Home Buying in 22304>Question Details

mrsgrannysgt, Home Buyer in San Antonio, TX

My real estate agent has not made any attempt to contact me to see if i need help as my house is being built, can I get another agent to close.

Asked by mrsgrannysgt, San Antonio, TX Fri Jan 11, 2013

agent works for a realty company, agent signed paperwork (to receive commission) at builders office when I signed contract to purchase build to order new home.

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BEST ANSWER
There is certainly a mixed bag of responses below and I will take a moment to clarify.

To answer your question specifically...YES you can. However, you should note the agent may charge you directly either hourly or commission based. Most agents have not worked hourly so the thinking does not go this way.

As for the agent receiving commission..it sounds like they are not doing what they are supposed to do. Can't imagine in this case any home inspector has been hired pre drywall either.

I must say Mr. Chang who answers below is correct to a degree..but not sure I would trust someone who does not represent me to give me what I need.

If you are buying the home here in Northern VA. I must disagree with Debbie below..because that is not the way business should be performed here. What's the purpose of having an agent then if they provide no value?

Robert answers the question best and is very thorough. My only other disagreement is that some say you should complain to the broker. While I agree with that statement..and it may get the agent more active in the deal..you must note the broker typically will do what they can to cover the agent. Assigning another agent from the same brokerage..I think is nonsense..They have already failed you and sticking within the same company is patronizing at best in most instances.

I have been hired in cases to represent parties who are supposed to be represented by another party. It is legal..after all you are doing the hiring. If you find no satisfaction through other means..you may want to consider hiring someone to represent you. Someone who has experience with builders and knows their stuff. If I can be of any assistance please contact me.

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
Re/Max Distinctive Real Estate
Erik@AskMeAboutHomes.com
703.216.1222
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
I chose to reply to yours because you see that the agent has not tried to make any contact with me or the builder's agents. I called my agent once after contract signed due to some location changes and upgrades and agent was rather curt and no help. I received no further contact from agent, not even a courtesy call, text or email in almost three months. Have a little faith, I did hire a phase inspector and I maintain regular visits to home site contacting builder and their agents regarding issues that have arisen. I have turned out to be my own agent.
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
ps

forgot to comment on this one additional remark you made Erik:

"broker typically will do what they can to cover the agent."

Seriously?

Well, you must have worked in some very bad offices to be carrying around that negative opinion, because after 27 years in this busines, it is NOT what I have experienced firsthand, and I have had several Brokers over the years!

I have seen my Brokers take time to meet with a client and work through any issues.......then call in the agent and discuss what they may, or may not, have done wrong............and discuss how to improve the situation moving forward.
I would like to think my Brokers weren't unique in having ethics and being professional.

and......to say brokers "TYPICALLY" will do this or that is....... just plain wrong!......how do you know what is typpically done in that respect?
Did you do a survey of brokers all over the country?......where do you come to make such a generalization????
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
I'm also surprised that Erik can disagree with common sense and plain factual answers, while slandering others.
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Based on what you've written it sounds like your agent is not calling you, rather than not returning your calls. Call him or her and wait for a reply. Just because they are not calling you on a regular basis doesn't mean they aren't doing their job, rather that they have nothing new to report.

If you have questions or want updates, call your agent. If they do not respond then you may have a cause for concern. As for the builder commission, that agent brought them a buyer and if you buy the home, that agent is entitled to the builder's commission.

Look at your contract, or maybe call your agent's broker. But keep in mind, your agent may not even realize there is a problem. Congratulations on your new home!

Misty Mount
Long and Foster
540-903-6686
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
thumbs up from me!
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Hi

I would try to reach out to your buyers agent, assuming you signed the agreement that this agent represents you and your interest in this transaction. If you don't hear anything back from your buyers agent, I would reach out to their broker. The agreement is between you and the brokerage firm with your agent appointed to help you. Let the broker know that you have not had any updates from your agent and that you would like them.

Good luck!

Melissa
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
thumbs up from me!
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
If you're buying a home from a major home builder, the builder's team of agents should manage the bulk of the process until the close.

If you need help beyond what the builder's agents can do, you can call your agent. It doesn't sound like your agent is refusing to service you.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Mrs Granny says I just wanted to know what possible rights I had when agent is not doing his or her job. I just assumed my agent would be there when needed throughout all the process. If buyers' agents rely on the builder's agents to handle everything, maybe in a perfect real estate world this would be ideal. Don't believe all builder's teams will always provide adequate help. The builder's agents are working for the builder and once you sign the initial contract basically you are alone. My phone calls were met with indifference and no assistance offered. I found out at closing my agent was paid the commission upon the foundation being poured. So why worry when commission is paid right? Agents, please touch base every couple of weeks with buyer until home is completed. Encourage hiring phase inspector and tell buyers to make frequent home quality checks too.
Flag Wed Feb 6, 2013
I agree - thumbs up from me!
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Generally contracts to pay commissions are by and between the principal (client) and the broker with the agent being a third-party beneficiary. A good agent should insure that the upgrades are installed, the loan is being processed, and that any punch list items are completed. Note: Virginia has always required a disclosure of agency as to whom the brokerage and its agent(s) represent, and as of July 1st, 2012 requires that all buyer broker agreements be in writing. So hopefully the agent is working for you with the builder agreeing to pay for this representation, and not as a sub-agent for the builder.

