How much time / contact should you expect from your Realtor? Is only getting responses once a week normal?

Asked by Rebecca Zimmerman, Red Lion, PA Thu May 3, 2012

Is it normal to wait a week to receive responses to questions about properties from your own Realtor? It's been taking approx. a week to get responses from our realtor when we ask for MLS listings and/or seller's disclosures on a property. I've searched all the properties myself using Trulia, and have just been sending him emails asking about them.

We also asked about getting a list of foreclosures and info on school districts for a few areas and haven't received any response. It may be because our financing won't clear for another five days, but I was curious (if it's a continuing thing) what we should be expecting.

How much time is realistic to expect to wait for responses to such questions and/or to visit properties?

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Bev Kalb, Agent, Bally, PA
Fri May 4, 2012
Rebecca, in this age of technology it shouldn't take your Realtor a week to respond back to you. You obviously have a computer or a smartphone so you should expect and get quicker communication. It is fine for you you to search for properties but he should be sending you regular emails from your local MLS with available and new listings. Most MLS are set up to send automatic property emails as well. If he is too busy to do individual searches ask if that service is available. I like to weed through properties for my clients before I send them but at least you would be getting regular updates on properties. As Realtors we are not allowed to offer information on school districts as that is considered steering but he should tell you this when a question is asked. Let him know that you expect quicker response. Communincation from both sides is important. If it persists you may want to find another Realtor.
Bev Kalb
Century 21 Longacre Realty
1 vote
Steven Ford, Agent, Memphis, TN
Thu May 3, 2012
Based on your complaints it sounds like you are unhappy....I usually respond to direct requests in a matter of a couple of hours. If I am tied up with a family gathering or ball game I let the client know exactly when to expect a response.

With computers and smart phones there should not be too much of a lag...and the information is easy to obtain and forward.

Is the agent a friend, come from a referral...? You should have a heart to heart and discuss your concerns. If there is no improvement you should discuss the situation with the agent's broker before severing the relationship.

If you signed a representation agreement...go over it very carefully and make sure you know where you stand.

There are far too many dedicated professionals that would be glad to service your every need to be stuck with one that won't.

Good Luck
1 vote
Janet Nation,…, Agent, Baldwin, NY
Thu May 3, 2012
Rebecca I don't know what kind of questions your asking, but no typically an agent should be able to get back to you that same day or the day after.

Foreclosure lists are extremely easy for agents to obtain, in minutes actually.

Regarding info on school districts, you need to do that research on your own, here's a useful site: for starters.

You might want to switch your agent if you are not off to a satisfactory start, find one that is a buyer's agent and will represent your best interest during your real estate experiences.
1 vote
Ma Ma, Both Buyer And Seller, York, PA
Fri May 4, 2012
Dump your agent and find a new one. I actually do my own research because I find the property information in minutes online. All you need to know is the actual assessment value which is available online at the York County GIS database. (Never rely on agent or trulia information because it's b.s.) Then I use the ROCK tax calculator to figure out the annual taxes, not last year taxes (York City raised their taxes again and last year is outdated already).

As far as motivation goes, unless you are all cash, make sure you have been preapproved before you buy, no one wants to waste time coddling you for a month or two hoping with both fingers and toes crossed tat your sale will go thru so they can get 3 percent. My agent responds quickly and even sends me a listing every couple days. She knows my price range (I am cash only) and knows exactly how I look at properties.

They don't even tell you if the property is in HUD or VA or short sale, etc. If I find something I like, I immediately look it up on and the foreclosure site to verify if it is actually ready to buy or if there is a "hitch" meaning those people are wasting my time.

Truth is, you don't even need an agent. All you need is a legal document with your offer on it. Half of my properties I got thru my agent, and the other half, I simply knocked on the door and spoke with the owner.
0 votes
Sharron Minn…, Agent, York, PA
Fri May 4, 2012
Sounds like your Realtor is either too busy or just doesn't feel the need to respond quickly. I always answer my cell phone when my clients call me unless I am in a meeting or with another client. If I don't answer, I expect them to let a message and I get back to them the first chance I get. I return a lot of my calls while driving since I got a new car with Bluetooth access and don't have to hold my phone.

If you aren't happy with him, let him know you are going to work with another agent and sometime that will motivate them a little more. You should never have to wait longer than 24 hours to have him return your calls. Maybe he is just waiting to see if your financing will clear also. There is nothing worse than spending time and gas money on running clients around and then find out they can't get financing. The worst part is the disappointment on their faces when you tell them you can't get financing for them. It is better to wait until you are pre-approved to even start looking at houses. Nothing is worse than finding out you have to lower your price range or even worse if you can't get them a loan.

Be up front with him and tell him your concerns and ask him why he isn't responding. If nothing changes and you can pre-approved, give me a call. I just got my last approved buyer a house and I am looking for some new buyers to work with. Good luck to you.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu May 3, 2012
The secret to good communication is: good communication. Tell your agent after every conversation, when you'd like to talk next. It's amazing how well it works to say, "Well, that's fine, call me Thursday, OK?"

All the best,
0 votes
Bill Seufert, Agent, Lancaster, PA
Thu May 3, 2012
It shouldn't take a week but it would depend on the expectations set up front. If you expected more communication and your expectations are not being met you should have a frank conversation with your Realtor.
0 votes
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