The National Digest

Ask a Real Estate Pro: Do I Have to Stick with my Real Estate Agent?

Q: I hired a real estate agent about six months ago to help me find my new home. I have a precise idea of the home I want, and have looked at dozens of houses. I’ve made aggressive offers on several which did not work out. Lately, she seems too busy to show me many of the homes I want to see. Can I work with a new agent, or am I stuck with her? — Anonymous

A: Unless your agent agrees otherwise, if you want to buy any of the homes she introduced you to, you will need to work with her. For other houses, the answer will depend on whether you signed an exclusive buyer agreement with your agent. If you did, read it carefully to see under what conditions you can be released from the contract.

The contracts typically run for a set time, such as six months, where you are obligated to work only with this agent. This is her way of protecting the time that she invested in showing you all of the other properties that you did not purchase.

You should speak with your agent about the issue and see if there is a reason she now seems too busy to help you. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding or a valid reason for her behavior. She may not even know you are dissatisfied. A frank discussion is an excellent first step in resolving any dispute.

Read more…