Agents are people too and sometimes when there are either personal and family issues they do not communicate these to their clients. So contact the agent's broker and ask the broker as to why there hasn't been any communications. If you do not receive what you consider to be a valid reason for the absence, then ask the broker to assign another agent from their office (who has had experience with new home sales) to assist you.

Second note: Most real estate companies and their agents are REALTORs and therefore adhere to strict code of ethics. As such REALTORs may not encourage the public to breach their representative agreements with other companies. So you should not expect any REALTOR to encourage you to breach your agreement. The Code (Article 11) also has a requirement that the agent be competent with respect to the field of practice for which they engage. So your agent (if they are a REALTOR) should have taken courses in new home sales or have experience in doing so.

If you have a buyer's broker agreement with the brokerage, and if the broker and agent is not fullfilling their part and/or lacks to competence to do so, then would could file either an ethics complaint with their local board of REALTORS and/or an administrative complaint with the Virginia Real Estate Commission. You may also consult an attorney at law as to other remedies.

Sorry to hear about this. Best wishes with respect to acquiring you new home.

Sincerely yours - Bob Lepelletier - Broker - Associate - Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria/Kingstowne Office
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
very thorough answer - glad you mentioned the Code of Ethics!
thumbs up from me!
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Hello Mrs. Granny,
Assuming you may or may not have received acceptable resolution to your problem, I had one additional question. Where are you in the stage of your home building project? When was the contract ratified in the builders office? I ask because although we have had an extremely mild winter here in the NE building can still be a bit slower than the in the summer and spring months. I agree with many of the other agents because there may not be anything to report. I have worked with clients on new home projects that delivered in 4 to 6 months and many that have taken over a years time. Often time until the builder gets to your specific dwelling it remains a pile of dirt. The client will drive through the neighborhood almost every two weeks because of their level of excitement but an agent will most times check in with the builder about every 3 weeks to see how progress is going. Unfortunately because of your location you don't have the luxury of seeing whether there is actual building or not, so you are relying heavily on the agent to be your eyes and ears. It may simply be that a phone call to the agent to let them know that you are unhappy with their lack of communication could do the trick.

I do hope you get a firm resolution. I would exhaust the efforts of communicating with the agent and the broker and making documentation of such. In that regard you have a track record of all of your attempts especially if they don't end in success. In the end the buyers broker has the right to demand their commission, however it could disputed if you haven't received the services you were fully entitled to in the buyer broker agreement. If you need anything else please do not hesitate to contact me. All the best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
Well, Erik - congrats on the best answer, and I am sure it feels good to know the poster found your response helpful!

I would like, however, to comment on a few of your comments.

First of all - there is nothing for you to "disagree" with in what I posted.
I didn't post an opinion, per se, I posted - which I clearly stated ( just as a frame of reference) what occurs here when one brings in a buyer to a builder - especially when it's a larger sub-divsion that is being built. The builder and his team take over. That doesn't mean an agent can't be there to be supportive, but their input is usually not required by the builder or the process.

So - it wasn't a matter of whether you agree or disagree with me - it is what it is.........you simply could have clarified that it isn't the way it "works" in your area.
Learning about how business is conducted elsewhere is one of the interesting facets of Trulia.

I also take issue with your negativity towards a Broker of record...not sure where you have worked, maybe you have had bad experiences, but MY Broker takes any complaint from a consumer seriously, and WILL deal with it so that the consumer is satisfied.

In my opinion, it's absolutely the most productive protocol for the consumer to reach out to the manager or broker, first, to try and resolve any issues, if reaching out to their agent wasn't sufficient.
It's certainly more prodictive than asking strangers on the internet how to proceed - especially when all the facts and minutia of a situation may not be known.
It really isn't for us to draw conclusions or form opinions about a transaction (or the agent involved) when we are not party to it!

To call it "nonsense" to have another agent assigned to a buyer is stating an opinion - one I personally disagree with!

And, to quote you: "sticking with the same company (who has already "failed" you) is patronizing at best in most instances"......
Really?
How do you draw that very negative conclusion and generalization?

Finally, the Realtor Code of Ethics (you might want to reread Robert's post on this topic) prohibits denigrating another agent - or interfering with an ongoing business relationship - one which already exists between this poster and his agent..... imo - soliciting his or her business isn't appropriate....nor did the question ask for solicitation.

So - you may "know your stuff", as you stated, but I think you should have thought twice before offering some of those negative generalizations you provided in your "best" answer.

Have a great day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Thats unfortunate... If your deal doesn't close I could refer you to a more active agent in the area. Send me your name, phone #, and current address to Tjackson@c21mm.com and I will find the perfect agent to assist you in purchasing a home!

Travis Jackson
Century 21 M & M Associates
DRE#01879566 http://www.408RealEstate.com
tjackson@c21mm.com
(408) 316-5954
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2013
Seriously? You're soliciting someone who is already involved in a working relationship with another agent, and under contract to build a home? That's tacky.
Flag Fri Jan 11, 2013
No, you really can't get a new agent, although if you're that displeased, you can speak to the agent's Broker.
You can/should call this agent to let him or her know how they can be of help.......but..........

Aren't you working directly with the builder at this time?

In my area, once we register a buyer with a builder - they usually take over from there, and have their own staff finalize and oversee the building details and process.

What exactly would you like the agent to do?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2013
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