Home Selling in Chicago>Question Details

Maggie, Home Seller in

Should I fire my realtor?

Asked by Maggie, Thu Apr 19, 2012

I have had problems from the get go with her. It took her approximately 10 days to list my home after we signed the contract, and I contacted her 3 times during that period to ask why it wasn't done. We get very little feedback on showings, again unless I call and ask her what people thought of our home. She has given us no advice as far as staging our home, it took her again over a week to put up the photos of our home onto the listing. And now, the final straw is that we should ge word on a short sale we bid on sometime this week, and we are freaking out because our home still has not sold. So we asked her to drop the price of our house 2 weeks ago, which she felt we didn't need to, but i said we wanted to, and it has still not been done! Am I being unreasonable, or should I look elsewhere to get my home sold?

Help the community by answering this question:


Maggie sounds like time to have a heart to heart / face to face with the agent and broker in charge. I agree with others there are two sides to every situation but you must make your feelings known citing specific instances where you have been disappointed with the agent's performance. I hope you have documented everything so you can produce a timeline as to what was promised and when or if it was delivered. You have a contract with the listing brokerage and the broker needs to know what is happening. Sounds like you have tried to communicate with the agent and yet are not getting the results your expect/deserve.
A factual discussion with both agent and broker is critical to get to the bottom of this situation. If your are not happy with the agent and feel the relationship is not salvagable I suggest you ask the broker to assign the listing to another agent in the agency. Or if you are not comfortable or trust is totally lost it is time to move on.
The agent works for you and is obligated to obey and respect your wishes. She/he can advise you but it is your decision to accept this advise or not. Selling a house can be difficult but should not be a test of wills. Your agent is there to facilitate the process not work against you. Your requests of the agent must be followed or the agent is not representing you in a professional or ethical manner. Good luck with the sale and purchase of a new home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
I have to agree with the last broker J's comment. I only got into the business 4 years ago, so I missed the boom. But have seen a huge difference in the quality of agents with whom I interact from when I started. Back then, even fresh to the business, I was surprised by how little many of my fellow ("experienced") agents knew. Now, I meet more agents who actually teach me things. It's more enjoyable to work with competent people. There are still jokers out there, but most of the recreational Realtors have left the business.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 21, 2012
It sounds like your trust of the Realtor has diminished. If you think there is a chance of resurecting the relationship then meet with the Realtor and provide honest feedback. If this Realtor is serious he/she will appreciate the honest feedback. Also, look honestly at yourself as how you may have aided/hindered the process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
lack of communication is never good. I hate to throw anyone under the bus. I would make sure you guys arent seeing eye to eye. If your not, it may be best to part ways. This should be a fun experience for you, not a terrible one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Hi Maggie --
As Realtors, we are in the service business and as such, our top priority is to take care of you, our clients and customers. While few professions should ever be 24 hour jobs - residential Real Estate can be very close. To be good in our job, it must look like we work 24 hours a day as this business moves on it's schedule, not ours. So when a client requests/needs our help or assistance - it's not doing you a favor to help - it's doing our job. It sounds like your current agent is very busy and thinks that she is doing you a big favor being your agent. I think you should do her a big favor and free up some of her time so that she is not so pushed. The requests that you are making of your agent are nothing more than what any client would expect and should expect and these tasks should be completed in a timely and professional manner - based on your schedule, not theirs.

Tom Kelley
Web Reference: http://tomkelleychicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
I hope this helps..... I am in 35 days with my realtor and she has shown me many unorganized ways*****. I think should was picking up on my not being happy with her "work" and she wanted to bail out of the agreement. I am going to fire her, she doesn't know, yet. Why? I am getting my ducks in a row. I signed a contract of 60 days and she can make me reimburse her for photos and flyer cost: that is it. It is not much, but you can get a " Termination of Listing" from the internet: start interviewing realtors and have one agree to reimburse her and they can use the photos, etc...that way your listing is not taken down and everyone is happy. The realtor you fire will be outed for why she had a listing removed and exposing the realtor that way is a good way to end it without defamation, etc.... There is A Lot of realtors that do not want to work for their commission and you need to be up front with what you want and what you WILL NOT put up with!!!! Good Luck, sometimes they promise and don't deliver, so get it in writing and have them sign it. If a realtor will not your agreement, then, do not hire them.

