How to Handle a Bad Agent?

We have just closed the sale on our house, which is good news.  However, our real estate agent acted in such a rude and unprofessional way that we feel the need to report her actions. What is the best way to do this? Contact the president of her real estate company? What about blogging? What sites are best to use? Any other options? We would be focusing on the factual aspects of her poor performance, nothing more. Thanks!
  • September 01 2011 - US
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Answers (27)

I am sorry to hear about your bad experience with the real estate agent. Being professional is a must in this business! Please don't let her actions steer you in the direction of thinking that all real estate agents are the same, we are definitely not.
I know you are angry, but reporting it to her Broker would be appropriate. As far as blogging and posting it on the internet, why stoop to the level of the person who was unprofessional and rude. When posting things on the internet since there are no "feelings" involved, some may take the information and turn it around to use against you. It's not worth the aggrevation.
Wishing you all the best.
  • June 08
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Profile picture for ngross13
I just had the worst experience ever at Baird and Warner in St. Charles. She texted me at midnight saying she wanted a showing the next day. I require twenty four hour notice to get the house in order. I texted her the next day saying I could be ready at 330. It was a grueling several hours of cleaning. We got in the car and left at appointment time. Thirty minutes later I called Lynn to make sure they had come thru and she told me the clients had come to my home and no one was here to let them in.She proceeded to tell me that I was supposed to do the showing as she was busy........WHAT???? I was totally shocked...why would I be showing my own home because she didn't do her job in scheduling her time and the buyers. The couple came back to my house and I took them on the tour explaining all the work that had been done...over an hour of them going up and down and opening drawers and cabinets in front of me...the loved it, wanted to buy it and wanted to come to an agreement right then and there. One small problem, my broker was unavailable to write up the contract..they had a lot of questions about the neighborhood so we went for the tour in their car,,,they loved it...Well bad went to worse and over the course of the next week I was told she was now a dual agent and that I could negotiate my own deal...she was sending my private emails to the buyer and his too me.without either of our permission..There was one email he sent to her that was so offensive to me that I finally got the managing broker involved...It was clear that she wasn't doing anything either as I was now getting direct offers from the client. I walked away from the deal and from Baird and Warner. They want you to show your own home, negotiate a contract and pay them..fifteen grand in broker commission for this ..GET REAL 
  • June 08
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Profile picture for jeffreyscottadcock
Your whole commission group are in this together ,as far as I can see nothing gets done and it seems the CEO of this real estate crooked agency is no other than **** homself
  • May 11
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Profile picture for zuser20150325202921582
My name is Ashley and I was involved with a realtor who works at sunset her name is Helen Thompson and she is nothing but a liar..I'm currently looking for a home as of 4/13/2015 and contacted Helen in regards of a house that is listed on zillow and she seems nice but after showing me the place the next day I contacted her and she told me the house had already been rented so I said ok thank you and she told me good luck.. I felt a certain vibe after we hung up the phone so I waited 3 days and called her that Monday and I had my mom call her and ask her about the same place and she told her it's still available so I called her and hour later and she proceeded to tell me the house has been taken even though it hasn't she is very disrespectful and a liar..so I just wanted to warn all who may come across Helen Thompson at sunset realty in bright waters NY
  • April 13
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Profile picture for MaryGrimmer
I have had so many bad experiences with agents, the good ones are the very rare pleasures. Most recently I have been trying to sell my beautiful house in st Pete. The most recent agent, Kevin Patelle, from Smith & Co, refused to show me a written offer from the tenants, instead laughing at it. I told him not to laugh at it but make a counter very close to the offer. I also asked him again to show me the offer (that's the law). He did not. I asked him the name of the tenants agent who submitted the offer-he refused to give me the name of the other agent. Then he pushed me to get the tenants out and said he would sell the house immediately w/o them. I did that, but I warned him before that he might find a very big empty house harder to sell and more taxing and scary than a house with a family in it. He insisted. As soon as they were out he lowered the price to close to what they had offered and then---he split!!! He took my key and the lock box and bolted. Then he called me wanting to show the house after he had withdrawn! It took me about 10 days to get the key back. He did not return calls or emails. I tried to call his broker, Amy ,but she did not return my calls. I am out if state and this was the only key - finally I got a local friend who is an agent to get the key. At the Smith Office, Patelle called me names like "wack job"! He has called me these names to many other local agents! He has also lied and told them he had offers for me I turned down!!!!! He has slandered me and I have to laugh because all these agents pop in this thread and advise calling the broker! Hah! My friend told me that the st Pete agents are so plentiful they have become lawless, they view themselves as having no boss. She also told me that several big name agencies locally are paid by starting agents to work there! So who can control them? My experience in St Pete has been far and away the worst. But this is the only job a prospective "employee" has to show no resume!
