We have a realtor who is not fullfilling her commitments on selling our home for us.

Asked by Joe, Brigham City, UT Thu Jul 24, 2008

She had promised that she would call us once a week.To also come by every week to make sure there are enough fliers in the box.When we call her,we ALWAYS have to leave a meassage on her cell phone,& most times she does not call back.She has said she planned to have our first 2 open houses this month (July) & has not done that.She has said a couple of times that she was bringing someone to look at the house.Then never showed up, & never called.Then while she was to show the house yesturday, we are out of town right now and our 21 year old daughter called us to tell us that she came home to find a note from the prospective buyers, that they were there waiting for our realtor, & that our realtor was a "no-show".They left us their phone number,& said that if we wanted to show them the house,to give them a call.We tried 2 call our realtor.Again,no answer or response to the message we left.If we show the house ourselves & get an offer can we make our agent forfeit her commission or part of?

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James Joseph, , 06281
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Can this agent and get another. Don't walk - run!
If this agent does not call you back can you guess how strangers responding to advertising are treated.
All the best,
James Joseph
The R/E Maven
2 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Hi Joe, request a face to face meeting with your agent - remind her of the promises made and provide feedback on the service she has delivered. I'd involve the Broker if you do not see a quick turnaround. Time is not your friend in this market - we are finding the region-wide, 80% of our closed inventory are either new listings or recent price reductions, so try to right the ship while your listing is still fresh.

Sounds like you've got an agent that is practicing "list and disappear" .... although it isn't easy to terminate a listing agreement, if the agent continues to not perform, then you should put her on notice and insist on a meeting with her broker to discuss just that.

Good luck to you.

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Daryl Lukas, Agent, Rocklin, CA
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Joe I can understand your frustration. The first thing I suggest is to have a candid conversation with your agent and in a calm manner express to her how you feel. See what happens. Most agents welcome the honesty and sincerely want to please their clients. Perhaps you will both be able to resolve things from this point forward. However in the event that you are still not satisfied, I would advise you review the listing agreement between you and the broker. It will dictate when agent is entitled to a commission and under what circumstances.
1 vote
Jeff and Gin…, Agent, Vero Beach, FL
Fri Jul 25, 2008
The first thing to do is have an honest talk with your agent. Then if you are not satisfied, call the Broker Manager of the real estate agency. If you still get no satisfaction, call the local MLS office and/or the state Real Estate Association. You do have an exclusive listing agreement I assume? If so, you will need legal advice about the possibility of canceling the contract for non-performance. So sorry that you are having these problems. Our real estate agency has a Services Guarantee and our Broker Manager would step in to resolve these types of issues if they ever occurred.

Perhaps there is an illness or other emergency involved. If so, contacting the agency should be helpful. Your contract is actually with the agency, and another agent may be able to step in to help out, depending on the circumstances, maybe permanently. Good luck.
1 vote
Gita Bantwal, Agent, Jamison, PA
Thu Jan 28, 2010
I just want to add that others have given you a lot of good advice. You should talk to the Broker and see if things will change.If necessary talk to an attorney. Did you get anything in writing as to what the agent will do?
Did the agent give you an option to cancel clause in the contract, check your listing contract.?
Web Reference:  http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes
Connie Wilda…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Jan 27, 2010
no...read your contract.. and contact the managing borker.. sorry for your situation... do get your realtor changed out or get the brokerage to cancel your lisitng, you deserve an agent who will work for you...
0 votes
Wendy Remley, Agent, Clearfield, UT
Mon Jul 28, 2008
That is terrible to hear that your realtor is being so unprofessional. If you feel comfortable with it, or are interested in salvaging the relationship, I would contact the realtor one last time. If not, I would contact the branch broker and complain. He/she will probably be anxious to help you out. They may want to reassign the remainder of the contract to a different agent. Interview the replacement agent and make sure they're a good fit.

It's especially painful to me because I think communication with clients is so critically important in this field. If you need help figuring out who the broker is, or you want further advice, feel free to contact me.

I hope you can get a better agent soon, and that you get your house sold quickly.
0 votes
Joe, Home Seller, Brigham City, UT
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Thank you everyone for your responses,
and to those having a similar problem.... we feel for you too :(
0 votes
NC, Both Buyer And Seller, Hoboken, NJ
Fri Jul 25, 2008
We are having similar problems with our realtor as well. He has done a couple of open houses and whenever we asked for feeback whether is negative or postive, he never says anything. Just this week after our property has been almost six months in the market, we had an offer about eighty-thousand dollars under the marketed/listed price. He is pressuring us to sell (its obvious, his time is up and he wants to get his commission). We had asked for a current market report in person, via e-mail and by phone and after three days, he responded to us not with what we were looking for but to keep on pushing for us to sell 'as is.' We can't wait for this month to end and get rid of him, get our property off the market for a while and try to put it back on next year with another realtor. Oh forgot to mention, people would come to see our apartment while I've been there and other realtors would say, we called your seller and made an appoitment to come at this time - meanwhile, we had embarrasantly left our messy property for the other people to see it. No wonder no one had made an offer and the one that finally did felt that we are so desperatly to sell that he has offered what he has offered!!!!!!!
0 votes
Matt, Home Buyer, Greenland, NH
Fri Jul 25, 2008
We have a house on the market and are in a similar situation: our Realtor, though very nice, never contacts us -- we always have to contact her to hear that the market's dead and that she's doing everything she can do. What joy it would be to actually have a prospective buyer! I'd like to believe that in our case the Realtor would be there for a showing, but if she did something to jeopardize a sale, as you've experienced, we'd be scrambling to get out of the contract.