Beware of the realtors who pull out the "dog and pony show" and demand that you read their reviews! Also, ask them if they have a vacation planned anytime soon!!! Very important!! My realtor listed me and went on vacations 7 days the listing went up. I went unseen for almost 2 weeks. She blamed it on me?????? She is a piece of work.... I have been playing the " anything you say game" and waiting for the day of termination. SOON!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
Lot's of responses here and some good advice too. How is it working out for you?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
Yes fire her ass. I most certainly would!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 26, 2012
You have given this realtor ample opportunity to correct her ways. Obviously she doesn't want to. Have you approached her broker and stated your problems directly to him? He should be made aware of her lack of response to your requests and needs and her super slow response time. That is not the way to get or maintain a good business reputation. Ask to have another agent assigned to your listing or to be your released from your listing contract.
Joanne Bernardini
Sales Associate
Certified Short Sale Agent
Keller Williams Realty
One Atlantic Ave.
Ocean City, NJ 08226
ofc. 609-399-5454
cell 609-200-1321
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 25, 2012
Well when someone I hire doesn't do what I ask, they get fired period. Talk to the broker and outline your complaints, he is ultimately responsible for all his agents actions. Follow up with a written letter and send it certified. Sounds like the agent you chose is a new inexperience agent.

I am not opposed to working with new agents especially if they are "Go Getters". Unfortunately there are too many amatures in the business and you never want to trust your fate to an amature. Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 25, 2012
Fire immediately

Never talk to another one

There are resources to buy direct from a seller

Secure an attorney with family connections with a track record - but only after tracking bar records in the state

A day doesn't go by when a Realtor is not arrested, arraigned, indicted, tried or sentenced for criminal conspiracy, negligence or nonfeasance

Run a string search on news.google.com if you don't believe me
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2012
Ok…so let's just go make a bunch of blanket statements: Never talk to a doctor - there isn't a day that goes by that you can't find one get sued for malpractice. Never trust a cop - they're all out to get you… never buy a car…churches harbor child molesters… come on now. The question is, "is this agent in need of firing" and the answer is Yes. For incompetence and lack of diligence in pursuing her duties. Are all agents incompetent? If you believe that, I feel very, very sorry for you.
Flag Wed Apr 25, 2012
Worst advice ever.
Flag Tue Apr 24, 2012
Give notice of termination for non-performance. If she will not cooperate go to her broker. If that does not work, either ask your attorney to send a termination letter or report it to the local or state governing board.

Assuming your facts are correct you need a new broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
Be sure to check your listing agreement for terms that could allow this Realtor to be paid a commission for a specific time period after you terminate the agreement. Consider waiting that amount of time prior to signing with another broker and let the new broker read the listing agreement before you sign with them to be sure there aren't terms that should be considered before moving forward.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
Hello Maggie,
I am so sorry to hear of your bad experience with an imcompetent realtor. There is a code of ethics that we abide. Please look at the following link you will find a violation to end your existing contract without being penalized. I am truly sorry about your situation. http://www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
I think that there is no justification for the lack of communication or lack of respect for the instruction that you gave her to lower the price on your home. I suggest that you follow your gut on this one. They are clearly not doing their job and not respecting your wishes as a seller. If you need a referral, please email me privately at love2listyou@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
You should absolutely fire your Realtor and find another. To begin with one of the main part of any Realtors job is communication. They should be responsive to your concerns and requirements. Listings should never be posted without pictures for any reason. I see this all the time and can't believe that 1. a home owner wouldn't fire their Realtor immediately and that 2. a Realtor doesn't even know how poorly this reflects on them. Listings should only be posted when their 100% ready and this means hiring a photographer to go in early, Having a stager consult with the Sellers and advise them on what needs to be done etc. It sounds to me that you've got a lousy Realtor who doesn't deserve your business.

Regarding your short sale offer, unless the short sale has been pre-approved by the lender (most are not) you need to relax. It's likely to take many weeks if not months before you get a response and statistically speaking the response will likely be no. Most Sellers don't meet the requirements of a short sale, don't have a clue what is involved or what they need to do and unfortunately neither do the vast majority of agents. Most short sales require considerable patience on the part of the buyer and you may always cancel your offer. If you must sell your home in order to buy another, then perhaps you may wish to reconsider making bids on homes right now.

The advise some other agents have offered regarding speaking directly to the Broker in Charge at the office where your Realtor works is sound. At this point I don't think it makes sense for you to work with this Realtor regardless of what's said, but their Broker in Charge needs to be made aware of your problems.

