You meet a real estate agent and it seems like they have all the answers. They tell you a long list of things that they are going to do for you. The real estate market is confusing and tedious, they promise to guide you through it and hold your hand. A month later, they are arguing with you and it seems that you are not getting anything you wanted. How did everything get so bad? In the beginning it sounded like a walk in the park and now it is a nightmare that keeps you up at night. Why didn’t my real estate agent do what they said they would? Well, here’s some good news; there’s probably a reason and there is a solution.
The why is simple, they either couldn’t or chose not to. Sometimes real estate is unpredictable. We all learned that from the recent bubble burst. It is true that sometimes an agent, even a good one cannot predict accurately how much a house will sell for or how long escrow will take. A friend of mine chose another agent to sell their home. 100 days later they came to me and asked what they could do to get it sold. I really wanted to tell them to fire that guy and hire me. I told them honestly, that their agent was doing a good job. The market conditions changed and he had done what any good agent would.
Then there are the other kinds of agent, the ones who deceive clients to get them to sign a contract and then once they are locked in, forget that they work for you. In this industry, it usually works out that you get what you pay for. Discount agents, do discounted work. Many agents put a sign in the yard and a listing on the Internet and forget about you. Or they tell you they’ll find you your dream house and show you 10 houses that don’t meet your needs or wants. I really think that this happens in every industry. So many people nowadays take advantage of others. You want an agent to look out for your interests that what they are paid to do. You have good reason to be frustrated.
Let’s look at the solution. Communication is the key. If you have not signed on with an agent, ask lots of questions. Be specific, ask about deadlines and “what ifs”. What if this house doesn’t sell? What if you don’t find me a house in “X” amount of days? This is really where asking friends and family for a good realtor comes in handy.
If you already have an agent and are not happy with the progress that is being made, talk to them. Communicate calmly. If you don’t understand the terminology, ask them to clarify. If you feel they are refusing to work with you, talk to their broker. The broker holds the legal liability for them and is in charge of monitoring ethical issues. A last resort would be to contact the local board. They have a system in place for complaints and discipline of agents.
Why didn’t my real estate agent do the things they said they would? A real estate transaction is a big step and can be a dream or a nightmare. Don’t despair. Most problems with your real estate agent can be solved with good communication. A good agent will listen. Use your common “cents” and it will save you a lot in the end.