What Should You Do When Your REALTORⓇ Ignores You?
Carla Ayers7-minute read
UPDATED: November 08, 2022
Buying a home is the single largest purchase many Americans will make in their lifetime, it’s a big deal. Whether you’re buying or selling, the process can be a lot to manage if you’ve never done it before. Lucky for us, REALTORS® are here to guide us through the process and look out for our best interest.
But what happens if that agent just stops responding? If you’ve been left unread or you feel like your concerns aren’t being heard, follow along to learn what to do when your REALTOR® ignores you.
Is Your REALTOR® Working For You?
The short answer, in most cases, is yes. A good real estate agent could be working with several clients at a time, at different stages of a home sale transaction. When an agent is with a client showing homes or hosting an open house, it can be difficult to answer the phone because they want to be present and value that client’s time and yours. Showing homes, home inspections, and closings require an agent’s undivided attention. These types of appointments can be lengthy, so from time to time you may experience a delay in response. An agent who is focused on providing the best service to their clients will likely provide that same level of service to you.
Depending on your request they may also need time to research their answer. If they’re simply dropping the ball, well, we’ll get into that a bit later.
Signs Of A Good Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents represent home buyers and home sellers. We’ll explain the difference between a buyer’s agent and a listing agent below and some ways to tell if you’re working with a good real estate agent.
REALTORS® who assist potential buyers are referred to as buyer’s agents. A buyer’s agent works with a potential home buyer by helping them find a home that meets their home search criteria and fits within their budget. A buyer’s agent will schedule home showings and gather the information you need to make a competitive offer.
When you’ve found the home you want to purchase, your buyer’s agent will write up and present the offer to the sellers and negotiate any repairs or concessions you may request. Buyer’s agents often attend home inspections and will likely be at the closing table to assist with questions and provide support. A good buyer’s agent is someone who listens to your needs and provides honest feedback.
A listing agent helps homeowners sell their home for the most value possible. A listing agent will recommend home improvements and other staging ideas to make the home more appealing to the public. They will take photos or hire a photographer to ensure the home is shown in its best light for potential buyers. Once your home is listed on the MLS, it’s the listing agent who will schedule showings, answer questions, and negotiate the terms of the sale. A good listing agent’s primary responsibility is pricing the home competitively. They will also handle the many calls, texts, and emails for the listing and present the seller with offers and provide honest feedback.
How Quickly Should Your REALTOR® Respond?
Communication is a vital component of a real estate agent’s job. Keeping all parties involved in the sale up to date helps keep the transaction moving forward towards closing. Most real estate professionals want to respond within one business day, but some problems require more time and effort. Its important that the information a realtor gives their client is accurate and timely.
REALTORS® are in the business of service and that means taking care of their clients’ immediate needs, addressing concerns as they come up, and doing their best to foreshadow any potential risks along the way. So, it’s important to discuss your communication preferences early in the transaction.
If you’re in the midst of intense negotiations and a listing agent is requesting offers be submitted by a deadline, time is of the essence, and you may be in constant contact with your agent until the issue is resolved. If you’re waiting for an inspection or an appraisal report that could take a few days to a week or more and it’s not likely your REALTOR® will have much to report back to you until they receive feedback from third parties.
Find Out Why Your Real Estate Agent Does Not Return Your Calls
REALTORS® use a variety of marketing tools to market themselves and their listings. If you’re running into communication problems with your agent, first find out if you’re calling or emailing their current and preferred phone or email. If you’re calling their office line, they may not check that voicemail box often.
Listing agents are often inundated with calls, texts, and voicemails when they have an active listing. This is a great thing if they’re selling your home, but it can make getting in touch with your agent a challenge.
If you’re a buyer, odds are your agent has their ear to ground looking for the perfect home for you. When researching a listing a buyer’s agent may need to verify information with a municipality or they could be waiting to hear back from the listing agent and that can take time.
If you’re inquiry is non-urgent or maybe requires input from their broker, you may not receive an answer on the weekends. If you’re in an active negotiation and you need immediate assistance reach out to the agent’s broker or office manager. Sometimes agents designate someone to back them up if they need to take time away from their duties. There may be a simple miscommunication that can be easily resolved with a call to their office.
