Home Selling in Denver>Question Details

whiteeagle358, Home Buyer in Denver, CO

Abandoned by my Realtor?

Asked by whiteeagle358, Denver, CO Fri Mar 8, 2013

We found a Realtor who was all we could ever want. She took us to look at possible replacement homes in different neighborhoods and made excellent flyers with perfect photos. She has been a full-time Realtor for 13 years, so we figured she would be really good.

We signed the contract, and she put For Sale signs in our yard with flyers and a lock box. In the first 2 days, we had 6 showings. I've sent her some emails and left phone messages for her, but we haven't heard a word from her in 7 days.

Today I finally called her and left a message on her voice mail that I need to hear from her in 3 days or I'll call her broker and ask if I can work with a different agent. I've heard that's better than trying to break the contract.

So how is it being a real estate agent? Are there times that you really can't reply to a client for a whole week? Am I over-reacting? At her office, they haven't heard she was sick or anything. Can anyone give me some advice or ideas? Thanks!!

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Sorry to hear of your dilemna. As far as I am concerned, there is no excuse for her not contacting you or replying to your voice mails or emails. You have been more than patient and have every reason to be concerned. If she is not responding to you, you can expect that she is not responding to potential offers and other questions about your home from other brokers or buyers. Communication is the preeminent requirement of any Agency Agreement, and you have to agency agreements with her.

I hope she is ok and not too sick or otherwise unable to respond. You should call her managing broker to let him know what is happening. He will thank you for letting him know about a problem that could mean taking a black eye for his company. You don't have to remain with this company. You might want to start fresh somewhere else with someone else. We are all here to assist you with your real estate needs. Let us know what happens. There is an underlying concern for all of us that one of our associates is having difficulties. Congratulations, and all the best to you in the sale of your home and the purchase of your replacement home. This should be a fun and exciting time for you, not a nightmare.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
Hi all -

Here's the answer to "The Strange Case of the Disappearing Realtor":

I called her broker yesterday (Monday) just before 1 PM and left a message on his office voice mail. A little after 5 PM he still hadn't called back, so I called his cell phone and fussed at him. He said he had been trying to contact her, and was trying to find her - she wasn't answering her phone. So then I really began to worry - an accident, kidnapping, who knows what?

Later that night I received an email from her - a sincere apology. she had just recovered from a terrible case of the flu. She had never been so sick in her life. On Monday she was finally feeling human and then her dad fell off a ladder and broke his ankle and had some other injuries, so she spent the whole day at the hospital. Since she had to leave her house in a hurry to go to the hospital, her cell phone wasn't charged, and she wasn't able to receive calls. I was very glad to hear she's still alive and (now) in good health. She's an excellent agent and because this happened, we were able to communicate about a few other minor issues and questions.

The whole thing could have been avoided if a family member had called her broker, but I'm very thankful we won't have to go through the process of finding another agent and starting the house sale process over from the beginning. And I've made my share of mistakes, too, so I've absolutely forgiven her and am glad to be back in communication. Now we can get the show on the road again!

Thanks again for all your replies and concern - I appreciate every one!

3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013

Thank you for the update. I think we are all relieved to hear the good news. This sickness probably came on suddenly and took her out of commission. Hopefully she has worked through this period of chain tragic events. But let her know to give you an alternative number of another 'designated broker' that you can contact for emergencies who will be familiar with you and your transactions.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 17, 2013
I love hearing the rest of the story - thanks for letting us know! Her broker must have been really worried.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013
Hi, my business is built around solid communication and customer service. You are not over reacting, especially if you have made several attempts. Unless something tragic happened to the agent then there should be no reason for them or a colleague to get back to you. If I know I'm going away I set everything up with a colleague to cover well before and discuss with you the client as well.

A few of my clients have thanked me for communicating with them every step of the way, they truly appreciate it. Even a little communication goes extremely far and can make or break an agents chances with a client.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013
Taking the time to give us an update sure got my thumbs up. Sometimes we are all type A's and a little communication can frequently work things out. Glad to hear they worked out for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013
Awesome Update!!!!! Awesome!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013
Monday has come and gone, what was the end result? Did you have to call her Broker? Was she OK? Can we have an update?