  • October 09 2014
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Profile picture for ramigo
I have had a misfortune of using the services of a real estate agent from the Madiom, MS Coldwell Banker office. My agent refused to show us property in certain areas due to the racial makeup of the schools, and declined to show us homes in another area I became interested in because "we had already seen too many homes!" She did not present an offer I had made on a property, based on my research, because "it would offend the sellers." She didn't want to present the offer on the house house that we purchased because it was too low. When she finally did, the offer was accepted. She, unilaterally, granted permission to the sellers to vacate after closing. The repairs that we had agreed upon have still not be done. The attorney that the Coldwell Banker agent assigned to represent us, without consulting with me, also represented the seller, without any disclosures, now does not return my calls to get the problem fixed. I have called the Coldwell Banker Broker, and her response has been that everything the agent could have done has been done. There is more to say, but nobody cares. They got their commissions and they are gone. Instead I have been portrayed as a difficult person, while all I have asked for is what is ethically and legally owed to me. Now I'm on my own to hire another attorney if I need to make things right. And I believe I will just so that someone else in the future may be spared the same problems by engaging the same agent and Coldwell Banker Madison MS. Something else I can do is to spread the news of this experience as a service to others. And I will.
  • October 04 2014
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Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with a real estate professional.  Agents are licensed so I would suggest calling your state agency...in addition if this person is a Realtor you can turn them into the local Realtor board.   Another option is to notify the agents managing agent, if they have one...best of luck
  • September 16 2014
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Profile picture for butterpuff
If you feel that the rude and unprofessional behavior was an attempt to make you lower your sale price or rush into selling the house, I would report this person to the Consumer Protection Services of your state.  I an not sure what the name of the state department would be, but in my state (CT) it is the Consumer Protection Services/Real Estate division.  You might google things like "real estate commisoin", "real estate fraud", "consumer protection", etc for your state.  There are also Federal Consumer Protection services you can contact.
If you think the person was just a nasty one, then I would report it to the real estate agency and I would tell the agency that I will never do  business with them again.
  • September 16 2014
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Profile picture for smyrna37167
We also had a very bad experience, in our case, we had to pay a fee, here is what happened:
We listed our house through Jessica King at Exit realty, and our experience with her didn't live up to our expectations of trust and professionalism. Within 10 days of being listed, we had a problem with our AC unit and in about same time, we noticed a mysterious water leak through garage walls. A/C specialist told us that the repair cost will be a couple thousand dollars, and suggested replacing the unit instead since its 11 years old. With unexpected high repair costs and potentially a new replacement ($5000 new A/C unit) on mind, I communicated Jessica that we wanted to take our house off market. Since she had 10 days invested in our home, we offered either paying her expenses for the 10 days OR working with her in our next home purchase which most likely to happen within 6-7 months. However, she wanted get reimbursed for $500 AND offered us that she pays us back the $500, if we work with her on our new home purchase, it also came with a exclusive buyer representation agreement for a whole year. On top of that, she included a clause that if our current home sold within listing or carry over period commission is still owed. Let me get this straight, We are requesting to take our house off the market due to unexpected high repair costs, instead we are getting slapped with $500 for 10 days and she still get a commission if the house is sold?! Quite frankly, I wanted to pay her expenses, however, $500 was somewhat greedy for the size and listing price of the house (1300 sqft, 135K) and not only that even if we pay that requested amount, she is still getting additional commission if the house is sold, which made me feel like we were being taken advantage of. I asked her if she can negotiate the price for mutual happiness of both parties, but she was adamant that she spent $500 for listing and advertising of my house and I came to a realization that she is not going to budge until her desires have been satisfied. So, I reached out to Jeremy Flax, her manager at Exit Realty, and he did offer that he would to talk to her. Couple days later, I received an Email from Jessica that she will charge us $400 instead. Even though it was still high, we paid that amount so we can close the chapter of this unfair incident; we really didn't want to work with her anymore. During our first meeting, she told us that she is not in it for the money because she really loves her job and helping people. However, now that we are in this situation I find that hard to believe; during crises people do really show their true colors.
  • September 15 2014
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Profile picture for butterpuff