Schedule A Meeting With Your Agent
Sometimes meeting face to face can help clear the air and build a better rapport with your REALTOR®. Reach out to your agent by their preferred contact method and let them know you’d like to schedule a meeting. When leaving a message stay calm and avoid jumping to conclusions. If they don’t respond after 2 business days, follow up with another phone call or email to remind them of your request.
Express Your Concerns Diplomatically
Before you meet with your real estate agent, write down your communication concerns. Be sure to include specific examples of good communication and times when you felt unheard or ignored. Give them a moment to process your concerns and respond with their perspective. A key component to a successful working relationship is the ability to communicate open and honestly. If you mutually agree to move forward and continue working together, it’s important to establish expectations and boundaries to avoid these issues in the future.
Establish Clear Expectations For Communication
Outline your preferred contact method, the best times to reach you, and times when you may be unreachable. Letting your agent know your preferences helps them provide you with good customer service. If your family eats dinner together every evening at 7 p.m., let your agent know that that’s a special time for your family and you would prefer calls before then.
Your agent may have their own guidelines and boundaries as well. If you’ve mutually agreed to continue working together, communicating effectively will require work from both you and your agent.
How To Tell Your Real Estate Agent You Are Leaving
If you’re unable to meet with your agent or they don’t respond to your meeting request, it might be best to sever ties and find another agent. How you cut ties with them will depend on the type of arrangement you have with that agent.
Most buyer’s agents will require a buyer’s agency agreement be signed prior to showing a potential buyer homes for sale. This ensures the agent is fairly compensated in the sale should you decide to purchase a home they’ve shown you.
Listing agents require an exclusive right to sell or other similar agreement to begin offering a home for sale to the public.
What To Do If You Haven’t Signed A Buyer Agency Agreement
If you haven’t signed a buyer agency agreement and you no longer want to work with an agent its best to let them know in writing. Write a letter or email them outlining the concerns that were not met and let them know you’ll no longer require their services. Be clear and concise in your wishes and keep it professional.
Your Options If You Have Signed An Exclusivity Agreement
If you’re working with a listing agent and you’ve signed a listing agreement, you can’t hire another broker or agent while your current listing agreement is active. Review the terms of the current agreement and see if there is a cancellation clause that will allow you to end the contract early. Most agents and brokers will agree to cancel a listing if the relationship is negative and unproductive.
Most listing contracts will have an expiration date. If you’re unhappy with your real estate agent, you could simply wait for the agreement to expire and hire a new agent or broker. You could also ask to be assigned to another agent in the brokerage that has more capacity or specializes in your specific area of need.
If time is of the essence and the agent or broker isn’t working with you, it may be time to consult legal counsel. Let the agent and their broker know your intent to involve legal counsel – it could be the motivation for them to cancel the listing to avoid negative community feedback and avoid incurring any legal fees of their own.
How To Identify Signs Of A Bad Real Estate Agent Early In The Home Buying Process
It’s important to interview a few real estate agents before you sign an agreement. Talking to different agents will give you an idea of what to expect in your market. You can compare the agents’ work philosophy and punctuality, and choose a real estate professional whom you’re confident can get you to the closing table.
Once you’ve chosen your agent, it’s best to work with them throughout the entire transaction. Working with multiple agents may seem like you’ve got more help finding you dream home, but agents and brokers have access to the same pool of resources and are typically paid by commission. They may not work as hard to provide you listings if they know you have other real estate agents bringing you listings to view. One way to avoid communication issues with your REALTOR® is to ask important questions and set expectations early on in your home buying journey.
The Bottom Line
You’re ready to make the biggest purchase of your life, of course you want the guidance of your family and friends, but you’ll also need to work with experienced professionals. Taking the time to develop a relationship with your REALTOR® will help them better understand your needs when they’re working on your behalf. Don’t be shy in setting your expectations and asking questions.
If you need help asking the right questions when searching for a real estate agent, Rocket HomesSM has you covered. We vet great REALTORS® in your community so that we can match you with an agent who will work best with you.
Find a Rocket Homes Verified Partner Agent to assist you on your journey to find your perfect home.