Question Details

Alice, Home Buyer in Florida

buyers obligation to agent

Asked by Alice, Florida Thu May 22, 2008

I have an real estate agent that I think is not proactive enough in getting offers presented in a timely manner and communicating with me in a timely manner about progress. There have been 3 houses she has shown and I found all the houses myself on the internet and asked her to set up a showing. I am the buyer and have not signed anything but offers that expired without response. Do I have an obligation to stay with this realtor or may I find another one? And if I find another one, if I present an offer on one of the houses the first realtor showed, will this second realtor be entitled to commission since he is now involved?

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19
JR - it has to do with the fact that reasonable people can look at a situation, and say "ya know - that's just not right".
Whether or not they have a legal ground to fight for it or not. There's still a question of whether or not it's right.

Perhaps i'm idealistic for thinking that still matters - but I would certainly hope that if a client is not satisfied, and feels they have been done a dis-service - that people would look first to remedy the situation through reason.

JR: I thought that was what I did by saying there was not enough information to judge whether it was the buyer's expectation or the agent's fault. Reasonable people try to get all the information, preferably from both sides.

Myke: Certainly I would hope the professional in question would certainly want to keep a client happy before jumping straight to a legal fight.

JR: The disconnect I'm getting here is with what you're saying. Another poster explaining procuring cause is not "jumping straight to a legal fight."

Myke: Instead - what we see is "procured cause! i'll get my commission one way or another! i don't care if you're happy with it or not! i DESERVE IT".

Sorry - but that's BS - at least by most people's standards.

JR: I don't think anyone said what you quoted. You see, your perception did not match the reality of what the poster said. As I posted previously, if she isn't happy with her agent she can switch. Since we are getting only bare details, I can't judge whether or not she didn't get the house is the fault of her agent or not. She said her offers expired with no response. I'm assuming the "no response" was from the seller. Regarding the issue of procuring cause, I'm sorry that you think that if we do our job we don't deserve to be paid. I do enough work without being paid. If I bring someone to a house that they end up buying, I expect to be paid. Especially if I've submitted an offer. To repeat myself, in this case I doubt if another agent presenting her offer will result in a sale so that point is probably moot.

In case you are not aware, buyer's are not always 100% honest. Or have you never heard of a buyer going back to a listing and speaking directly to the seller and asking if they can cut the agent out? Do you think the agent has a justifiable case for procuring cause then?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Alice ~ Unless you signed an exclusive agreement to work only with that agent, you aren't obligated to stay with that agent. But, before you rush off to find another agent, educate yourself on agents. Look for an agent with at least 3 years experience as a full time agent who is an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) or a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), or at least a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI). Also look for someone who has a partner or full time assistant so they can focus on working with you and finding you the right home instead of working on paperwork and other distractions. When you find one like that, ask for references and check them out! If they check out, then hire them, in writing, making sure all the terms of your working relationship and how the agent will be paid are clearly spelled out. Then get out of the way and let them do their job! I'll bet you will love the results and will end up referring them to others. If you would like help in finding an agent like that, you can go to http://www.SmartHouseShopping.com and send me an e-mail. By the way, an agent with that kind of experience should be able to find a solution to the potential "procuring cause" situation that has created so much heated discussion. ~ Jeff
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
The problem is all we can go on is what Alice "feels". If Alice feels her agent isn't the right agent for her, she most certainly should find another one. However, it appears that the agent has shown her these homes and put in offers. Just because Alice found the house herself is irrelevant. I had an up about a month ago on a house that cost almost a million. I answered the phone and the folks wanted to see it, they saw it on our website. It was not my listing. They came and bought it. No one complained that I got 3% commission on an up call. I was doing my job and it happened to be my turn. It's also been my turn about 100 times when I did not make a sale.

Another problem is that as an agent, based on what she has said, I can't tell Alice to kick her agent to the curb based on what she's written. There's a little thing called interfering with agency that I have to pay attention to that you don't.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
I know that - but i like to think i know more then the average bear...
:)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
I actually don't think it's a dishonest question.
I found myself in the same position just within the last couple of weeks. Planned on buying a house, had looked at several, even put some offers in. Got to a point where we simply had to make a choice due to circumstances beyond our control. We chose to put the home purchase off. It does happen.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Can you at least see the disconnect in the two perspectives i'm talking about here?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
JR - it has to do with the fact that reasonable people can look at a situation, and say "ya know - that's just not right".
Whether or not they have a legal ground to fight for it or not. There's still a question of whether or not it's right.

Perhaps i'm idealistic for thinking that still matters - but I would certainly hope that if a client is not satisfied, and feels they have been done a dis-service - that people would look first to remedy the situation through reason. Certainly I would hope the professional in question would certainly want to keep a client happy before jumping straight to a legal fight.
Instead - what we see is "procured cause! i'll get my commission one way or another! i don't care if you're happy with it or not! i DESERVE IT".

