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FSBO with crappy agent

I bought a home 3 years ago, and with my girlfriend now in the market I recommended my realtor.

He hasn't been very quick with responses or setting up appointments.  I have been doing much of the work that he did for me in the past -- searching for homes to see, coming up with ideas, checking up on new properties on the market.  In the past he had made recommendations on properties to see -- he still does offer some expertise of regulations, home condition, areas..but overall he has mostly been the guy I call to open the door and let me into houses. Over the course of 2 months, he has shown us 5 or 6 houses, but we have taken it upon ourselves to visit 4 or 5 open houses ourselves because of how difficult it has been to get out to view places with him.

There is a FSBO I want to visit this week. 

a) Should I try to get my realtor involved?  I'm afraid it will slow things down. 
b) I did not sign any realtor agreement -- is there any rule of thumb on houses shown, or time a realtor has worked on finding you a home that would entitle him to a commission?
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September 18 2012 - US
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for sunnyview
If the agent you referred to your girlfriend is not responsive, slow or is taking your girlfreind for granted as a client, I would find someone else. I would not take him to see the FSBO period and would consider breaking ties.

There are too many good agents who will work hard for your girlfriend to stick with one that is not doing the job. Send this agent an email telling him that you are not happy since you have had to do the legwork that is his professional responsibility.

If your girlfriend did not sign a representation agreement with him, she is free to go somewhere else or to stipulate that she will agree to use him if she decides to buy one of the 5 houses that he actually showed you. Include a list of them in your email to him to cover yourself.
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September 19 2012
First of all have a talk with the buyer agent and explain to him what you expect of him and what you are receiving.  That gap needs to be breached or else you may need to look for another agent, which you could, since you have not signed a buyer agency agreement.  Secondly, once that is sorted out, if you still want to continue with him, visit the FSBO, your buyer agent's expertise in buying properties and negotiating contracts still has a value. 
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September 19 2012
I agree with the above posts - have a conversation with your realtor if you have had good service from him and express your concern.  I would give him a chance to keep your business, and if it doesn't improve you can use someone else.

Now - as far as working with a FSBO.  I have done deals as a FSBO buyer and seller many years ago.  Over the years I then became a real estate agent.  While it can be done - a Realtor watches out for your best interest and guides you through what is now what is a very complicated process with lots of paperwork that is has lots of potential to hurt you.  Buying a home is one of the biggest financial investments most people make and they don't do it often enough to be proficient.  Realtors can also keep deals together. Recently I was telling my wife (also a Realtor) that if it wasn't for Realtors most deals probably wouldn't close.

Also - recently I bought a home in another state.  That's state's process, procedures, paperwork was so different it was amazing.  I used a local buyers agent to represent me and she did a great job.  I could have probably gone at it myself, but would have been at a great disadvantage.
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September 18 2012
Over the past two months, you've had ample opportunity to tell your agent how you feel about his service.

Rather than worrying about cutting him in on this FSBO, I suggest that you decide whether you want to continue working with him at all. If not, then you should simply tell him - and find a new agent. If you would want to work with him if he was the same agent as a few years ago, then you should tell him what your expectations and needs are, and ask him for a commitment to deliver.

All the best,
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September 18 2012
If he is someone that worked well with you in the past and you have at least a bit of loyalty to, I would consider laying it all out on the table. Tell him that you are not pleased with his service, tell him what you do expect, and ask him if he wants a chance to keep your business or if he is simply too busy. If he can't provide a commitment to improve....and keep it, cut him loose.
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September 18 2012
While I always recommend a Realtor (I am one of course) because of their ability to use their experience and area knowledge in the negotiations as well as having the ability to advise you on a non-emotional basis.  Purchases of any product, even a home, is said to be 75% or more on emotion.  If someone it there who has been trained on being objective andpointing out the positives and negatives of a property (looking out for your interests) it can be very beneficial.

Now with that said, your Realtor seemsto be having issues.  It is good that you have not signed a buyers agreement and it seems like you could go elsewhere with your business, your history with this Realtor deserves at least a frank conversation with him/her.  If he/she knows that you are disappointed, you may see a turn-around, at least maybe one for this FSBO.  The considerations against this are that maybe you have had this type of conversation with your Realtor already and maybe the FSBO doesn't not want to deal with a Realtor (requiring you to potentially takecare of your own Realtor out of your pocket).  You need to check this out, make your decision with respect to your current Realtor, and maybe in the end look for someone new.  Good luck with the FSBO -- they can be tricky.
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September 18 2012
It could be many things. Realtors do Burn Out on this job because it is not fun or easy as many want to believe. It's hard and frustrating and there are many dead end roads after dealing with buyers that disappear. You can feel it is a waste of time sometimes. If your agent is like this there might be no way to kick start them back to life. The Realtor defibrillator sometimes won't work and your only option is to find new blood. Sometimes the Realtor just does not fully understand the importance or the urgency and sometimes there is no clear direction. I recall, not long ago, a couple that just wanted to see anything and everything. I felt overwhelmed because I try to find properties that are close to the wish list the buyers have. These folks like everything and would show me a list of homes they found they wanted to see. It could be 30-40 and one day we saw 25 homes - I was exhausted and they were no closer to narrowing down the search. The next day we saw 20 homes and they finally focused in on one and we close on it Friday. 45 homes in 2 days --- top that somebody!

Let me ask, does your agent seem like they care? Are they easy to find and return calls? Do you give them a clear direction or is hurrying to find a house the most important thing? You need to decide and you need to make sure the agent understands your concerns, if nothing improves soon then it might be time to move on. This is exactly why a buyer should NEVER sign a buyer broker agency agreement that locks them into an agent (actually it locks them into a company and not a specific agent in the company, but they will never tell you that bit of truth).

Tim
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September 18 2012
 
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