When one door closes, another opens – but how do you know when to close the door permanently on a relationship, particularly if the relationship is of a professional nature, such as with your real estate agent? How do you gently close the door on your buying or selling process without generating unwanted drama, hurt feelings, or worse yet, legal repercussions? And, how do you establish a new, healthier relationship with another realtor with trust and good lines of communication? Be careful not to let one bad relationship tarnish your opinion of the entire process. One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch!
When possible, begin with the end in mind. Usually, real estate agencies have written contracts and signed agreements to prevent early termination. Perhaps your negotiation skills can come into play here, at the beginning of the relationship, before the contract is signed. This is also a great opportunity to establish clear and open lines of communication with your real estate agent. Lack of communication is often the primary culprit in agent/client break-ups. But if you’re past that point, locked in to a no-win situation, then it’s time to consider your options.
Option one is to wait out your contract. Your broker may suggest working with a different agent in their team rather than breach your contract with the brokerage. However, if you are bound and determined to walk away from the entire company, you may face breach of contract fees ranging from $295-$495, a hefty price to pay if it can be avoided. Also costly in a breach of your real estate contract is the drama and delays caused by a nasty break-up.
Aside from poor communication, there are other factors involved in failing realtor/client relationships, such as opposing schedules. If you’re only available for showings/viewings when your kids are in school and your realtor only works evenings, there’s a conflict. When you and your realtor constantly disagree, it may be time to call it quits. When your face sours every time someone asks you how your home buying/selling experience is going, it may be time for a change. And if you find yourself constantly sending your realtors incoming calls to voicemail, it’s a definite indicator of a long-term problem.
Once you’re free from your current realtor, how do you know there’s a realtor you can trust? Consider how you first met your real estate agent. Did you do your due diligence in research about the agent and their broker? Or did you do a quick Internet search and pick the agent on the top of the search results? Did someone you trust, or a friend or family member, recommend your agent to you? Consider your source, and then avoid making the same mistake twice. Research your agent, visit their website, evaluate their content. Does the agent seem concerned about their clients’ processes, or are they just promoting their own agenda? Web presence can be incredibly indicative of how professional a realtor is, and can also be a good measure of their communication skills.
The sale or purchase of your home should be an exciting time for you and your family. You should have full trust in your real estate agent and know they have your best interest in mind. You should know your real estate agent is going to pass on to you the most current and accurate information about the sale or purchase of your home. You should be excited to take telephone calls, text messages, or emails from your agent. And you should know that if you have any concerns, your agent is approachable and available to you when you need to communicate with them. Not all real estate agents were created equal. If you feel you’re getting the short end of the stick, consider your options for ending your current real estate relationship and pursuing relations with a respected professional you can trust.
Ready to choose a real estate agent who will do their best job to make your real estate dreams come true? Call Laura Castillo at 432-701-0506.