We've had it...Can we switch agents?

Asked by Jasmine, Los Angeles, CA Thu May 7, 2009

My Hubby and I have had it...After 1yr. of dealing with this agent, We can't take anymore. We've put in an offer on a Short Sale condo, she's had us resubmit the offer 3 times 2x @ the same price(?) We love the condo but have not gotten any answer after 4 almost months. She continues to waste our time by taking us to see places that do not qualify for the type of loan we are getting. She often complains of having to drive to Inglewood to show us places. Can we find a new agent and move forward? Or is this unethical? Last time we met we took the day off to see places and she only had 1 on the list. After my hubby questioned her...She cursed him out and said we could get another agent and that she'd still get paid anyway! We are ok with dealing with her on the Condo we offered on but do not want to move forward with her on future properties.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Aj Zaki’s answer
Aj Zaki, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sun May 10, 2009
You have recieved good feedback here , You can pick and choose any other realtor in the future to work with however she only may be entitledI to get paid to what she has shown you in the past (procuring cause).
Good luck
2 votes
Michael Magaw, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun May 10, 2009
Well, you have received lots of feedback on this. Short sales are frustrating everybody lately. The banks are taking a long time to respond and the listing agents often do a poor job of communicating back to the buyer's agents. So if you plan to buy in this market, and if you want the best deal out there, then you will need to be patient and persistent and find an agent that you enjoy working with.

I personally would never work with someone if they cursed me or complained about having to drive. If you want to find a new agent, then terminate your relationship with the current agent in writing. I agree that you should ask for copies of any and all agency paperwork that has been signed. You need to confirm that you have not signed a "Buyer Broker Agreement". If you have not signed one, then you are free to find another agent. If you did sign one, then ask to be released from the agreement. If the agent will not cooperate, then speak to the Broker in charge. Either way, I would cc the Broker with all correspondence of this nature.

If you move on to another agent, then good luck. If the past offer comes back as accepted, then just work will the prior agent. If the relationship is strained, ask the broker to assign a new agent inside his office for that one deal. Ultimately, the broker will make sure that you have a agent that will take good care of you.

Michael Magaw
Web Reference:  http://www.NHLBrokers.com
1 vote
Lezlie Brazil, Agent, Culver City, CA
Fri May 8, 2009
Hi Jasmine,

Sounds like there is frustration on both sides. Even so, there is no excuse for the lack of professionalism you describe. Profanity, a lack of respect for your time and money, and an unwillingness tour properties in your desired areas of interest should not be tolerated. While a fresh, clean break may be needed - you must act carefully and in consideration of any contract you have signed as you could be liable for Buyer's Agent commission. If you have signed a Buyer's Broker Rep Agreement, what is the Broker's policy for terminating the contract? If you are unsatisfied with the agent, you should also contact the Broker.

I think I speak for all agents when I say that short sales are FRUSTRATING!!! It is a long, emotional process that neither agent has control over. Unfortunately, many agents fail to explain, disclose or prepare their clients for the journey. Quite frankly, a 4 month wait is typical. However, when the lines of communication are broken it makes the wait even longer.

I agree with Steve from Fremont. Review all your contracts and have copies for your new agent to review.

All the best!

Lezlie Brazil
Keller Williams Realty
4644 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
T 310-991-4263
F 310-861-0207
E lezliebrazil@kw.com
Web Reference:  http://www.lezliebrazil.com
1 vote
John Sefton, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Thu May 7, 2009
Unless you have a Buyer's contract with the Agent in question, you should be free to change Agents to look for new possibilities.
1 vote
Homa Moaddel, Agent, Foothill Ranch, CA
Thu May 7, 2009
Hi Jasmine,

When you put an offer on a shortsale there is no sure way to know if your offer will be accepted. Shortsales are complicated and she needs to prepare you by explaining to you what to expect. Nobody enjoys dealing with shortsale processes. One thing for sure do not fall in love with a shortsale home. Because there is a great chance you will not be able to buy it.

