Home Buying in 60614>Question Details

Julie, Home Buyer in 60614

What are the legal consequences of divorcing your current realtor for lack of response and using another on the same property?

Asked by Julie, 60614 Fri Jun 10, 2011

My current realtor is a part-time one, and models heavily on the side. The realtor has been extremely slow in responding to my inquiries regarding a property that I've seen with her. Because of this, i had lost a property to other buyers in tha past. I am thinking of divorcing her. Would I be putting myself in a dicey situation?

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If you simply want to move to using another agent, and do not re-visit listings you have seen with the current agent, you should be able to "divorce" by telling her you are going to work with someone else.
If you are going to look at property you saw with her before, this is a potential issue for the new agent and the commission in a sale of one of those properties.
If you have signed a buyer broker agreement, or received a notice of designated agency from the agent, the issue has a new layer of complexity.
If you have a new agent you want to work with, and they are experienced, they should be able to give you some guidance on how to proceed.
In this market you need an agent with a professional attitude and skill set, and timeliness of response is the number one expectation of clients today. A "dual career" agent can do a good job for you, but any agent who does not fit your needs is one you can do without.
Simply getting listings from an agent and looking at property does not create a legal contract between you and the agent, but there are other aspects of this which can affect the payment of a commission.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Hi Julie,

I have nothing to new to add to what others have said about written agreements and such but I did notice that no one else has offered to be the person to really help you out! Nothing bothers me more than lack of communication and it's what I actually pride myself on as my greatest strength! Please feel free to read my testimonials and you'll see what I mean.

This is my full time job and number one passion so I take what I do very very seriously and would love to help you if you'll let me :-)

Best Wishes,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011

I agree with some of the answers here.

Give your current agent notice by email. Save the email. I would not speak to
her broker unless you want him to assign another of his agents.

If you signed an agreement with your current agent, get a release signed by her broker. If not - go out and get
someone who works full time to help you.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011

Did you sign a buyers' agency agreement with your current Realtor?
That's the only thing that might slow you down because you will have
to comply to the terms of that agreement. Part time Realtors are a
regular complaint of mine.

Send your Realtor an email explaining that you will no longer be using her services and why. If you signed
a buyers' agreement, call a local real estate attorney - it will be cheap advice. After all, how many properties can you tolerate losing due to your agent?

If you speak with her broker, he'll want to assign another agent in his company to you. But make sure you get his
signature on the release from your buyers' agency contract, if one is involved.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
This is easy. Just talk to your agent's managing broker, discuss your issues, and request a new designated agent. In Illinois, your relationship as far as money is with the brokerage, not the agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
This is called abandonment. Procurring cause is not based on who shows you the property first!! However, if you signed a buyers agreement you may be obligated under the terms of that agreement. If you didn't sign anything you can simply inform that Realtor's broker in writing about what has happened and your wishes for a new Realtor either from that brokers office or you can go to any other broker that you want. Please understand that this is not legal advice and I strongly recommend speaking to an attorney regarding this matter. If you need a few attorney referrals, just let me know.

Thank you,

Anthony DeSuno
Broker Owner
Red Door Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 28, 2012
Not at all! If your current agent isn't living up to your expectations, you can rescind the contract immediately! I think your first step should be to call the agent's managing broker, and tell them about your situation. They will most likely try to connect you with another on of their agents, but at this point maybe you should try reaching out to another agency.

So sorry that happened to you! Hope that doesn't jade you with the idea of real estate agency!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 28, 2012
Basically, she is entitled to a commission if she showed you the property. If you have a buyer broker agreement with her I would have your attorney review it before looking for another agent. There is no excuse for not responding to clients in a timely manner, especially if you are losing deals because of it. This is a waste of time for both of you since you could have purchased already if your questions were answered. I'm a full time agent available 14 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer my clients questions.

Robert Nowak
Broker Associate

Web Reference: http://www.rnowak.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 22, 2011
I would not use a part time Dentist, Brain Surgeon or Accountant. This is the biggest financial decision you will make in your life. I suggest using a full-time, experienced and professional agent with good negotiation skills to get the best experience. Do what is best for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this. I have some issues with part-time Realtors as well. I think it's OK to be a part-time Realtor, just alert the public on what you really are. Don't expect to be thrown in their with the rest of us that do this full-time.
You have some very good answers below. My two cents is that you shouldn't have much trouble divorcing your Realtor. In Arizona, everything depends upon wither you have an open offer or not with your buyer's agent. If there is no open offer, then there is no true commitment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 11, 2011
It's all about getting the full representation that you deserve as a buyer in today's market. If you have a written agreement with the first agent, send the document to your attorney and see what your rights are.