The next step will be finding a Realtor you can work with and who will do a good job, below is a link to an article I've written and posted here on Trulia that you might be interested in on how to find a great Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 22, 2012
Hi Maggie -

I think you should contact your agent's broker and request a meeting to discuss the issues with them. The broke needs to know what their agents are doing and not doing. When you meet with the broker explain your concerns and see if they can be resolved. If they cannot be resolved to your satisfaction then start interviewing new agents. Most Realtor's take their business very serious. Find one in your area. Good luck.

Cindy Schlee, Realtor
Grand Rapids, MI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 21, 2012
You should be concerned.....Why do you feel the agent is dragging her feet about dropping the price? The inability to accomplish this very simple take may be speaking volumes.

We find that when agents have personal interests in a community they can resist customer wishes. What does this mean? Does she have multiple listings in the area? Dropping the price could cause hard feelings between she and her other customers. Does she own property in the community? Owners of property don't like seeing sale prices drop below an acceptable level.

The bottom line here is there could be more to this than someone just not doing their job. Personal motivation can cause people to do strange things. Our recommendation is to have a serious heart-to-heart with her and ask her whats going on.....as the seller, you have the right for answers....demand them face to face!

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 21, 2012
You are in a most unfortunate situation; however, with recent improvements in the field a better breed of agents have surfaced as well. The weeding out process continues in every state.

Absolutely nobody should settle for less than excellent service from a chosen provider. There are too many exceptional agents that truly work for the best interest of their clients that would welcome the opportunity to assist you to success.

Delivering bad service is a choice, however, there are those providers who may not know the meaning of good service. As always, sellers and buyers beware when hiring an agent to represent you and one the largest assets you may own. Success takes hard work and can be 24/7. Interview agents to ensure you are truly hiring the right agent, and above all, one that is competent and professional. Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 21, 2012
You have an agency with your agent's BROKER. Your contract is with the BROKER. None of us here are to interfere with that agency relationship.

If you are asking whether or not the situation appears out of line, that depends on the expectation you gave to your agent and how she said she was going to work for you. BUT... you signed a Listing Agreement and in that Contract your agent / BROKER agreed to represent you. Read the Contract and contact the managing BROKER, as they are the only one who can allow you to cancel the Listing Agreement.

To be general as to the duties of an agent, they are to walk in your shoes, act as if they are you (legally and ethically). If the relationship isn't a fit it needs to be communicated and adjusted.

I wish you much success in resolving this quickly so that you achieve your goal.

Have an Amazing Day!
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Fire her.

The folks who are pointing out that there are two sides to every story are correct. It's unlikely, but there may be reasonable explanations for all of those issues you've raised.

However, there needs to be a bond of trust between a client and his/her Realtor. That clearly doesn't exist, and I'm skeptical that it could be established with a sit-down with the agent or her broker. (If you feel differently, then by all means have a heart-to-heart conversation with the agent and her broker.)

Even if (and I doubt this is the case) you're largely responsible for the miscommunication and delays, clearly the arrangement isn't working.

Find someone you can work with and trust.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
As a Broker, I don't like to weigh in until I hear both sides. I feel, as a field, because we fund our clients up front and wait to get reimbursed until after the sale, many people have lost site of that and thus have lost respect for our time, talent, energy and out of pocket expenses we ourselves have invested on our client's behalf.

I know that I will not begin investing money until I have a signed listing agreement with my clients. From there, I actually don't like to go "live" until I have all the photos and virtual tour completed and uploaded. This takes time because we plan the photographer, wait for them to develop and fine tune the photos, approve the photos or have them retake them if not up to par.... and then put them in the right order and uploaded to our draft on the MLS. That takes close to 5 Business Days.

So... from what you are telling me in your question, it is fully the fault of your agent. That may be completely true. It is definitely 100% possible. However, this is a relationship business. And, as in all relationships, it takes two. My question is: How have you contributed to this situation? How are you communicating? If you are not communicating clearly, concisely, and upfront proactively, then the issue may in fact be how you are engaging with your Realtor. We are an extraordinary bunch: from experts in the field, to psychologists, to marketing and branding specialists, to confidants that know: someone is expecting a baby before her own family does; someone is contemplating divorce and looking at their options; someone is coming into money; someone is losing their job; someone is downsizing for the last time and preparing for the end of their life, etc. Like I said, we are an extraordinary bunch. However... we are not mind readers.

There is a reason you hired your Realtor. If you are going to fire her, then do so. I would hope that you would reimburse her her out of pocket expenses. No Realtor can be your Realtor without your permission. Thus, you hired her for services rendered. Pay up and move on. Or speak up and resolve it.

Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Could be your broker had a problem with the computer or system. that does happen. Your checking to see the listing was just fine and the broker realized the system needed to be tweaked.

so this short sale the owner lost job, and it sounds as though the owner may have fallen behind in payments. Not really sure what the case is.

Remember when house hunting you must be able to walk from offers or deals. For whatever reason. Just keep looking. The first and second one may or may not happen. par for the course. Did you write a contingency in your offer based upon the sale of your house. Or maybe you prefer not to do that?

Your listing agent may not show up for showings since most likely a buyer broker would. unless you have shopper. so how did you sign your listing agreement. Did you allow your broker to work a dual agency or maybe your broker does not want to practice dual agency as her policy.

Open houses are tough. You can sit and not see alot of people. That is one way to market of a plethora of ways to sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Thank you all for all the great responses. When the house was not listed, I sent her an email saying that I was going to contact her broker and she said she had entered it days ago and didn't know why I couldn't see it. A few hours later I finally found it and saw that it's "Listing date/time with MLS" was 10 minutes after I hung up with her.
As far as the short sale goes we happened to find a house we loved back in November and it was a short sale due to owner losing his job and the house was only 4 years old. We bid on the home based on her recommendation for bid, accepted right away and the "due date" per contract is 4/30. Other agent contacted ours to say all the papers had been filed, BPO done, etc and that they expected an answer within the next week.
We have been trying to get the house sold since November, we have done everything asked of us, showing it when necessary and never saying no to a showing request. She has never been in our house for a showing, I don't know if this is standard. But when I sent her an email 2 days ago asking about why the price change did not happen I got no response.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Hi Maggie,

I commented below and I assume you're getting overwhelmed with responses. No matter what you do, I feel you should make a decision sooner rather than later given the fact you are about to received short sale approval on the home you want to purhcase. It's unfortunate that you've been put in this situation as selling and buying a home should be a positive experience but we must move forward! Please don't hesitate to contact me and I'm available to get the ball rolling ASAP if you allow.

Jeff Stewart, @properties
Flag Thu Apr 19, 2012
You may sell your property at any price you want if some one is buy it. Your realtor should help you to do that.Realtor should be easy reachable to you and all prospective buyers. You may take the necessary action.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
You are saying it took 10 days to list your house, yet maybe the broker had to work through some issues with your property that took longer. I have no idea and am not using that as an excuse.

Real estate can be a very emotional experience. In some respects she is looking at this objectively and giving you an opinion such as you want to drop the price of your house. Why. You are freaking out. Is that a reason to drop your price? When your broker says she does not feel the need to drop the price. Are you saying your experience, education, knowledge of the market and knowledge of market data is superior to your broker?

Your broker wants to sell your house just as much as you do and be paid. Yet do you want to change this into a distress sale? If you do then convey that to your broker that the price just does not matter. Drop the price until you sell it. Since you are saying that price is what drives your market.

So this property you made a bid on. You said you will get word on this SHORT sale sometime this week. this week. Fast enough for you. maybe the bank will respond that fast. maybe not since you are asking the bank to take a loss and why should they. How much are you asking the bank to lose? I suppose the more you ask them to lose the longer they will sit and think. Did you offer list price? did the listing broker create the short sale or why is this property a short sale? Are you buying from a flipper or a long time home owner? Or one that bought beyond their means say from 2005-2008 or so?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
bid on it in December, contract is up 4/30 and other realtor said it will be any day. And no it wasn't a lowball bid, owner lost job and house went to shortsale bc it was built in 07 and market value dropped drastically since then.
Flag Thu Apr 19, 2012
I was going to start with saying that there may be another side to the story and what not, BUT if you're asking her to drop the list price of your current home, she should be all over that! Talk to your agent's managing broker about being reassigned.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Hello Maggie,

First of all, great job knowing what to ask of your realtor and quickly figuring out the problems!
Second of all, did you read your listing agreement to see how you can terminate the contract.
Check that document out, talk to your realtor during a personal meeting in her office, and if she does not "get" your points, speak to her broker. If the broker does not help you (to your satisfaction) either,
change the brokerage but make sure to interview a few realtors - and request their marketing plans - very specific ones as to what they will do and when (virtual tours, UTube videos on the house/community, staging, and other extensive marketing)...

