents you, the buyer, not the seller, and has full fiduciary duties, including loyalty to you. By definition, the buyer’s agent has your best interests in mind throughout the transaction. The benefit of buyer representation is the dedication of a buyer’s agent to the home buyer.

Carol Perdew
Prudential California Realty
(209) 239-7979
DRE 985176
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
Hi Jennifer you are not obligated to work with a Realtor if you did not sign a brokerage agreement with them. But i will tell you if you know you do not want to work with her then do not have her do any more work on your behalf like pulling listings for you and showing you properties because as a Realtor, our time and gas is very valuable. I would advise that you contact a couple of experienced Realtors to discuss your needs and pick the one that gives you the best rapport. Hopefully you can find an agent that will help to ease your nervousness and guide you along through this homebuying process. Best with purchasing your first home : )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
It's good you signed nothing, I suggest you don't with the next person either. Those agency agreements just lock you into using that company (not the agent but the company they work for) and I see no reason to do that. If the agent does a good job you will stick around with them, if not - bye bye.

It is time to say Bye Bye and find a new agent to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
You are not obligated to stay with her. Here is what you can and should expect from a Realtor:

You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

Get objective information and opinions. Real estate agents can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a real estate agent, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your agent will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

Real estate agents have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. Real estate agents, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.

Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
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