How to Work With a Realtor When Issues Come Up
People hire Realtors for convenience, knowledge, industry connections and overall expertise. But what should you do when things aren’t going as planned?
While you can legally fire a Realtor in some instances, the most common issues are things that you can try to navigate on your own first. Use this blog as a guide to see how to work with a Realtor when problems come up.
“They’re not communicating as much as I’d like.”
Ideally you figure out your communication style before choosing a Realtor and look for one who can meet your needs. But if that ship has sailed, here are a few things to try.
- Decide on frequency. How often (or when) do you want to hear from your Realtor?
- Decide on method. Do you prefer texts, calls, Google messaging or emails?
- Figure out why it’s important. Why do you need more communication and what do you need it for?
Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to talk to your Realtor. Let them know where you’re at and bring it up in a respectful manner. Consider opening with something that you appreciate about them. Ironically, yelling at a Realtor about needing more communication is not going to get you far.
“My house isn’t selling.”
There could be any number of reasons why your house isn’t selling and a Realtor isn’t the automatic root of the problem. Here are some instances of when it’s the Realtor and when it’s not.
|House-related selling issues||Realtor-related selling issues|
|– Most expensive property in the area (and by a wide margin)|
– Super custom, in a way that turns off the average buyer
– Undesirable location (ex. right next to a freeway)
– Property needs a ton of work
|– Doing little to no marketing past listing in the MLS|
– Not recommending (or providing) professional photography*
– Not helping with staging*
– Lack of transparency or communication
*Not required for Realtors but a service that many offer.
Hopefully your Realtor is transparent with you about what’s going on. Talk to them if that’s not the case. It’s almost a guarantee that you signed a contract with your Realtor, so you’ll have to wait for that to expire before switching to a new agent.
However, if you don’t remember signing anything that listed how long you’re in contract (or you just want to review the documents), ask your Realtor for a copy. If they don’t give it to you, call their broker and if that doesn’t work, the local Board of Realtors next.
One important detail: if a person looks at your house while you’re still under contract with your Realtor, then puts an offer in after the contract ends, you’ll still owe the Realtor commission.
“I don’t think they’re being honest with me.”
There are, sadly, a number of scenarios where Realtors put the blinders on their clients. Be on the lookout for the following and report it to the broker as a contract violation.
- Only showing properties that can get the Realtor a higher commission.
- Preferentially showing their company’s listings.
- Not telling sellers of every offer that comes in.
- Working outside of the area that they’re licensed in.
- Knowing about issues with a house but not telling the buyer.
“They make me uncomfortable.”
A racist joke is racist and unacceptable, period. Inappropriate comments are inappropriate. It does not matter if your Realtor was “joking,” the impact of their behavior matters more than their intent.
For certain things that seem harmless, it’s probably in your best interest to talk to the Realtor first. If they don’t handle it well or don’t stop their behavior, talk to their broker. However, there are some situations that are flat-out unethical and violate your contract, let alone the Realtor’s license.
- Discrimination: If a Realtor shows any hint of discrimination towards you or another group of people, talk to their brokerage immediately. There is a horrific history of racism in real estate, any Realtor continuing in this vein does not deserve their job.
- Sexual assault: Verbal harrassment, inappropriate touching or anything of the like is intolerable and should be reported ASAP.
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