Home Buying in Syracuse>Question Details

New Home Buy…, Home Buyer in Syracuse, NY

We had a horrible realtor do we have to continue with her?

Asked by New Home Buyer, Syracuse, NY Sat Sep 3, 2011

A year ago my husband used a family friend as our realtor. She was very unprofessional canceling appointments at the last minute forgeting we had an appointment - sending us houses that had nothing to do with our criteria - we also picked her up at her house and drove to EVERY listing. She was uneducated about our loan type an we lost 2 offers due to her. Needless to say we used a differant agent when we started looking again who is amazing and on top of his game we found a house right away - I recieved an e-mail from the original agent last night saying we are legally obligated to use her - what do we do?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Again New Home Buyer,

Buyers' Agency Agreements typically run 1 year. But anything can be
written in the space. If you sign anything with an agent - you should get
a copy. If you didn't get one, and she didn't mention one in her email
to you, it probably doesn't exist.

Every Buyer's Exclusive Agency Contract I have seen stipulates that the agent/Broker
will be 1. diligent and 2. act in the buyer's best interest. The first agent
did neither.

Start with the 1st agent's broker. You can even file a complaint with that
agent's local Board of Realtors. But speaking to the broker will probably
do the trick.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Unless you have a signed agreement with your original agent in place, you are free to work with whoever you choose...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 5, 2011
Send her a letter back telling her that we will no longer need her services as of the date. If you signed exclusive buyers agent agreement stating that she works for you as your agent have your new agent call her to lay it to rest. That's why you hire agents like us. She is very unprofessional.
Deeley Chester
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 5, 2011
New Home Buyer- As mentioned previously you would only be obligated to her if you had signed an agreement, and in NY State you should have been given a copy, so check your paperwork. Any good agreement would also state the length of the agreement, and you indicated it has been over a year since you worked with her which sort of indicates your agreement would have been up..

If someone is not delivering the type of service you expected based on the agreement made; you should be able to terminate the relationship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 4, 2011
Good question and since you did make offers with her it seems you probably had an exclusive agreement. Writing a letter of termination after the fact may not get you out of the "legal" end of this. However, siting all the reasons you gave in the termintation agreement would "probably" result in the initial company not persuing legal action. Best of Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 4, 2011
Hello New Home Buyer,

If you DID SIGN a Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement, you'd be obligated to work with her, UNTIL it expired or UNLESS you terminate it in writing. Buyer agreements can range from any dates the agent & client agree upon. I typically sign buyers for 3 months, sometimes less or more, depending on their needs. (A need's assessment is done at the buyer's consultation in the beginning before we search for homes)

If you DID NOT SIGN any Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement with her, then you are technically not obligated to anything.
PLUS, our state only allows a buyer to sign EXCLUSIVITY with ONE AGENT, unless there is an addendum or changes made to the original Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement.

In the State of NY we have a "buyer's agent" or a "seller's agent" role, and there are written agreements that are attached to those relationship titles. If a buyer doesn't hire an exclusive buyer's agent, then by default, the law states the agent is actually working for the seller. This is called a sub agent, not a buyer's agent.

To other buyers out there:
Interview your agent, ask them questions before you meet, (How long have you sold real estate professionally? Are you a full time agent? How will you make yourself available to me? How will I view properties for sale? etc.) ***A buyer's consultation will reveal a lot about their skill level, their commitment to you & your needs, and what to expect when you're buying. Once you meet and understand who you're dealing with you can make the decision to work exclusively with them or not.

--->Take the time to set up a consultation with an agent BEFORE you sign or buy<---

For more information contact
MICHELE NASTRI 315 701 6996
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 4, 2011
Genreally you a realtor is not entitled to any commission unless they are the procurring cause...that is they had shown the property initially to the buyer. If she can demonstrate that she had initially shown you the house you purchased, she has no claim to compensation. there is an exception to this....(always there is an exception)...if you had signed a Buyers Agency Agreement with her, compensation may be appropriate. If this is the case, be sure to review the agreement to determine exactly what it says...you may need to get an attorneys opinion if you have such an agreement. In either case, she should be able to demonstrate to you why she feels compensation is justified....just showing you property or spending time with you, or sending listings is not enough.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
You are not obligated to work with anyone you do not wish to work with.

A commission is due to the Realtor who closed the transaction.

I am assuming you did not sign any kind of contract with her. If you did, have your attorney take a look at it.

Bottom line...you have a right to deal with whomever you wish.
Web Reference: http://gailgladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
If you signed a Buyers Agency agreement you may have some legal obligations. Ask her for proof of your legal obligation. If it is not forthcoming then you are not obliged to use her.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Hello Again New Home Buyer,

Thanks for the thumbs up!

Clients of mine have spread good words about me on places like Zillow,
Trulia, Homes.com, my website and others. But I don't believe most
people google names of Realtors to help them determine whether or
not to work with that person. So, it will be important for you to
remember to recommend your good agent to your friends who are
looking for homes to help save your friends from being abused by agents like the first one.
Nothing in our business is more important than a personal referral.

Kind Regards,

Indianapolis Area
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Alan she had found out that we were purchasing a home from my mother in-laws facebook account. She is a friend of hers that is why instead of calling the agent and telling her what I thought of her performance _ I just stopped looking for a house. It was our first time looking for a house and we did not how bad of an agent she really was until we saw how things were done with our new agent/broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011

You are not obligated to use her unless you signed a contract to do so. If that is the case ask to see the contract. If it is not the case.. learn a great lesson not to select a representative for the biggest purchase of your life on a personal ( not professional ) referral.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
If you used her a year ago... and have had very little contact since....

unless she can produce a document that you signed (and I would insist on her showing you that she has a legitimate signed document that hasn't expired)... then you can use whomever you please.

Even if she has a signed document... I would think you'd have a strong case in going to her managing broker and asking that it be vacated, based on her poor performance and your lack of confidence in her.

I'm curious how this agent found out that you were interested in a new property.. and managed to send you such a "timely" threat.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
If you have a signed contract there should be an expiration on it and that means that you are obligated to use that agent, you can ask for a release from that contract by calling her manager and explaining the problems your having if at that point the agent agrees to release you then you want a statement of release if not your stuck. If you just went to another agent they should have asked you if you were working with any other agents and at that point they should have asked if you had a contract with the other agent, I always call the other agent to verify and get a copy of the contract for the client if they do not have a copy. NYS Real Estate Law states every agent must explain Agency to all perspective buyers at first contact which means you should know who is working for you and who is working for the seller, if that was not explained to you and you did not sign that the agent explained it you may legally be able to void the contract and by the way that agent sounds she probably did not explain Agency and if you don't remember signing a contract of representation then ask to see the one she states obligates you to use the friend. From a New York State Licensed Sales Associate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Marita - I am not sure if we signed a contract - How long do they typically last?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Agree with the first response. If you
had a buyers agreement in place you need to contact the first agents broker and explain the situation. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
Hello New Home Buyer,

Did you sign a buyer's agreement to use the first agent? If not, she can't
make you use her. Certainly not in Indiana. If you signed a contract with
her that is still active - meaning the time hasn't run out, you may have to
speak with a lawyer. In the meantime, the first agent was not the procurring
cause of your recent purchase.

In any case, contact the first agent's broker and tell him/her why the first agent's
work was substandard - the same tale you told us here. Ask the broker to inform
the first agent to stop contacting you.

Congratulations on your new home,

Marita Topmiller
Indianapolis Area
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 3, 2011
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