Can I work with more than one realtor at a time?

Asked by httmnd, San Diego, CA Mon Apr 25, 2011

My husband and I are first time home buyers and have a lot of questions as far as the process of home buying. We are not too happy with the realtor that we have been working with (he was refered to us by family) because it will usually take him a week to be available to show us any homes and by that time the homes we are intrested in already have a sale pending. It also takes him forever to answer our emails or return our calls. Is this normal? Are we just being too needy? Can we just work with whatever agent is listed with the houses we are intrested in?

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Virginia Hall, Agent, Santee, CA
Tue Apr 26, 2011
Working with more than one realtor is like having someone else performing your job and only one of you gets paid. If you have not told the realtor your expectations, you may want to let them know before you move on to find another realtor. Communicating your expectations and theirs will promote a good working relationship. While there are no rules, generally, emails should be responded within 4-6hrs and calls in 2-4hrs.
If homes are disappearing that quickly, you are obviously picking good homes with good value and competing with lots of buyers. You may want to set up the appointment first and then, two days before, find the homes you want to see to reduce the "Dang! Just Missed It" .

Virginia Hall, CRS, ABR, SFR,GRI
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
1 vote
How about if the do not want to show you any homes? My realtor showed me one house only and got mad for asking to show me another one. Idk what to do my realtor just stinks!
Flag Mon Mar 20, 2017
Jennifer Gil…, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Though you should interview 2-3 Real Estate Professionals, it will be best to choose the one you feel most comfortable with. When we know you're working with several different Brokers, you move down on our priority list and you'll most likely get worse service.
1 vote
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
First, anyone who is good at this and knows what they're doing isn't going to work with you if you are working with other agents/brokers. And It doesn't sound like you have the right one - that sort of time lag is not going to work in your favor so I would keep looking. I wrote a blog on why it's important who you choose as your representative and I think you will find it useful:…

Second, in my opinion it is usually a very bad idea to have the same person representing you who is representing the seller. There is too much potential for conflict of interest, and you want someone who is looking out exclusively for your interests.

I would ask for recommendations and interview a few, making sure to ask if they regularly work with first timers.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote
Brian Flock, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
The answer is up to you. A good, devoted realtor will tend to spend more effort on a loyal client. It's like any other business relationship.
1 vote
Kim Nwachukwu, Agent, Irving, TX
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Can I refer you to another realtor in your area? I would be very happy to make a formal referral for you. I cannot stress the importance of having your own professional advice. You are a first time homebuyer - you NEED your own counsel. The seller's agent is working for the seller - they are NOT working for you; their loyalty lies with the seller. As far as your current agent goes, you can certainly fire him at any time for non-performance. Write him an email or a note and while you might thank him for his efforts, be sure to be very clear about why you are severing your relationship with him. No, his performance isn't normal; it's far below average and you are not being too needy. But as far as the timing goes, don't be surprised that many agents can't run out and show you properties at a moment's notice; our schedules are planned as far in advance as possible. I would be happy to talk with you and refer you to a top notch agent in your area - please feel free to click on my profile and give me a call. Sincerely, Kim
1 vote
Sasha Spiegel, Agent, Tahoe City, CA
Thu Dec 6, 2012
I agree, you should pick 1 Realtor whom you trust. However, I recommend checking into a few realtors before you make a final commitment to the one Realtor you want to work with. Be upfront that you will be interviewing a few Realtors before you make your decision.

A great way to narrow in on the Realtors you will be speaking with is to see how many Trulia Recommendations they have. Are they and active agent with VIP Status? Have they seen many of the homes in the area? Seeing homes is one of the best measures a Realtor has to share market knowledge with you.

Buying a home or a Vacation property is one of the biggest investments most people make over their life time. The Realtor you choose needs to be professional and aware of all the nuances of the neighborhoods and of the market to help you predict if a particular house is a good investment.
0 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Sunday open houses is the best source to get all your questions answered. Evan after 35 years buying and selling, I still go to open houses in the neighborhood I am thinking of buying. You can talk to as many agents as you can visit in 3 hours, and learn a whole lot

David Cooper Las Vegaqs Foreclosure Investor In Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. email or call for FREE
daily LIST +1-7024997037 not a real estate investor
0 votes
Elena Penso…, Agent, Houston, TX
Mon Apr 25, 2011
No, but you can interview Realtors and be frank at front. Let the Realtors know that you dont have a buyer representation signed and that you are in search of the right Realtor for you and your family.
And please let your current Realtor know that you are not happy with his service. If you like a phone call everyday, he needs to be aware of that. Communication is the key.

0 votes
Mike Austin, , New Jersey
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Yes, you may. You really need to interview realtors in order to choose which one among them would represent on your behalf for the protection of your interest. Just like anything else in making decisions, you need to have options to arrive at better decisions.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Buyers should interview their buyer's agent just as a seller would interview their listing agent. Communication and understanding of the working relationship should established up front so that the agent understands your expectations and you understand what is expected of you and what to expect from your agent. It doesn't sound like that happened. What you may want to consider is to call your agent and ask for a meeting. If you do not have a signed contract with that agent, explain that you want to start from ground zero and interview them as your agent. Then interview other agents. A good buyer's agent will ask you so many questions that you start to question why. Then when done the buyer's have will have a clear picture of what you want. Once you believe you have found the agent who will work in your best interest to achieve your real estate goal commit to them your loyalty. When you have found the right agent you will know what that entails.

If you have a signed agreement with your current agent you will need to approach that with a different conversation yet on the same premise.

As explained, the selling agent works for the seller. They have a signed contract to get the seller the highest and best offer. They will probably tell you all sorts of things, some true and some things they can't share. So it is not in your best interest to not have your own representation.

