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How to switch buying agent if I already worked with her for a while?

The agent was nice, and we get along well. But I feel she doesn't have much experience, although I think this is good enough for a beginner. We have already went to see almost 10 houses. She is the first agent I ever dealt with. Probably I am one of the first few customers of her, too. There is no contract yet. I don't want to hurt her feelings. What should I do? Is there a way to compensate her efforts? Please give me some advice.
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June 15 - Chicago
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Answers (18)

As a first time home buyer, the experience may seem rather difficult and grueling. 

Have you expressed any interest in any of the homes you've seen? Your Realtor should provide you with a CMA of the home to give you a better understanding of what has been selling in the neighborhood to similar homes to yours.

In today's market, it is just crazy for buyers. There are multiple offers on nearly everything and they sell quick. Maybe expand your territory if you can't find what you want in the area you are looking for.
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July 14
You should let her know that you are thinking about finding a new agent. -- She may be able to improve if you let her know specifically what you are frustrated about. -- If not, be sure to get a signed release if you signed a designated broker agreement. -- Good luck.  
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June 22
Honesty is the best policy.  Be honest with her, and explain the situation to her.  Loyalty is a great quality to have, but purchasing a home is one of the biggest purchases of your life, and you want to make sure you are being represented by a qualified professional.  There may even be another realtor in her office that is more experienced that can help her out and split the commission.  Either way, good luck with your purchase!
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June 19
Profile picture for zuser20140619104159424
Talk to the agent. Be kind, but be honest. Tell her that you are not that into her and thank her for her time. If you signed a buyers agreement with her, ask for a written release before you move on.
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June 19
I see this happen for a variety of reasons. It's not always experience, it can simply be personalities. A type A buyer typically will not do well with a type B agent. They may ultimately get a sale done, but the next time around the client finds someone new to work with.

My best suggestion is to talk with the agent and if you want to see that person receive some compensation for their time, have them refer you to the agent you would prefer to be working with. This may be uncomfortable, but in the end your first agent will appreciate your candidness and will learn from it. It will be harder on that agent to just never hear from you and find out later that you purchased something with someone else.

Best of luck! 
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June 19
I would have a conversation with her and voice your concerns. Maybe something can be worked out between you two. If not and you signed a buyers contract with her that would have to be terminated if you were going to make a switch. Id try to make it work with her first. 
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June 19
Unfortunately for the broker, this is not uncommon for the buyer to feel she/he knows more than the broker...and, it may very well be true!

Why not have a conversation and ask her to refer you to a more experienced agent?  This way you get what you want and she can still make some money on the time spent.  Win win!

Good luck!
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June 17
When you select a Realtor to help you find a home, you are hiring someone to do a job. How they go about that job is often a determining factor in whether they will be compensated for their efforts. If you have an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement, you have terms you can enforce to get the level of service you were expecting. Be kind please, sometimes Realtors and Consumers just aren't the right fit - just like the 10 homes you have viewed so far.

If you do not have an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement, you can shop for someone who is more aligned to your needs. Ask friends and family for a referral and be sure you interview the agents you are considering switching to. This is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, and you want to be sure you choose someone to represent you that has the skills, knowledge, and compatibility with you to make this an enjoyable and rewarding experience!
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June 16
Profile picture for TexRealEstate
Did you sign a Buyer's Representation Agreement with the agent? Hopefully not because bad, lazy real estate agents use them only to cover their butt, and good hard working real estate agents, who should have great relationships with their client/buyers, shouldn't need them. If you do, read thru it and make sure your not liable for anything you don't want to be responsible for, before telling your agent that your going to move on.
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June 16
There should be some understanding what her duties are and what you are supposed to do. If she is professional then the problem may not just be her. I suspect she is not the aggressive type urging you to make an offer to close the deal. If you like that type realtors then there are many to pick from.

They have their styles. Her job is to serve your needs and meet your goal. Most buyers I work know what they want and making offers on 5 or 10 homes is fine with me until we get a home.