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013
Sorry for your situation.It is hard to believe that she has a genuine reason for not getting back to you in all this time.I don't think you are over reacting and you have made the best decision by asking her to respond in time or you pick another agent from same broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 12, 2013
That is not usual, check with an attorney but think you can just terminate the agreement, as agreements are not contracts, but "agreements", i.e. there is no consideration such as deposit.
Olja Mihic Realtor 530 448 663
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 11, 2013
That's not good form. I can't imagine she doesn't have time to pick up the phone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 11, 2013
That's quite unusual, I'm sure there is a logical explanation from your Realtor. I would not fire her without talking to her first, although a week is really long not to hear from your Realtor. I would leave a message for her managing broker and let him/her decide how to handle it. Good luck getting your house sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
So sorry you are having this experiance with your agent. I think you are handing it well. As I say we all get 24 hours a day and what we do with that time is up to us! I'm way over the reaction that your too busy to handle a client. If your not able to handle a clients needs than you shouldn't be in the business. With text, email, phone there just are too many ways to respond to someones needs.

I wish you much success in resolving this issue, hopefully she will respond and make her apologies for her lack of communication. Otherwise feel free to reach out to someone who will respond to your request!

Bill Pearson GRI, SRES |"Your Denver Realtor For Life"
ERA Herman Group Real Estate| 201 Columbine Street| Suite 301| Denver CO 80206
720-329-1470 |Bill@DenverRealtorForLife.com
5280 Magazine FIVE STAR Real Estate Professional – 2010, 2011, 2012
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
You are not over-reacting at all! I try to answer my phone every time it rings but that is not always possible when I am with clients. However, I always return someone's call within an hour. Dont get discouraged. There are a lot of good Realtors out there who will provide a higher level of service. Good luck with your sale!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
Wow! Thank you for all the replies. And it looks like you all agree on the answer. I'll wait until Monday, since that's what I said, but it's not looking too good at this point. A few weeks ago, before we signed our contract, she disappeared for about 5 days, but then she apologized and said she had 2 or 3 clients from out of town who needed to find houses within the week. So we figured it was just an isolated situation.

When we first met her, she told us she limited the number of clients she took so she could make each one feel they were her only clients and she could work closely with each one. But I guess our combined sale and purchase prices are probably in the low range for her, and she probably has bigger fish to fry. Anyway, thanks again for all the replies. I'll be searching for a new agent now...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
I would fire her immediately. In the contract you have with her there are specific duties she has to you and if she doesn't live up to those she is breaking the contract. You are not over reacting at all. It is unprofessional of an agent to not respond to their clients phone calls, emails or any other way you choose to communicate. The steps you are taking are good ones, but if you don't feel comfortable with her now, go with another agent who will honor the contract with you.
Skeeter Wilson
Exit One Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
You should fire her immediately and no you are not overreacting. You've hired this woman to "help" you. You also signed a Listing Agreement (you should have a copy) that spells out exactly what her fidicuary duties are to you, as the seller.

1. You have several options: since you've already called her and she hasn't responded, call her company's managing broker and tell them you want out because of all reasons mentioned above.

If she doesn't have a managing broker and still isn't helping you, take your home off the market. You should receive a Termination Notice from her and/or her office stating neither of you has an further responsibility to each other.

2. If they refuse to cooperate on all level, refuse their showings. There is NO reason you should be "stuck" with an incompetent realtor any more than you should be "stuck" with an incompetent doctor, attorney, etc. etc. YOU are the seller and YOU are the one paying the bills IF and when your house sells.

I hope this helps. If I can answer additional questions, don't hesitate to contact me at 303-906-3150 or visit http://www.jmontgomery.com for more information. Good luck to you.

Julie Montgomery, RE/MAX Masters, Inc., Denver, CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
That is definitely cause for concern. If she's just not responding you'd probably be quite justified in looking elsewhere. It's possible that something has happened to her or in her life that is causing the situation - maybe her managing broker knows more about what's going on. But regardless, that doesn't help you in selling your house.

