How long should one reasonably expect to work with a real estate agent?

Asked by M.a., 30030 Wed Feb 20, 2008

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Julie, , Buffalo, NY
Thu Feb 21, 2008
It should be relatively easy to figure out if a buyer's agent is fulfilling their obligations to you. Take a look at the houses they are showing you. Do they meet the criteria you have discussed? Are you finding out about new homes for sale as soon as they hit the market? Is your agent able to show these homes to you in a timely manner? These are very reasonable expectations that should be met.

However, if you told your agent you are only interested in 2 story homes and he/she is sending you to look at ranches - time to re-evaluate. If you are finding houses in the newspaper or driving by homes for sale that your agent wasn't aware of - time to re-evaluate. If you want to go see a house on Saturday but your agent can't take you until next Wednesday - you guessed it.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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M.a., Home Buyer, 30030
Thu Feb 21, 2008
Thanks for the response. Great answers. Actually, it's buyer's agent.
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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 21, 2008

Are we talking about buying or selling?

As a listing agent, I've had listings that have taken hours to sell, and I've had listings that have taken over a year to sell. As a buyer's agent, I've had buyers that I've worked with for years.

As long as you feel the agent is doing what s/he should be doing... providing you with the necessary properties to look at, sending you e-mails, communicating regularly, doing comps & CMAs for properties, or if listing; marketing your property well using brochures, print ads, internet advertising w/expanded photos, virtual tours, enhanced descriptions...

As long as you feel these things are being done properly, continue to work with that agent. That could be a month, or it could be years.

It's also possible you could determine within a few short weeks, that the agent is not doing what s/he promised... that s/he is not marketing, not returning phone calls, not sending e-mails or communicating in any way, and is a bad fit. In that case, you may want to terminate the relationship early.

It depends, entirely, on the agent in question.
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Cyrus Green, Agent, Fort Collins, CO
Wed Feb 20, 2008
Depending on the situation, if they have not produced the results you are looking for I'd sever ties after 90 days. In some cases and in some markets it make take more time to produce the results.

Find a good one and they will make the process go faster.

Hope this helps!
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