You could contact her telling her that you are going to put the viewing off for awhile and contact her when you are ready.  

Personally a newer agent will spend more time than a busy agent.  

Sam Shueh
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June 15
I would first try to patch the relationship. Voice your concerns. If they cant be met, you will just have to move on. You dont need to do anything really if you didnt sign a contract. Out of respect though, I would call and explain why.
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June 15
I can understand how you feel, however I would advise you to listen to your gut feeling that is telling you to get another agent.

An experienced agent can save you several costly mistakes when buying a home. If you have not signed a buyer broker agreement with a starting and ending time frame, then you do not owe the agent anything for showing you some homes.  Be kind and upfront with her, so that shemay learn from this experience and grow her future business.

 I do not think it would be wise to obtain an other agent and start out by asking them to give your past agent you did not use a referral fee.

You are in the driver seat to find a good agent to work in your best interest.

I wish you the best!
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June 15
If you don't want to hurt her feelings, then keep working with her. Otherwise, there's nothing you can do that won't hurt her feelings.

One way to compensate her is to ask your next agent to pay her a referral fee. If they ask why, you can simply and honestly say, "We worked together for awhile but we aren't able to continue, and I'd like her to be compensated for her efforts.

It would be fine with me as an  agent, to pay a referral fee to another agent who helped a buyer get somewhat grounded on the market.

All the best,
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June 15
It can be a bit difficult for a 1st time buyer to get the 'feel' of agents and how the process works. As you mentioned, ask friends/family and coworkers for some agent names, but part of it is to get a good 'feel' for the agent and that can be just a touchy/feely kind of thing. They may or may not know what they are doing!
There are no guarantees in this business. I have been doing it for 28 yrs and we all have clients that do not buy or do not sell. We all waste some time. It is just part of the business. There is no need to compensate her, but your choice.
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June 15
Profile picture for zuser20140615100404406
@Wetdawgs,
Thanks for your suggestion. I requested info on a website like Zillow, and received emails from some real estate agents. I picked the one and replied. After a few visits, she knows my taste in general. But I feel that she doesn't have much experience on how houses are priced. She doesn't have much to say about how the market is going. I doubt whether she can negotiate into the best price for me. And I need to sell the house I buy in the future, so I hope I am doing the right investment. Her selection of houses is just OK but not very efficient. However, that may be reasonable since we've no contract yet. From her records, she indeed is a very beginner. The thing is that I am also a first time buyer, and actually just been to the states for 3 years. I don't want to risk my money just to give experience to both of us.

I expect to go to some agents that emailed me before, or recommended by friends (including her). But they have to have some experience. Now, I'm not completely ruling her out, but I think it is crazy not to have a choice before spending your huge amount of money.
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June 15
Purchasing property can be a major investment for most people.  You should work with someone you feel is providing you relevant information in a competent manner.   "Firing" someone is never easy, but it's apparent you wish to compensate her something for her time.   This is highly respectable of you and folks do this from time to time - often times as a result of choosing not to buy.   You can pay her a consulting fee.   This must be paid through her brokerage.   She probably will not be familiar with how to document it in accordance with her brokerages policy at this stage in her career.   Tell her you would like her to ask her broker to assist in putting together a fee-for-consulting agreement to document the payment of --------- for her time.  Her broker will be able to assist and it should be fairly easy. 
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June 15
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Welcome to Zillow.

I'm not an agent, but have bought and sold a number of personal residences.    Finding a good agent takes some work.  How did you chose this one?    Keeping a relationship working requires a lot of communication from both parties. Have the two of you discussed expectations, and how she's not meeting expectations?   Discussion of expectations is a something that you have to do with every agent so isn't something that is a flaw.

While you can certainly move on, how do you plan to select the next agent?   Do it carefully, interview a number before making a selection.  
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June 15
Thank her for her services and move on. In the end, if you feel that you need to make a switch, it is up to you and as long as you are truthful with your decision, I believe your agent will accept your request.
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June 15
 
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