Q: I am a first time buyer and because of my real estate agent, I am very stressed and frustrated.
I’ve been looking for a house since October. I won’t go into detail about the horrible behavior of my agent, because it would take too long. I will just state some of the things that make me cry.
She is very hard to contact, in that she doesn’t respond in a timely manner. I always have to chase her down. I’ll email her properties that I want to see and she tells me she will schedule them. But then I have to call her back to confirm and find out when the appointments are scheduled for.
I actually told her two months ago that I no long wanted her to be my agent, but because she is very young in this business and a single mother with a daughter in college, I wanted to help her. But this weekend was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Saturday, I met my Realtor to see three homes. It was pouring rain when I first met with her on Saturday and her first words were, “I don’t know if I’m going to stay with you today in all this rain.” She had a horrible, horrible attitude. But since I was really interested in one of the properties, I asked her if we could please see it and we did.
When we got into the home and inspected it, there were a few issues, but I loved it. Because of the issues, I asked her to underbid it and told her my issues. The first time I asked her why wasn’t she writing all these things down, she said because she would remember them. I kept going and asked her a second time why she wasn’t writing these things down and she replied, “Because you’ll call me when I get home and remind me.” No wait — it gets better! We left the house she went home — I went home. I still have not heard from her! My question is, since I signed a contract with her and am not at all satisfied, what must I do to get out of that contract and work with another agent? Please help me, Ilyce!
A: How unfortunate that you’re having this kind of (non) relationship with your agent. I can tell you that they’re not all like this. (And from what you’ve described, your agent won’t be in the business much longer!)
The good news is you don’t have to take this treatment for one more minute. The contract that you signed is with the brokerage company — not the individual agent. You should make an appointment with the managing broker of the firm to discuss the agent’s behavior.
Ask the managing broker to assign you to another agent in the firm who also has experience in your neighborhoods of choice.
If the managing broker refuses to find someone new for you to work with, you should cancel your buyer’s agent agreement in writing.
Buying a home is stressful enough. You don’t need to have a nervous breakdown because the agent you’re working with treats you like dirt. Good luck, and let me know what happens.
Follow-up: The buyer emailed to let me know she had successfully changed agents.