Also, agents are very good resources to help you find your next agent. They can interview you and they know the question to ask the referring agent. So as offered to you it is a viable option.

All the Best to you.
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0 votes
Christa Curt…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011

Unless you have a contract with your current Realtor you have no obligations to continue working with them. I always let my clients know that if they are unsatisfied with my performance, prior to getting them into contract, that they are welcome to terminate our business agreement.
I see that you are looking for homes in Santee, California according to Trulia. Is this true? I live and work in Santee. You are welcome to call or email with any questions. I'm always available for my clients to show property!
This is a very exciting time for you and your husband so don't be discouraged by an unresponsive Realtor. There are plenty of great Realtors out there! You'll find the one that fits your criteria very quickly. Good luck and happy home hunting to you both!

Best Wishes,

Christa Curtin/The Fox Team
California Realty Network, Inc.
0 votes
Linda Rose, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
first time home buyers need special care...its your first venture into the world of real estate and you must have someone to hold your hand and guide you thru the whole process...I have been working exclusively with" PROPERTY VIRGINS" for over 25 years,and the most gratifying time for me is handing first timers the keys to their first place...
All home buyers need their own representation...the last thing you want to do is buy a home from the person whose name is on the sign in the friont yard...of course,they will be nice to you,but their first obligation is to the people who live in that need a realtor who will negotiate the best price for you,the best terms,and have your best interests at heart always...
I work at your convenience,around your schedule and i'm quick to respond to any of your questions..the best attribute a realtor has is the ability to listen to their buyers...I am a good listener and customize my search for you to match your parameters...
I would love to talk with both of you to discuss all your options,so please contact me at your earliest convenience...looking forward to hearing back from you soon and meeting with you in the very near future..fondly,linda rose

760 274 3714
DRE # 01250853.
0 votes
Steve Casey, Agent, Walpole, MA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
This is America. You can do what you like within guidelines. For instance, if you have a contract with your current agent, then you will owe him/her a commission. It could be a mess.

If you do have a contract you should request that it be torn up due to your disatisfaction. Once that is out of the way you can work with whoever you are comfortable with. However, dealing with just listing brokers you are receiving no fiduciary benefits to help you in your endeavor. It is probably a good idea to interview other agents and find one that will meet your specific needs now that you have some education in this area.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Apr 25, 2011
A real good professional agent will meet your total needs by going out of their way, supporting your interests and making you feel that you are their number one customer. Anything less that this should be unacceptable!

You are not being needy or unreasonable. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because "family" referred this agent to you that you should be loyal to their inability to meet your specific needs.

Unless you have signed an exclusive agreement, you certainly can work with more than one agent. This arrangement is often used when working in a larger geographical area where it would be unreasonable to expect that one specific agent would have a working appreciation for the entire region's inventory.

There is certainly nothing wrong with addressing your issues with the agent, making them clearly aware of your needs, and then in the end let them go if they can't make the adjustment.

Good luck,

0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Hi there,

You can work with more than one Realtor at a time, but it may be better to talk to a few first, then choose the one you like. If it doesn't work out as seems to be the case now, and you haven't signed a buyer/broker agreement, you're OK, and you're free to interview more.

It's really important to have an agent who can plainly explain the process to you, and to let you know what issues could arise, so you're not surprised down the road. I also feel that it's important for an agent to be able to understand the loan process, enough to avoid getting into escrows that won't close. We can't control everything that happens, but we can do the research that will help avoid unnecessary escrow cancellations and costs.

As far as showings, if it takes an agent a week to be able to show homes, they're working with too many clients. In the first time buyer market, it's sometimes essential to get offers in quickly. The good ones go fast when they're not short sales, as you already experienced.

The wait for return calls and emails is inexcusable. Really. You're not being too needy, you're being taken for granted because of the referral. It's time for a new agent. A bonus would be for your agent to answer your calls as often as possible!

Don't just work with the listing agent because it's easier, it's not a good idea. There's no reason to, the only one benefiting from it is the agent, who's getting double the commission. How can the listing agent get the most money for their seller at the same time they're supposed to be saving YOU money? It doesn't cost you anything for your own agent, and you really want your own negotiator, a tough one!

Call anytime, I'm happy to start showing you homes, and getting some offers submitted.

0 votes
BG, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Keep looking until you find 1 you are happy with .....
0 votes
Joan Wilson, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
Fire the one you are with and talk to a couple and find one that is willing to work with you and for you. Work with only one agent, but expect them to work for you.

Let me know if I can help you in any way!

Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker, Certified REO and Short Sale/HAFA Specialist)

California Cool 4 Sale
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
Fax: 760-946-7894
License # 01341483

It is my Goal to Increase the Success and Profitability of Those I Serve

Know Your Rights Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program

Find your Dream Home:
0 votes
Jerry Heard, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
It would be in your best interest to interview a couple of other agents and see if you can find someone who will be more responsive. The time frames you mentioned are too long in my opinion. Does that agent work part time? You need a full service full time Realtor to help you. I would work only with one agent who can commit to working with you
Jerry Heard
0 votes
Jason Richar…, Agent, Encinitas, CA
Mon Apr 25, 2011
It definitely sounds like you are working for someone who is not vested in providing you the service and consulting that you need. It is so critical in today's home buying environment to be ahead of the game. There is a lot of inventory out there with all kinds of problems and you are correct that the the good stuff goes quickly. Immediate response times, open and frequent communication and extensive knowledge of each potential property is what we focus on. We are available to show homes often the same day or usually within 24 hours. Feel free to call me on my cell at 619-417-1658 if you would like to discuss your needs further or if you just would like to ask any additional questions with no obligations. Good luck!
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