Home Buying in Santa Rosa>Question Details

Randall, Both Buyer and Seller in Santa Rosa, CA

We are not 100% satisifed with our real estate agent? Can we "dismiss" him?

Asked by Randall, Santa Rosa, CA Mon Nov 30, 2009

Are we under a moral obligation to continue to bid on real estate with our Agent? I don't know if we signed any kind of an Agreement.

Help the community by answering this question:


if you are not under contract the answer is no... and even if you signed a buyer broker agreement you can fire that agent... be gracious and move on.. good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
Hey Randall,

It depends on your current situation with your Agent. You mentioned that you are a Buyer and Seller. Is this person currently listing your home as well as assisting you in purchasing your replacement property? If they are, you may want to refer to your listing contract and see if you can cancel. If they aren't listing your home and you haven't signed an exclusive Buyer's Contract, then you are free to use another Agent.

Before making that decision, you may want to talk to your Agent and even their Broker to see if whatever is the problem can be resolved. There are times when Buyers and Sellers get frustrated with the current market conditions and believe the Agent may not be doing enough.

Please let me know if you need any further assistance. I would be honored to help if I can but first try and see if you and your current Agent can work through your frustrations.

All the best,


Kenneth Schrier Real Estate Group
CPS Property Advocates
Lic. #01380974
Cell 707-529-4819
Email - http://www.kenschrier@aol.com
Web - kenschrier.com
Web Reference: http://www.kenschrier.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 1, 2009
Hi Randall,

All of the other comments are great and right on target. Buyers often don't interview more than one agent and then become disappointed when the agent isn't the right fit for them. I've been contacted by a few buyers like this in the past year and it's actually surprised me how often it happens. I think some agents might be working in real estate part-time right now and that makes it difficult to get their full attention and service. Also, personalities can be extremely different and sometimes you don't know it's not a good fit until you spend some time with a person. I guess it's a little like dating. :)

When you know it's not something workable, it's best to let the agent know as soon as possible so you can both move on. Then I would interview a few people to see who you connect with. You'll now have the valuable info of knowing what you don't like and want, and now you just have to find someone who can deliver what you do want.

Good questions to ask are: how many homes have they sold this year, if they know the area you like well, and their general opinion of the market at your price range and desired area. You will usually be able to tell the difference between someone who knows what they are talking about and someone who doesn't pretty quickly. Also, an agent who is a good listener and concerned about your needs will ask you a lot of questions. And this is about you getting good service, so that's important. And you could even ask if they have any references you could talk to or maybe read some testimonials on their website.

I hope that helps and I know this can be an awkward situation. My buyers that made a switch felt terrible about telling the first agent, but it really does just happen sometimes and you need to work with someone that makes you feel comfortable and confident. If I can help any further, please feel free to contact me and I'm happy to help. Best of luck to you and have a great day!!
Web Reference: http://www.AgentDoyle.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
As long as there was no written agreement, you are free to work with whoever you choose. Interview more than one agent and outline your expectations-- choose the one you like best, after all you will be spending some time together.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
Whether or not you have a moral obligation depends on how much work the agent did on your behalf and whether the problem is with him or is with our current market conditions You say you are both buyer and seller. If you have a listing contract with him to sell your house, and he is complying with the terms of the agreement, there can be penalties for cancelling that. But you can cancel as long as you are aware of what those penalties can be and they are acceptable to you. If your concern is primarily with what you are buying, I would wonder what has caused your unease. Have you submitted bids on many properties but been unsuccessful? That is a recurring problem with the current market. Is he not showing you the type of properties you have described to him and are properties of that type available in your price range? One other thing I would note - are you working exclusively with him or are you going out with several other Realtors. Buyers who do that are apt not to get the best service from any of the agents because they feel they might work very hard only to have you buy something through someone else.
Web Reference: http://arleegeary.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
Hi Randall, Yes, you can move on to another real estate agent depending on where you are in a transaction. Have you signed a purchase contract or an agency relationship agreement? I would tell your agent what is bothering you so they can explain or change any differences. If you move on, they will have worked for nothing, which is so common in this industry. But, if you feel you are just on different pages, let them know you need to move on. They will probably wish you their best. If you need more information, please email me at diane.rooney@century21.com Thank you and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
He might not be satisfied with you, if you can't remember what you've signed or haven't signed!

But - to answer your question. I think you have a moral obligation to ask your new agent to give a referral fee to the old one IF the old one provided real value to you, by - for example, educating you as to the market, pitfalls or benefits of certain homes - if you became more knowledgeable and therefore, better prepared to proceed in the marketplace than if you hadn't worked with him.

It's fine to fire him if you're only 90% satisfied, but I think the answer lies in - does he deserve to get paid "something" for his work with you - and, the new agent will likely understand this, because you're that much farther along and it should be easier for them than if they got you fresh out of the nest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
Hi Randall,

Contractually ,this depends both on whether you've signed something, and also where you might be in the process of a transaction. And, moral obligation is really a subjective matter! I always recommend people try to work out the areas with which they are not satisfied, but if you simply are unable to bridge the differences, if you have not signed a buyer-broker agreement or other binding document of some kind, then you would be free to move along. As an agent myself I would simply recommend that you communicate clearly to the 'fired' agent your grievances so he or she can, hopefully, use that information for his/her professional development. I'm happy to talk this through more with you if you wish (office line is 707-824-2427) as it's kind of a lot to go into in a short posted reply - no obligation and confidential of course. In any event - best to you as you carry on with your real estate pursuit.

Susan Bryer
Web Reference: http://www.susanbryer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
If you didn't sign buyer agreement, then you are probably not under any obligation. What I would like to know is, what are you 100% satisfied with? I can't think of anything I'm 100% satified with, my point being make certain you are letting them go for good reason.
Web Reference: http://www.daveheck.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 30, 2009
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