Agent to Agent...Deal with difficult agents

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to work with a difficult agent how do you handle the situation? I am a fairly new real estate agent in Arizona (not to be taken as new to real estate) with only 12 transactions under my belt and I recently had to deal with a sellers agent that was verbally abusive and acted like spoiled bully. We were working on a short sale transaction and if my buyers didn't get a form back within the sellers Agents time frame the agent would get very upset and abusive. Here is a direct quote from a text he sent after one doc wasn't signed within 24 hrs "...horrible that's all I can say. Tests what happens when you deal with a rookie with only 6 sales" I also received several email and phone calls with this type of language. I asked the agent to only email me because I didn't want to get yelled at. Then I just sent texts because they are harder to type and the emails proved to be abusive as well...then I received a call from the agents partner who spent her time telling how I should be telling my clients that they have to do this or that...What is the correct course to take in a situation like this? I don't like yelling at people, I try to be an easy agent to work with and work hard to insulate my clients from the other agent (the agent did contact my buyers and told them that I wasn't doing my job and he contacted my broker but they both felt I was doing what I should). Suggestions are appreciated!
  • August 21 2011 - Tempe
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Answers (8)

Tyson, sorry you had to deal with that type of attitude and abuse.  All of us have had that experience even when we are not rookies.  The way I handle it is to ignore their comments (act like they never said it) since I don't like to stoop down to their level by attacking/abusing them.  I live by the golden rule when it comes to my clients or other agents:  "Treat others as you would want to be treated."  You'll sleep better that way.
  • August 21 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....

I'll be looking forward to seeing what other PROs/Agents share about this..

As a Non-Agent what jumped out at me about your situation was..

"then I received a call from the agents partner who spent her time telling how I should be telling my clients that they have to do this or that..."
&
"the agent did contact my buyers and told them that I wasn't doing my job"

Say what?


Here's a Blog I saw at AR on basically the same thing so perhaps the feedback on it might be of interest to you

Hello, I'm an experienced Realtor and you're an idiot…


Good Luck
  • August 21 2011
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Dealing with an agent who thinks they're better than you can be difficult. I actually just had my first run in with one as well. No 2 agents work exactly alike and some have more questionable tactics. Like Bullying.
 As difficult as it sounds, you just have to stay professional toward them. If you let yourself sink to their levels than you're just coming off unprofessional to your clients.
 Don't let the abuse go too far, you can always file an ethics complaint or submit a complaint to their broker.

As long as your broker and clients are happy with your work, that's all that matters.
  • August 21 2011
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Tyson, I wanted to add that the other agents calling your clients is considered a breach of ethics in my area, not sure about AZ.  I would contact the other agent and politely ask them to stop contacting your client and if it's a breach of ethics, then also point that out.
  • August 21 2011
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It seems to be the rule, not the exception.  I have have seen so many agents get in the way of a deal.  It is not just the cranky ones, but seems like there is a serious lack of professionalism in the industry. 
  • August 22 2011
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I can completely relate to your situation. I too am an agent in AZ and on my very first offer I was cursed at and hung up on because my buyer did not want to play a game of bidding wars with all of the other supposed "above full price offers the listing agent had." I figured it couldn't get much worse than that.

I have been practicing for over 6 years now and take pride in always conducting business in an honest and professional way. I highly suggest the same to you. In my most recent transaction I have been dealing with an agent who did not know how to draft an addendum, who has misled her seller into financial trouble, and now wants to baselessly accuse myself, the lender, and the title company of committing some sort of fraud. Some people just cannot conduct themselves in an honest and professional way, so we must be the example for them.

It was completely illegal for the listing agent to go behind your back to contact your client if you either did not give consent for this, or if you were available to contact within 24 hrs. If it was not one of these 2 scenerios, they were committing an Ethics violation by contacting your client. Stick with it and maybe Arizona will institute some sort of mental health check in the future before handing out licenses.
  • March 21 2012
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Fortunately the purchase contract pretty much lays it all out whether the other agent likes it or not, so be very familiar with the terms of the contract and stick to those terms.

Be professional, look out for your clients' interests and keep a written record. It's tempting to open your mouth and let them have it, but it may be your clients who pay the price by losing their chance at the house they want. I think you've shown great restraint. 

However, I would definitely draw a line at them calling my client. That is ethically wrong and totally out of line.  It also leaves the door open for them to be sued over interfering with representation.  I would call their office broker pronto, and if that doesn't do it, I would call the local board.

One more thing: don't be intimidated by "X number of years" experience. My Dad had a saying about whether someone had 10 years experience or just one year repeated 10 times.
  • April 08 2013
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Remind him that we all had to start with "6" sales at one time or another. And let him know that it is actually you who is playing a good part in this sale by bringing the buyer. Not saying one is better than the other. If you don't work together, no one gets paid. That's what it's about, buyer happy , seller happy , agents and families happy. Pride and arrogance can't feed anyone.

  • April 08 2013
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