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Changing realtors

We have been looking for quite some time now in a neighborhood that is rapidly gentrifying and becoming more competitive.  Our agent worked with some relatives previously and did a good job for them, and has generally been fairly responsive, if occasionally applying more pressure than we like.  The problem is that he primarily works in the affluent suburbs, is more available on weekdays (one of us works 30 miles outside of town & can't make daytime showings easily), and just doesn't know the neighborhood very well.  From attending some open houses it seems obvious that agents who do more business in urban/gentrifying areas are more aware of what potential opportunities are coming up, and also seem to have a better handle on renovation loans (we've lost two properties to lower bidders because our agent directed us to FHA 203k financing, which apparently is disliked by sellers' agents).  We've also considered approaching owners in pre-foreclosure situations, and while we like our current agent perfectly well he can seem a little abrasive, which probably wouldn't help in that situation.  We don't have anything personal against him and he hasn't been egregiously bad at all, but we just think he may not be the best choice for our fairly specific needs.  It's been nearly a year since we started looking and while he's certainly not entirely responsible for our not having purchased yet, this market is becoming so tight that I'm not sure he can help us much more.  Any advice on how to separate?  We may see him occasionally at school events in the future.
  • March 11 2014 - US
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Answers (4)

"Disengaging" from this relationship should not be painful or difficult for either of you.
If you have a representation agreement signed there will be an expiration date at which point
you can "hire" another. If not, a simple sit down to discuss market realities may in fact
be well received as you indicate his primary area of expertise is in a more affluent
community... and in fact he may consider your search a "distraction" from
his primary business. Do what's best for you...
  • March 31 2014
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Thanks to both of you-- I did tell him and he was polite, if not happy.  He works hard and has been very successful after emigrating to the US, but I think we're just looking at a very narrow, very specialized kind of search.  Houses are hitting the MLS for comp purposes only (already have contracts) in our area every week, and we will hopefully have more luck with a new agent.

Just out of curiosity, would it be appropriate to send him a gift, like a bottle of good whiskey?  He did show us probably 15 houses or so over ten months and wrote offers for three, so I feel like we should at least thank him.
  • March 31 2014
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He's not going to love you for it, so those school events may be awkward.

I think you might consider that agents hold open houses primarily to troll for buyers, and some of the pitches may be more suggestive than reality-based.

I might also consider that pre-foreclosures aren't really "for sale;" if somebody is under water, that means you'd have to pay over market value to bail them out.

But, in the end, your agent probably is getting the vibe that you're not a happy camper, and while he'd probably like to get paid for sharing the home-shopping journey with you for a year, he may also be relieved to hear that you'd like to fire him.

All the best,
  • March 11 2014
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"We've decided to go with another agent.  It's nothing personal, and you've been helpful, but we feel as though the areas in which we're looking are better understood by an agent who conducts more transactions in that area."

It's business, nothing more.  Short and to the point works wonders.
  • March 11 2014
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