Best of luck,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
I would definitely call up the brokerage she works for and address your concerns with the qualifying broker there. Although I'm in no way involved in the transaction the question/post you wrote reads that you are doing your part in the agreement. There are hundreds of qualified agents out there that may very well be a better fit for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Hi Maggie,

I'm really sorry that you've had to go through this and it's a bit embarrassing as a Realtor to hear someone is giving our profession a bad reputation. There are just so many missteps your Realtor has done in your small paragraph alone and I would love to help reverse this nightmare and get you back on track.

When I take a listing I have a very systematic approach to everything and there are many systems in place ranging from listing paperwork to showing requests and feedback which makes everything easier for everyone - it's a little more work up front but it really pays off in the end.

Please call or email me and we can get the ball rolling immediately - I've got a quick 3-step process:
1: Come up with a time to meet in person at your home. I would then like you to tour me through your home as you would a Buyer. Tell me things you've updated, fun neighborhood stories, fun building stories, etc.
2: I go back home and do research on pricing to show you what is selling and at what prices homes are selling in your immediate building and neighborhood.
3: Get your home listed and hit the ground running.

I'm running into a meeting starting at 12 but will be available via email.

Jeff Stewart
REALTOR®, @properties
3101 N. Greenview Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
309-269-3499 CELL | 773-305-0480 FAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012

It doesn't sould like your agent is working with your goals in mind.


Ivan Sagel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
I think everyone else has had good answers below, but it doesn't hurt to add another yes! It is really unfortunate that you have had such a terrible experience, but know that there are many great professionals out there. It looks like there are a bunch in your area that have already commented, hopefully one of them can help you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Yes I would if she can't provide the services that you are looking for . If you are looking to use a qualified agent with References please give me a call at 7089254076 or email me at diana@findingourbalance.com I am a full time agent. I look forward to getting your home sold not just listed .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Being BUSY cannot justify this.
You deserve better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012

Cathi Weaver
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://www.CathiWeaver.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
There is no excuse for an unresponsive agent. Pull the plug and the next time you hire an agent focus on what they are going to DO for you, not how much real estate they've sold or how well they "know the neighborhood". Those things are mostly irrelevant when selling. And get them to commit to regular feedback.
Web Reference: http://LucidRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Maggie, I agree with Mack. Give her a deadline and then if the items you stipulate aren't done - release her and let her go! Don't keep something that doesn't work.

As far as feedback goes, I get my answers directly from the buyer because I usually show my listings in person, if I can - depending on when the buyer wants to see it and my schedule, that way I have feedback to give to my sellers. She hasn't reduced the price yet? RIDICULOUS!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Unreasonable. There are positive changes happening and moving at your speed could cause you to take a loss. Let her do her job. It is in your best interests that she will do the best to get the most she can. Interesting uptick in some markets when comparing short sales to REO's. Short sales are not bank owned yet the bank will take a loss from the loan amount. Some market of those sales show upticks. However, the REO's bank owned are miserable. Ownership does matter. Condtion can be questionable as to sales price.

And just think Banks tried to get law makers to allow them to buy and own real estate companies in the State of Illinois that did not pass.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Seems odd. Is she part time or the busiest agent in town? If no to both then she is not very productive and I would be a bit upset. Your contract to list is with her office NOT her so you could ask her broker to assign another agent to work with you. I list a house and it is in the MLS that day or the next, 10 days is laughable OR she is holding it as a pocket listing trying to sell it herself before she enters it into the MLS and that is her thinking of her before you. It's wrong!. Getting feedback is not always obtainable. I get agents calling me for feed back and often my reply is nothing. Buyers will say things like, "It's not what I want" so we move on. I really don't care to ask them what they would change to make it acceptable. Sometimes they will say it is that or this that has turned them off, but often they don't so there is nothing to pass along. If you put an offer in on a short sale get ready for the most frustrating ride of your life. If you are in a hurry, a short sale is going to really upset you because answers come S L O W L Y if at all. You don't have to ask me to drop a price more than once and it is done. Does your agent have much experience? How long has she done this, it takes years to obtain some real experience in RE salesmanship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
It is said that patience is a virtue, Maggie, but so is moderation.

You have been extremely patient with this agent, and it has not been working for you.

Make a list of what you've told her to do that hasn't yet been done, call her today and tell her that they need to get done, today. End of story.

IF they are not done by tomorrow, then call her and tell her that she is, indeed, fired. You have a contract with the brokerage, however, so after you have fired her, you need to call the manager and ask for another agent to be assigned to you. If they refuse, then ask to be released from the listing and go find another agent.

All the best,
-- mc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
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