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Rover. Humph…, Home Buyer in Sacramento, CA

Advise on realtor/agent. I am looking to buy a home but my real estate agent/realtor is a bit slow to respond

Asked by Rover. Humphrey, Sacramento, CA Fri Apr 3, 2009

Re-phrasing my question: I am looking to buy a home but my real estate agent/realtor is a bit slow to respond. We have no contract between us. He will get his commision when a home sales. Would you suggest looking for someone else? He responds on a weekly basis. I would like feedback at least after ever 2 or 3 days at the minimum. He says that he will send me email feedbacks but it takes him one week to do that. Your suggestions would be very welcomed!! Again, there is no contract between us. I just wanted to know whether this was a normal practice with realtors?

Help the community by answering this question:


Without knowing more about your agent, the first thing I thought was the he/she is a part time agent working at doing something else full time. Agents who want to be considered a PROFESSIONAL should be full time.

This will be the biggest investment of your life, and you deserve a lot more. I agree with Lisa, 2 hours, or at the very least you should be able to get a hold of your agent in the morning or late afternoon at least once a day if needed.

Before looking for another agent, tell your current one that you don't feel you are getting what you need and if they cannot step up to the plate, you will move on.

Good luck,

Dave Tap Tapper
Cashin Company
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 3, 2009

Hello. Different Realtors will work differently, and I would suggest that you have a talk with your Realtor to let him know how you feel regarding the communication. If he is not aware of how you feel he may not understand that you are looking for more frequent communication. I would definitely start there so you both are on the same page.

If he is not able to or is not willing to provide the level of service you are comfortable with, then yes, find someone else to work with.

Buying a home is a huge investment and can often be a stressful time. You will want to know that you have someone working hard on your behalf.

Hope this helps!

Lisa Cartolano
Alain Pinel Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
Hi Rover,

You’ve received a lot of great insight/recommendations.

One other bit of advice: It’s fairly common to hear from buyers the complaint that a Realtor “disappears” after the transaction closes. There are a host of needs that manifest after a purchase where one really needs the resources, insight and guidance from their Realtor. The range can be from not over improving one’s property for the neighborhood to making recommendations for reliable, professional contractors.

A house, no matter the age of construction, will have maintenance/repairs that come up. Your Realtor can & should be a resource for how to properly maintain and make improvements to your property. This is my approach with my clients.

My philosophy: EXCEL AT THE ESSENTIALS and then DO MORE.

Buying a home is a huge investment. Take the time to find a Realtor who will best meet your needs.

Cheryl Bower, Realtor , GRI, ABR
Zephyr Real Estate
Cell 415.999.3450
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Hi Rover,

F him. He's a total loser and per the others he's very likely a part-time agent. Start interviewing for a really good full time buyers agent - you'll need to do so with 4-6 to find a good one that you like and really listens to you and your needs.

Oh - and turn-about is fair play - wait a week after your current loser reaches out to you to give him the bad news!!!

One potential issue that you may need to be aware of is that the loser may be able to look for some compensation if you try and buy any property that you saw with him. If you aren't interested in any of those then don't worry about it. Otherwise make your new agent aware.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
We are service professionals. In any service business if you, the client isn't getting what you want and you have the option of getting the same service somewhere else go for it. With over 30 years experience servicing clients and being a client myself, I will not tolerate bad service. I've been in management positions teaching how to deliver excellent service in three industries. That has led me to believe that no one should put up with service below the level acceptable to them. (Some people will not ever find service because of thier unreasonable expectations but that's what they deserve).
If you care about the person you are working with tell them your thoughts give them one chance to deliver to your expectation and if they don't move on. If you don't care about the person tell them you are moving on and give no reason, not even a polite excuse.

The saying that the customer is always right actually sets the relationship off incorrectly because when the client is wrong service pros don't know what to do. The phrase I taught and work by is "the client isn't always right but the client is always the client".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Looking in here is a good start. Take a look at the profiles of some of the agents and see how they answer questions. If an agent is slow to respond like you are saying, he or she may not have you as a priority. Pick an agent that does.

Hope this help!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Dump him! Pure and simple. Your agent should be emailing you daily with new properties that come on the market in your parameters. He should be setting up daytime or evening tours for you to view these properties or at worst, helping you plan a Sunday open house tour which you take on your own if he is unable to take you around. If you want voice contact every 2 days, then he should give it to you. I agree, I think he has another job. But this fact should not stop him from emailing you on a regular basis. He can also put you on autopilot in the SFARMLS and you can receive the latest at the same time he does. There is no excuse for such poor service!