This reply is to user0866653.  Thank you for your comment  --  you have stated the case succinctly and accurately.  If it were not for the beautiful homes that we owners maintain and pour money into, the real estate agents would have no business..  It appears that many agents feel they are immune from impunity for just the reasons that the agents replying to this post are saying:  "do not sling mud".  Do you really believe that telling the truth about the deceptive, devious, rude, unethical and illegal practices of many real estate agents is the same as "slinging mud"????  EVERYONE knows that the real estate business today is froth with corruption -- end of story!!!
BY THE WAY, YOU SHOULD SEND A 4 OR 5 LINE COMPLAINT TO YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION to the attention of the STATE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION.
 

  • April 12 2014
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It's troubling when we as agents hear so many negative comments about others in our profession. The phrase "a few rotten grapes spoils the bunch" springs to mind. In a field so dependent on good customer services it always amazes me the agents that are successful despite their inability to provide just that. I agree you should contact the broker and possibly follow up the the local Board of Realtors if you believe the agent behaved in an unethical way. Congratulations on your sale and best of luck in your future endeavors!
  • April 12 2014
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience. You may want to contact the agent's broker and if that does not work you can contact the grievance committee at the  Realtor Association the agent belongs to and they will let you know if you have a valid complaint and how to proceed. Good Luck!
  • April 11 2014
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Profile picture for user0866653
What some agents forget is that my property is the sole reason that there is anyone at the table. You may have built a house of cards and a structured priesthood, but without me and my property, there is nothing. 
  • April 11 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"be a little careful about "slinging mud" publicly at someone unless you have evidence or a judgement to prove things you say"

While Mr. Crane is right about that specific, I agree that his larger characterization is incomplete. If what you say or write is nasty, but true you can say what you want even if your statements cause damage their professional reputation. In most cases, the absolute defense to libel and slander is the truth.

Some people and organizations think libel law should be changed so that consumers are no longer allowed to post negative reviews or opinions. Thankfullly , in most states, those groups have failed. However, they have had some success in stopping people from disseminating negative, but truthful information in Massachusetts

The rules for posting negative information about a professional are pretty simple. Don't say anything online or in public that you cannot prove to a judge in black an white as fact. Stick to statements of fact and clearly label any statements of opinion as "my personal opinion based on____". Do not be afraid to tell the truth even if negative. 

For libel/slander your exposure for lawsuit lies clearly on the side of truth...except in Massachusetts of course where everyone is perfect.
  • March 13 2014
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Profile picture for user6064703
I don't think Doug's characterization of the potential for libel is correct.  In a libel case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, not the defendant.  As long as you stick to the facts of what was said or done, as you mentioned, you do not need to have proof that those facts are actually true.  Rather, the agent would need proof that those facts were not true in court.
  • March 13 2014
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Profile picture for butterpuff
I recently had a very similar experience with a bad agent when selling my home.  Unfortunately, I did not know about all these sites like Zillow and Trulia  else I would have immediately dismissed the agent (I thought that once I signed the agent agreement, I would be locked in --- nor was my lawyer helpful at all in guiding me or offering advice; it turned out that his wife as also a real estate agent !!!)  I am now in the process of documenting my experiences with the agent involved.  I will send a complaint to my local board of realtors -- however, I am not hopeful that they will do anything for me.  So I am prepared to make a complaint to the state government agencies as well as the United States Federal government agencies.
  • March 13 2014
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I agree with Chris Web here...

a letter to the agent manager and/or broker is the way to go. be a little careful about "slinging mud" publicly at someone unless you have evidence or a judgement to prove things you say or the agent may have every right (if things your slinging are personal and unsubstantiated) to actually file suit against you for it! The agent would have this "public" proof (you may not have the evidence to back it up) when your in front of a judge. The damages could be very real.
  • March 13 2014
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Sorry you had an unpleasant experience.
  • January 12 2012
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Congratulations on your sale and sorry to hear about your bad experience.