Naturally we are always within almost instant contact via phone, text, or email. Feel free to let us know if we can help in any way if you find yourself looking for another agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
You most certainly are not over reacting to this situation. You have hired this person to sell your home and will pay her good money to do so. In this day and age of cell phones, emails and text messaging there is really no excuse to not receive a timely response of some sort.

Your current real estate agent is doing you a great disservice. The market is extremely busy and it is a seller's market. If she is not responding to your messages, she is probably not responding to inquires about your home. I would suggest you get out of your contract with this real estate agent. There are plenty of good agents out there who's top goal is to sell your home while providing excellent customer service. Feel free to contact me if you would like to know how best to go about this!

Ann Hershfeldt
Your Castle Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
I'd be a little concerned for the woman. If no one has heard from her in a week, are they checking to make sure she's still safe and sound? Unless you can confirm that someone has seen her recently, please consider calling the police if you and/or the broker doesn't hear from her in those 3 days.

I try to return all calls within 24 hours.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
There is a variety in realtor service, just like any industry, and it is hard to tell how people will react in certain situations. My philosophy is to provide exceptional customer service because that provides the best help to my customers, the best value for their listing and best return for their time, energy and money. A 24 hour response time is a minimum at Brixton, and if you are in the midst of a busy listing, negotiation or any other critical items in the sale of your home I aim for immediate responses.

It may help you to ask for references or testimonials from the broker before you choose who you work with. At the very least, there should be a back up person in place if someone has a personal matter to address taking them away from contact for a period of time. I am not sure what your contract states, but you are able to break the contract if you feel the service is detrimental to selling your home.

Feel free to check out the testimonials about the Brixton team (http://brixtonassociates.com/testimonials) and if you would like to talk more about our service I am available today at 303-949-7959.

All my best,
Jenn Morrison
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
You're not over reacting at all! This is unacceptable. I try to get back to my clients within a few hours at the most. If I'm really swamped, I would at least touch base briefly with an email or text and say " Sorry, I'm super busy today, but I'll call you by ___________". It is a little crazy right now, but still. Three days sounds pretty lenient. I'd as for a call back by the end of the day, or else you're going to file a complaint with the real estate commission! Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
That sounds unacceptable to me. These are the types of stories that give Realtors a bad name. You are not over reacting and should be upset. you are trusting this person with a large financial decision in your life, and expecting that person to to treat it as such is not unreasonable. Even if you hear from your Realtor at this point, I would suggest finding someone new that is going to be there for you if something else happens. It is very easy to get out of a contract with a realtor, and if that is what you want to do feel free to contact me and I can tell you how.

Jim Groskopf
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
I am always in touch with my clients!! When I have a listing, the contacts are between me and my listing manager - we are in touch to discuss the showings, feedbacks (if any) and future plans. I never go more than a week to be in touch - follow up is essential in this business. Even when I'm on vacation or not available, someone from my team is available for these types of calls. I would definitely contact her managing broker to voice your concerns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
In my humble opinion you are not over reacting. This is a service industry and if you are not getting the service you expect you have every right to ask to work with a different agent. your contract is with the employing broker and not with the listing broker. That being said this is a tight market for homes in the medium price range (250k) because there is an inventory shortage in metro Denver homes that are properly priced are flying off the market in a matter of days . Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
Every agent is different, but a week is too long. You should talk to her broker, what if she had emergency surgery or something? If it's due to being too busy, interview agents that have a policy of limiting the number of clients they take at one time. (but there's not very many - I only know of one.) Also, when interviewing agents you should ask what happens if they become unexpectedly unavailable or go on vacation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
I am so sorry to hear about your bad experience. While it is true, that the Denver real estate market is HOT right now, there really is no reason that your Realtor wouldn't be able to respond to you in that long of a time frame. I have heard of this happening to a few people lately, an I think the agent is too overwhelmed with the busy market.

You can contact the managing broker, but Realtors are independent contractors, so the managing broker really has little leverage over the individual agent.

If you're happy with the company, however, I encourage you to see if the managing broker can assign you a new agent. However, it doesn't matter if you stay with the same company or not. What's important is that YOU are happy and feel as though you are receiving the treatment that you deserve, and are paying for.

A good Realtor should be able to get back with you at minimum within the same day, but optimally within a couple hours.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 8, 2013
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