Contacting Listing Agent Directly While Under Contract With A Buyers Agent

I am currently under contract on a home and have retained the "services" of a "buyers agent". Unfortunately, this person has proved useless as a source of information about the ongoing status of the deal. 

We have been waiting for our "agent" to relay information about a repair that the Seller claims to have performed yesterday so that we can make our final decision on whether or not to back out while still under contingency.

Is it acceptable for us to just bypass him and ask the listing agent directly for the information that she has, we clearly need, and he has decided not to pursue for us for some reason?

We have certainly learned that the old addage seems to be true: All agents work for the Seller.
  • August 08 2014 - US
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Answers (11)

Things usually work out best if you start with the person who you have the problem with; your agent. Express your concern. If they are unable or unwilling to take the steps to alleviate the problem, call their broker. Since the broker is ultimately responsible for their agents, the broker should be more than willing to assist you to find the solution.

If you directly call the listing agent, they will find it strange and it could possibly put you at a disadvantage in the transaction.
  • August 10 2014
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Adversarial all day everyday? Join a fight club.

The facts are that the help you receive in buying the Seller's home does not include your Agent having the ability to make the Seller do anything, anywhere, anyhow. If you want this house, and apparently you do, then patience will be required. That patience must include the willingness to cooperate. The willingness to understand that things don't always go as planned. The willingness to understand that this is your life, but it is only your Agent's job.

If your Agent was not responding to your every text, in seconds flat, it is likely because there was nothing new to tell you, and because you are melodramatic, and lack understanding of the intricacies of negotiating. and executing, the sale of a home in your market. Not, because he's a self interested crook trying to take everything you own, and half the things you've borrowed. Most crooks return calls proactively, not re-actively.

Trust, my friend, is like motor oil, it allows broken things to work longer than maybe they should, but it also keeps perfectly normal machines from becoming broken ones. You may want to add half a quart back to your deal, if you don't want it to blow apart, that is.

What was the repair at issue? Broken switch plate cover? Toilet valve flapper? Cosmetic, structural mechanical? If it is perfectly repaired, by Tuesday, are you a Buyer, or are you still just thinking about it?
  • August 10 2014
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Pitt,

That definitely adds an extra layer of difficulty with your agent also being the broker. You can always take your concerns to the Board of Realtors. They are responsible for ensuring the protection of the public. Ultimately, we all have someone whom we answer to.
  • August 10 2014
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You need to keep the wheels turning even if your agent isn't doing their job. I would definitely complain to their boss.
  • August 09 2014
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Pitt,

I am glad your agent finally communicated with you.  Unfortunately many agents do not realize this is a "service" business and communicating clearly with the client we represent should be our #1 priority as realtors.  As with the other agents who have contributed to this post, I hope you don't think this kind of poor communication it true of all realtors and would offer that by interviewing at least 3 agents before you choose one may help you find the best realtor for you.  

Also, checking reviews of agents and asking them to provide references for you to contact will boost your confidence that they are an open communicator.  Best of luck with you new search.
  • August 09 2014
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Unfortunately, our agent is also the owner/broker. Our deadline to terminate or extend the contingency period was yesterday. We submitted both a signed termination and extension form to him as required, by 2pm, even though the actual deadline was 11:59pm.

After not hearing from him by 9pm, we texted him to determine if the extension had been signed or not. We informed him in the text that if he'd prefer, we'd contact the listing agent directly. We had a response from him in 5 minutes that the extension had been signed! That seems to confirm our impression is that he knew it had been signed, and just sat on it without informing us promptly.

We had our decision made on the inspection response on Tuesday, and it was his idea to "give the sellers more time" (OUR 10 day time, mind you), before submitting our official written response. Again, since time is a valuable negotiating tool, we are perplexed as to why he wanted to cede that to the Seller.

As we became more irritated with the waiting, we informed him that we had promptly delivered any and all requests to the Listing agent within hours of their request. He said, "Well, you have to understand that they are very busy trying to sell their home, pack and prepare for their move." ????

We replied, "yes, we are aware. You are helping us BUY their home, remember? We also have to pack, as well as find new tenants to fill the remainder of the lease on the home we are currently renting."

His actions show that he has zero interests in our needs, so I agree with you Dan Tabit regarding bad agents representing only their own interests, not the principals in the deal. 
  • August 09 2014
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Your agent needs to do his/ her job. You might need to have a conversation with the agent and probably the broker too. Referrals and reviews are a big part of our business. If you let the agent know how his/ her bad service is going to affect your reviews then may be that will get them to work.

I am sorry that you are having a bad experience. I agree with my fellow agents though; please don't see all agents in bad light.
  • August 08 2014
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I would also say talk to your agent's broker. The likelihood is that the listing agent won't talk to you anyway. He/she represents the seller and has no reason to talk to you. It could be seen as undermining your agent so really not a great idea.
  • August 08 2014
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There is definitely some incorrect adage in the posting... All I can say is contact the broker directly or deal with someone in the office. last thing you want to do is back out on something you had your heart set on.
good luck on sealing the deal. sounds like you need to set your foot down with this agent, get me what I need or else.... da da da...
  • August 08 2014
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Pitt, 
That adage is only true of the bad agents, and the truth is they don't represent the seller they represent themselves.  
Each agent works for a managing broker.  If you don't get what you need in a timely manner, I'd call the office they work for and ask to speak to that person. Explain you are under a timeline and that your agent has disappeared.
Two things are possible, they don't know or know and don't want to say.  Contacting the listing agent for a specific "yes or no" answer is an option, but it carries a risk. Since they don't even pretend to represent you, they can answer and then inquire to your response and interest further.  The reason we have representation is to protect your interests.  If your agent isn't, the listing agent may protect the sellers interest at the expense of yours. Just be very careful.  
I'd suggest you call the agent and let them know you're dissatisfied and plan to call their managing broker or the listing agent if they don't respond by a set time frame. If they don't then follow up as suggested.  
Sorry for your struggles, please don't hold this bad experience against all agents, some of us do what we claim and do it well. 
  • August 08 2014
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I'm truly sorry you are having such a hard time. Have you tried talking with the broker (your agent's "boss")? I would start there first. That should solve your problem.

However, I can assure you that not all agents work for the seller. I always look out for the best interest of my clients whether they are the buyers or the sellers.

I hope you can get this resolved very quickly.
  • August 08 2014
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