I alway tell my buyers that we will put offer on shortsale but we will keep shopping. Some of your frustrations is that you are really interested in this home and nothing else compares.

Ask her to link you to MLS as a prospect so you receive all listing of homes that you can qualify to purchase and you make your own list of homes you like to preview. This way it is your selection not her.

The more time an agent spend with a buyer the more valuable that buyer becomes to her. Because of all the time and affort she spend on meeting your needs. As time goes and no conclusion is reached an agent can became disappointed and loss interest. After all we only get paid if we make the sale. And at this market we have to work at lot harder.

See if you can reach some kind of understanding.

Good luck,

Prudential California Realty
Mission Viejo
1 vote
Dyanna, , California
Thu May 7, 2009
Jasmine you have every right to look for another agent. She is correct as far as getting paid on the CONDO ONLY, especially if you didn't sign a buyer/broker agreement. A buyer/broker agreement is not the same as a Agency Relationship contract.

When your agent takes you to look at properties there should be at least 5-8 properties for you to see because right now there are so many properties on the market that it is attracting just as many buyers.

If you need any help, please let me know.

Feel free to e-mail me at dyannaavila@hotmail.com or call me at 323-359-7992

Good Luck,
1 vote
e, , Alameda, CA
Thu May 7, 2009
If you did not sign a buyer broker agreement you have no obligation to your agent and she will not get paid if you buy that condo or any other if you go through someone else.
1 vote
Allison Fish…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Fri Oct 19, 2012
If you are in an exclusive buyer's agency agreement you should state your concerns about the service and ask your agent to get out of it. If they do not oblige, you should ask to speak to their manager. Just as in a retail store - like Gap - if you are not satisfied with an associate, you ask to speak to a manager. If they are not servicing you in the best way possible or they are preventing you from participating in deals that work - they themselves, or the manager should be able to contractually release you from this.

Good luck!
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri Oct 19, 2012

You and your husband should not put up with that kind of treatment. if your agent does not have the time, professionalism or heart to serve you, and your best interest...


Kawain Paynem Realtor
0 votes
voices member, , Inglewood, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2012
You're really patient! My goodness. If you qualify for the loan and serious to buy right now, no magics or miracles, I show you 4/5 properties of your choice and we'll tell you how much to offer making sense of the situation, and that's it, you're there. Let's go an open escrow. My lender can close in less than 30.

Give me a call 310-402-4533. Angel. anomake@gmail.com ANGEL REALTY
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu May 7, 2009
Hi Jasmine, what a horror story. Be careful here. "Procuring Cause" may lead you into the situation of paying your current agent a commission on property that was shown to you and actions taken after the fact.
See: http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/procuring-cause/ which states:

“In the context of a real estate transaction, procuring cause refers to actions that begin or set in motion a serious of events that lead to the final sale of a property. Under some state laws, which vary by state, a real estate broker may be entitled to a commission as a procuring cause of a sale if the broker brought the purchaser and seller together and brought about a sale through continuous negotiations initiated by him, unless the seller and buyer intentionally exclude the broker.
Typically, for the broker to be entitled to the commission, it must bring together the seller and purchaser, and not just a person associated with the seller or purchaser. The broker must often be involved in the negotiations between the buyer and seller to be entitled to a commission. The mere act of informing a potential purchaser, who eventually purchases the property, about a prospective purchase may not be enough for the broker to be a procuring cause in the sale. The precise definition depends on state law and the facts and circumstances in each case.”

If you are going to sever your relationship with this agent, which you have every right to do, do so in writing. Also request all agency documentation signed between you and the agent/broker/Real Estate company so you can review this and also have it available for any subsequent agent to review.

Don't be fearful if you signed a standard Buyer Broker agreement (CAR Form BRE). While there is not a "procuring cause" heading, there are provisions within this document that cover procuring cause.

Best, Steve
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Inglewood Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more