It seems to me that with this market and so many agent having to get out of the business to find other work, we're seeing a lot of listings that aren't being represented properly. I don't know if we're in that boat or not, honestly. None of the other houses on our street are moving either.

0 votes
At, Home Buyer, Florida
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Just release her if she is no where and doesn't return your calls then take actions and see if you could work with another realtor,I had the same problem and I cancell my contract with them this is why is good a short term ,why should she get any commission if she is not doing her job
0 votes
Angela R. Ge…, , 75149
Fri Jul 25, 2008
I believe the best possible route to take for this unprofessionalism is to terminate your contract with the agent. You may do this by phone call, fax or a phone call to broker. I would ask friends and family for a possible reference. If you show the property and they offer to purchase your home, you have a contract with the agent and she can enforce the signed doc. You will need to cance your contract with agent and then proceed with buyers.
0 votes
Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Fri Jul 25, 2008
I'm sorry you are having such a bad experience!

Trying to work out a partial forfeiture of commission will probably be even more of a mess than is happening now. Go to the top--call the broker.

Tell him or her exactly what you told us here. I think that either having the broker assign another agent to your home, or cancelling your listing agreement altogether, will end up being the solution.

There might be extenuating circumstances to explain the agent's behavior--BUT that doesn't get your home sold!

If I were a broker who had this problem, I would either take the listing on myself, or offer it to the most dependable agent in my office. And I would be checking on that agent frequently! Or I would let the Sellers out of the contract.

Best wishes to you and good fortune on the sale of your home. Linda
0 votes
Susan Wesely, , Saint Paul, MN
Fri Jul 25, 2008
I'm so sorry for you. Jeff & Ginny nailed this one - call the broker and then escalate if you must to the local MLS. It's important for the industry as a whole to eliminate this kind of non-professional behavior. If the agent has personal challenges, she should have requested assistance from her broker, and SOMEONE (agent, broker, or someone assigned by the brojker) should have maintained communication with you. Best of luck.
0 votes
Judy Bristow, , 84015
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Hi! I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with this. But you will need to contact the brokerage and due to a seemingly lack of fiduciary duty (your buyer broker agreement states the agent must give to you fiduciary duties of Loyalty, Full Disclosure, Confidentiality and Reasonable care) you would like to cancel the contract. There are a lot of hard working agents here that have systems in place to assure weekly contact with client and availability when the client calls. You have a right to that. The agent is employed by you. I hope you can get this resolved and that it all works out well for you.
0 votes
Fred Cope, Agent, Goodlettsville, TN
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Hello Joe:

Sorry to read of your predicment. My first question to you would be, "How well do you know this agent?" Relative or Friend? If you know her beyond this business transaction, then you probably want to sit down one-on-one, and have a heart-to-heart. If this is happening to you, it is probably happening to her other clients. There may be forces at work beyond her ability to handle--she may need a friendly ear. That doesn't excuse her non-professional behavior, and I'd want to make that very clear to her. A friend of mine would call that a "Jesus come to meeting moment."
Beyond your concern for her as a person, you have a house to sell, and need to know the professional retained to accomplish the task is capable and committed to fulfilling that commitment.
Perhaps, three steps should be taken:
(1) confront the issue immediately and get a resolution [I'd tell the agent that I have a 3 step plan, and that my intended next step is to
(2) call the principal broker [this is the person you actually hired] and lay your cards on the table--"get it corrected or release me from the listing contract." The broker will not want to lose your business and will want to resolve your problem--offering to counsel with her, and/or assign another affiliate to your listing. The broker don't want you to move to the third step. None of the options beyond step 3 are attractive to the broker.
(3) Take action to get your house sold without them. Your options include the following:
a. Get an attorney (that will cost money he don't want to spend)
b. Contact Local/State Real Estate Commission (that can cost money and lots of paperwork), and/or
c. Go public with your disatisfaction. (Real Estate agents love/need advertisement, but not this kind.)

One final observation: If your agent is a REALTOR, there is a code of ethics that has been trampled. That also suggest that both agent and broker (1) know better, (2) want to do better, and (3) probably will. I've been around thousand of REALTORS in past 25 years, and 99% are quality people--professional people, and none of us are happy with the way you've been treated.

Please pursue this immediately. That agent will become a better agent from this (or get out of the business). You will be a better person and home seller (or sware "I'll never move again.") None of us want that! Good Luck, and Happy Resolutions.


R. Fred Cope,
The Realty Association, Nashville, TN
(615) 385-9010
0 votes
Angela Duong, , Tremonton, UT
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Hi Joe,
The brokerage is entitled to a commission if the property is sold while having a contract with them. They may also have put a "protection period" after the ending of the contract. (See the "Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement" Section 3 of the contract. For how ever many months the agent filled in, any one that seen the property during the listing time and makes an offer after its expired.... the company will still be entitled to a commission. Talk to your agent to see if there has been a reasonable explanation for not following through with anything she has said. You can talk to her Broker at anytime. If you choose to cancel the agreement with the agent and company, make sure it is all in writing and that they withdraw it unconditionally.
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Fri Jul 25, 2008
Hello Joe. While I am not quick to judge other agent's conduct, based on what you describe, there are simply too many things that are not right. Personally, I would go straight to the agent's broker and ask to be released from the contract or have another agent assigned to you. I am usually very much in favor of talking to the agent first, but when you can't get a hold of the agent and the agent does not return your calls. how do you have a talk with the agent? You have to get clarity regarding your contractual relationship with the brokerage before you enter into any contract with buyers. As long as you under contract with the brokerage to sell you house, they'd be most likely entitled to a commission when the house sells despite the agent's lack of performance. Call the broker today and make sure that any agreements with the brokerage are in writing. Good luck to you.
0 votes
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