Sorry - but that's BS - at least by most people's standards.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Well JR - i can certainly understand that - but perhaps then you can understand why so many of us normal people have a distaste for the RE industry right now.
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No, I don't understand why you "normal" people have a distaste for RE because of what I said. Can you explain?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Well JR - i can certainly understand that - but perhaps then you can understand why so many of us normal people have a distaste for the RE industry right now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Chris - i'll give credit where credit is due.

In this situation - it sounds like this person is not happy with the effort being put forth by her agent. Period. Now her agent according to everything that's been said here - is entitled to a comission on work that Alice doesn't feel this person did in the first place? How is that fair, by any stretch of the imagination?

We'll use my industry for an example.
If I build a website for someone - and they come back to me later and say "hey - this isn't exactly what it's supposed to be" or "this doesn't really work the way it should..." (which does happen) what I do is look at thier original request, look at the work I did, and look at what they're telling me now. If they've got a point - and i mis-interpreted something, or overlooked something - i correct the problem at no cost.
Now, legally - i could be a snot and turn around, make the changes and charge them for it. I could fight them for it - and legally I would win every single time. I don't do that, because it's just a scummy thing to do.

What you're saying - is that even though perhaps the agent isn't really performing thier duties - that they can, and will fight tooth and nail to get that money - even though they didn't earn it.

I'll give respect where respect is due - but that is NOT a respectible way to treat clients.
Think about that while you're playing mario and drinking milk.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
this entire situation is the direct result of realtors. Period.
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I would need a little bit more specific information from Alice before I could judge whether or not she should "kick her agent to the curb" or not. Alice's side of the story is that her agent is not PRESENTING offers in a timely manner. Is the agent holding onto these offers or is is the listing agent hard to reach? Offers expired without response. This is her agent's fault? I presented an offer 2 days before Christmas and the listing agent did not hear back from her client till 3 days AFTER Christmas, and that was with the response that they decided not to sell. We both made numerous calls, me to the listing agent and the listing agent to the client. I touched base with my buyer, who basically told me to call her when I heard back. I called to say I hadn't heard back and he said "I figured, because I didn't hear from you." My buyers frequently find houses on the internet they'd like to see. Is there something wrong with that. If there are 70 4 bedroom ranches for 399,000, I'm not going to send all 70.

So I would question what exactly happened that Alice believes the agent was not proactive enough. As for presenting an offer on a house she has ALREADY presented an offer on with another agent? What is the point? Does Alice believe it was the agent's fault her offer wasn't countered? I don't think Alice is going to have to worry about procuring cause, because I think she's going to get the same result on an offer on the same house with a different agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
well chris - again, this sounds like a problem caused by real estate agents.
and again chris - this sounds like a matter of legal consequence - and i don't care how much you know about the law - as you yourself have stated you are not a lawyer, and are not allowed to practice law or give legal advice.

Now - since this is the result of Realtors, and Realtors can't remedy legal issues - tell me again why i should not consult a lawyer?

How big do you think it is exactly?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
No - i haven't.

would you like a ruler?
it seems as if you're trying to say something here....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Also - Chris - i'd like to point out - that while you may claim "this is why you need a realtor" - as a matter of fact, this entire situation is the direct result of realtors. Period.
her realtor is the reason why she has this problem in the first place, so clearly her realtor is not the solution to the problem.

Nevermind the fact that if all realtors know how to get around this - she can simply ask her new guy.

Your logic has some holes in it there guy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
I seriously doubt it would take $500 for a lawyer to tell you - and again, since you're not a lawyer - i would go to one. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
maybe in a perfect world that might be the case - but if the agent is demonstratibly negligent in thier duties - i have a hard time seeing what case can be made for them to come back and claim procuring cause.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
First I will tell you that the newest data says that 86% of buyers find the home they purchase on the internet. It is easy now for buyers to shop at home. That said a Realtor works for you. You should work with someone that you trust and feel comfortable with. There are plenty of us to choose from. Unless you have a written contract you are free to shop for someone you feel is more helpful. Unfortunately if your Realtor has shown you a particular house he/she has procuring cause (that Realtor is the reason you bought) on that one and is entitled to a comission from the seller if you buy it rather than your new agent. Just as there are lots of Realtors, there are also lots of houses. If this is the house you want close the deal with your first agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
procuring cause?

if the agent isn't doing anything - and the leads are coming from the buyer -i'd really like to see that one argued.

If the agent went to the buyer and said "hey - i got these 3 houses i think you'd be interested in..." I could see that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
Kick the agent to the curb.

As for who gets the commission - that's kinda tricky, but ultimately if your current agent is not performing, i would argue they have absolutely no claim to anything they didn't put together.

If you're asking your agent to get things done on your behalf -and they're not doing 'em - they have no real ground to stand on if you go to somebody else, and they actually get it done.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
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