 

I would contact the office manager or Designate Broker to file my complaint. Did you suffer any monetary damage due to the agent's action? I would post a review on Zillow to share your experience with this agent.

 

Good luck,

  • January 11 2012
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If they performed their job representing you as a fiduciary, the most you can do is complain to the Designated Broker of their company. The DB is the one in charge of the agents and how they perform their duties, as well as the one who hires/fires.

Going to the real estate board is pointless unless they did not perform their duties properly and legally, and as a result you have damages. Being rude is not a punishable offence.

Personally I'd refrain from blogging about it. Perhaps the agent had a particularly bad experience with the transaction as well, and it may not be typical of them. Slinging mud could ruin a career. A review on Zillow would be pretty acceptable in my opinion. That way the agent has a chance to respond.

Sorry you had a bad experience, but congrats on your sale!
  • September 01 2011
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Congrats again on your sale and I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad agent. Unless your agent did something that "harmed" you financially or materially, you'll be hard-pressed to get any real remedy other than an apology from their broker of record.
Sadly, Good Customer Service isn't necessarily a requirement with real estate licensees. As long as they performed their fiduciary responsibilities and abided by the Local, State, and National Association of REALTORs Ethics Rules (if your agent was a REALTOR and not just a licensed real estate agent) then there's really nothing you can do to recover any damages.
Ratings on public websites are worth a try. As you'll see many agents on Zillow have Customer Service Rankings and comments. :) Just be sure to offer informaton you can support and not to "attack" as that can sometimes cause messy court "issues." :) Congrats again on your sale.
  • September 01 2011
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You can speak to the broker or record at his or her brokerage, or the manager there as well.  I would not take to blogging - but you could review them here on Zillow, or if there are serious implications, take it to the state real estate board.
  • September 01 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Congratulations on the sale of your house.

You can write a review of the agent on Zillow if the agent has a profile on Zillow.  
  • September 01 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I would contact the agents broker in writing first. If you feel that the agent was really bad, you can contact their real estate franchise office or even file a complaint with the RE licensing commission or their local Board of Realtors.

I do not know where you are, but if you post the county and state I can try to get you the licensing agency in your area to contact or information to contact the local Board. Bad agents hurt consumers and professionals alike. If your agent was bad, I believe that you are doing a public service by reporting her. Also, remember that many sites now have reviews that you can leave online sites like Zillow, ratemyagent.com and yelp are a way to factually tell others about your experience with this agent.
  • September 01 2011
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I agree with the other two responses.  An additional thought would be to file a complaint with the state association of Realtors if your agent is a licensed Realtor. 
  • September 01 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
I am sorry to hear that your relationship with your agent was so negative. 
I would simply call her broker in charge and speak to him/her. I wish you had done that during the transaction because you could have requested someone else. I would also write her a letter describing in point form what the issues were. 

Do you believe she cost you money?
  • September 01 2011
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Thanks for your questions and sorry for your troubles "David".

First you would want to make sure you have proof, i.e. e-mails, texts, VMs if you are going to go to a superior and accuse somebody of something.  Once you have the proof organized, write a letter/e-mail describing the inappropriate actions and how it negatively affected you and the transaction.  Then take/send info to her broker, the manger/owner if applicable above the broker, the local Realtor Association board.  As for social media, you can review most agents on Zillow.com

Keep in mind that once it is out there on social media one can not take it back so make sure you write it when you are not emotional and it MUST be factual and able to be proven.

Again, sorry for the bad experience with one of my fellow agents.

Good luck and enjoy your new home!
  • September 01 2011
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