Tell him goodbye and talk to 2-3 others and pick one with whom you are the most comfortable so go for it! If this is your first purchase, your realtor should give you a first time buyers booklet and a realtor's map so you are on the same page for districts and subdistricts.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009

I would be that David's guess is on the mark and your agent has another job. Otherwise it makes little sense.

Like any other profession, there are good examples and bad ones in Real Estate. Our team (including myself) has a standing rule that no client communication goes unanswered for more than two hours unless impossible to do, even if it's only a short email saying, "I'm in a meeting, can this wait an hour?" If it can’t, then either that agent or another one of our team will step in.

When we start out with a client one of the first things we do is talk about expectations and contouring our approach to client needs. Some clients like to do a lot on their own and only bring us in when they find something they like. Some like a much more involved level of service.

Many buyers don't give a lot of thought to their agent (at first) because the seller pays the commission and/or they feel pressure to hire a friend. A good agent/broker can save you thousands, sometimes tens of thousands or more with skilled negotiations, and potentially warn you off of buildings/units with problems. I think that buyers would be well advised to choose their agent as if they were handing them the purchase amount in cash to invest. If you don't feel good about the person you have with that in mind, you're probably better off finding someone else.

Obviously we're always happy to help, but I would suggest you interview a few agents/brokers with good reputations and choose someone who is going to work for you. And don't be shy about asking the hard questions. If you're buying property in San Francisco you're going to spend a lot of money. You deserve the answers as well as an agent/broker that will provide you with an appropriate level of service.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Managing Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
Your agent is "a bit slow" to respond? Your agent sounds like a throwback to the 18th Century! Why does he even bother to email, when he could just write you a letter and you could appreciate his delicate handwriting? It would be delivered by horse and carriage, of course.

So. . . . to answer your question, "Is this normal?": absolutely not! This sounds like the start of a very bad dating relationship which is bound to end in a breakup! You are not getting your needs met, dear!

A good, full-time experienced agent -- and there are many who participate on this board -- will return your calls and emails the same day, if not the same hour. I am not a real estate agent, but I work with them all the time and I know that the level of service you are getting would be completely unacceptable to most people.

How quickly your calls are returned is a key factor in figuring out if this relationship is going to work. You need quick callbacks because there will come a day when you find a good property and need to move quickly, or the opportunity will be gone. Further, when you are involved in the actual negotiations on a property, speed is terribly important.

So . . . .I would encourage you to come into the 21th Century with another agent who will give you the service that you deserve. You might want to look at the agents who actively participate on this board, like Jed and Sally and Lance; they have excellent reputations and would give you a very high level of service.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009
It sounds like your current Real Estate Agent, is not the fatest communicator. It is possible that they do not sense urgency in you. Sometimes people express interest in buying a home, but they really are not ready. Have you been pre-approved with a lender?Do you have that Pre-Approval in your hand ,if you were to find your dream home today. Has your current Agent helped you find a Qualified Mortgage professional? If these initial steps have not been taken, your current agent may not have you as a Top priority. I will point out, their time frame for responding is not the norm for my way of business. I personally repsond to all emails within 24 hours, a phone message with 10 minutes to a few hours depending on the days schedule. My clients are always aware if I am out of town, in a all day seminar, or holding a open house. That is my style, I cannot speak for any other other Real Estate Agents. You might want to check , or google your agent to see if they have any positive reviews online. It is also okay to ask them to provide references for past clients.
Good Luck,

Julia Murtagh
Alain Pinel Realtors
"Bringining Integrity to Your front Door"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 4, 2009

Have you expressed your frustration/expectations with your current agent. Although we agents like to think we can read minds, we simply can't. Communication between client(s) and agent is crutial.. if he/she is lacking in reasonable response time now, it may not get better in the future. I am a firm believer in the 2 hour response time during "typical" business hours given that we are a society run by technology.

Remember, in the end you must do what feels right for you even if that means finding another agent that better suits your needs. If you decide to move on, I know just the gal!

Good Luck!

Your Trusted Advisor in the Community!

Lisa Santacaterina
Realtor®, EcoBroker Certified®, REW™, REO Specialist™

Realty ONE Group, Inc.
10750 W. Charleston, Ste. 180
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Ph.: (702) 540-2956
Fax: (866) 264-2701

Real Estate Licensee in Nevada and California
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 3, 2009
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