When in doubt, get legal advise!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 11, 2011
Normally a realtor will honor your decision if you speak with them about it. I know I do. If you are truly unhappy with her performance just explain this to her and ask her to let you out of the Buyers Relationship Contract. I would never want someone forced to work with me just because I had a piece of paper to wave in their face and I'm sure most realtors feel the same way.

Hopefully that will work for you. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 11, 2011
Give the broker a notice the reasons why you are cancelling the agreement. I am a full time agent and pride myself
on communication with my clients. Debbie Bergthold-Smith Classic Real Estate 708-267-5552
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
I would be glad to refer to a real estate attorney who can answer your question correctly. Thanks - Berni :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
let them go.. send over an email to the broker manager and the agent and say your giving 30 days notice and withdrawing your listing..look at your agreement and attach it..why bother getting involved with she said, you said.. just end it- go to the best company- Mine. Call me and I will sell your house and tell you why and how to get the most money. no need to mess around and waste time. please mark as helpful and contact my website to see why I am the best..they do need to release you but just demand it and see what happens.
Web Reference: http://www.joeschiller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011

My attorney will speak with you regarding this situation for free. Contact me at 312-361-0867 for his information.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Did you sign an exclusive agreement with your current realtor? If not, and you sign an exclusive with another realtor, you may be OK. Once you find a responsive realtor, they can work with their managing broker to help solidify the situation.

If you have more questions, feel free to call me - 312-607-6447.

Hillary Deck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
If you did not sign anything with this agent when you started working with her then you can dump her any time you want. The potential 'issue' if you use another agent for this property you previously saw with her is that the listing agent may have a problem figuring out who to pay the commission, but that does not affect your offer or the result of the negotiations. There are 2 options......
1. Send an email to the Broker of the current agent to complain about her lack of response, mention that you want to write an offer ASAP and you want another agent to do it. That Broker should respond ASAP by assigning another agent from that office to help you write the offer.
2. If you do not get that property then just go find another agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
The listing agreement has to have a term limit for the listing but you can cancel anytime by giving notice to her. You are not locked into a listing agreement and you should not feel guilty about cancelling either if you are not happy with the agents performance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Did you sign a buyers agreement with her? If so, you can go in to the managing broker and talk to them about it. Express your concerns. If he wont release you from the contract, at least he can maybe give you a full time agent at his office. If you didnt sign anything, you just can walk away. I would give a courtesy call or email and let her know why.

Now if she showed you one property, and you want to make an offer on that particular property, she is entitled to that commission. In order for her not to be, you have to be able to prove that she neglected you by phone records, emails, etc. Its a pretty lengthy process. Is this the property you want to move forward on? If so, I would once again go to her managing broker for release, or to at least assign an agent for you on that particular property. If that is not one you are moving forward on, then once again, just walk away from the agent.

I am sorry you ran into such a problem. You should go out and interview at least 2 other agents, and choose one that you feel will give the attention you need. I would be happy to help.

Matt Laricy
Americorp Real Estate
Managing Broker, e-PRO
Web Reference: http://AmericorpRe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Do you have a signed agreement with your agent; if so have a dicussion with your agent; if the chat proves unsatisfactory contact his/her broker owner, and or office manager and express your concerns; you can ask to be unconditionally released, or ask to be assigned another agent from within. If you have no signed agreement, you are free to work with whoever you please, but be upfront with that agent regarding any properties you may have already seen, and or, wish to see again/possibly make an offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
If you did not sign anything with this agent when starting to work with her then you have no legal obligation and can pick another agent any time you want. For the particular property you saw with her, if you want to write an offer with another agent, the potential 'issue' is that the listing Broker may have a problem deciding who to pay the commission, either your new agent or the old one. This is NOT your concern, but you need to tell the new agent the situation and let him/her work it out the best way possible......or...........
I would write an email to the Broker of the current agent to cancel her formally and indicate her lack of response and unprofessionalism on this particular property. At minimum the Broker should respond by assigning another agent to you for the purpose of writing an offer on that property ASAP. If it does not work and you do not get that property out go find another agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
This is easy. Just talk to your agent's managing broker, tell him/her your problems, and ask for a new designated agent. Your legal relationship is with the brokerage, not the agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
This is a legal question. Since you ask what are the legal consequences. Go hire an attorney for his opinion! Ask him for a brief.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
from the training I have received in probable cause, if you are not in contract, that agent was not procurring cause. Do you have a buyers agency agreement with this agent? If not, I don't see a probem. Do let her know in writing what you are doing and why. She needs to know that her part time Realtor status isn't working.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Julie you would need to get a full release in writing from your contract with them to proceed. If not you may be liable for paying them if you buy something they introduced you to. Make sure everything is in sriting and cc the managing broker.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
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