Profile picture for TomTomClubber

My Realtor is not available to show me some homes, why isn't it OK to use another ?

My relative is too busy to show me homes and I hate to bother her when she's so busy, I know there are Realtors out there who have nothing else to do. The problem I am having is that Realtors don't want to show me homes.
  • August 31 2010 - Modesto
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Answers (43)

Profile picture for sunnyview
It is not ok to ask other agent to spend their time showing you houses so that your relative agent can sit on their behind and collect a buyer's agent commission once you find a house.

You obviously have a full time relative and sometimes agent right now. That is not good. My advice is don't hire family on commission jobs or if you are unwilling to expect them to give you the same consideration as an unrelated client. Sounds like you have a choice to make.
  • August 29 2014
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There are several reasons why you may find resistance from a Realtor who is not representing you. First, the Realtor you are calling is most likely respecting the relationship you have with your current Realtor. Second, a Realtor may not want to run out and show a home to a person they do not know as a matter of personal safety. Remember, if you call a Realtor you do not know, you too are a stranger to him/her. Third, buyers sometimes do not understand that we as Realtors are independent contractors.  We are compensated once an escrow closes escrow with a client they are representing.  It takes time and effort (not to mention a financial commitment) to work with a buyer...can you imagine a professional in any field  providing a service (like preparing your tax returns, taking  an x-ray, filling a cavity, styling your hair, representing you in court) for free just because they have an opening in their schedule and knowing that someone else will be compensated for it?  I'm sure you would agree that customers generally do not ask that of any other profession.  Realtors want to dedicate their skills and knowledge with the clients that have committed to working with them.  If your current Realtor (relative or not) is not willing to take the time and skill it takes to find homes that meet your requirements, find out the status of each property by calling the listing agent for details beforehand, make appointments with all the sellers and then show you the homes that are at times located all across town, then this may be an indication of what is to come once it is time to negotiate the terms, follow the escrow, etc.  Sounds like you may need to have a heart to heart with your relative Realtor and/or find yourself another professional.  Good luck.
  • August 29 2014
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If you Realtor is "too busy to show you property" then your Realtor is too busy to help you with the purchase.
You need a good "Buyers Agent" to work with who can dedicate the time it takes to help you succeed in your home purchase. Not all Realtors work with buyers, some prefer to stick with listings only so be sure you ask about this before you commit to working with one.
Also you might check the association, that provides additional education to Realtors when they want to further their education in Buyer Agency, it's called REBAC. It will list Realtors who have taken those steps and specialize in Buyers. That is located online at www.rebac.net
  • August 18 2014
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Profile picture for bmbutler
Gordon is exactly right.  I personally don't believe you should use a family member to buy or sell because things just like this happen.  You end up not being the priority which  exactly what has happened to you.

You shouldn't be worrying about bothering any agent to get him/her to show you houses to buy.  That is their job!
  • October 29 2010
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I'm sure it tough to let go of a family member but you need to work with a buyers agent who is ready and willing to work  for you. If you have signed an agreement with your relative, just ask her to release you from the contract. No Realtor I know of would not honor such a request. After all this is a major buying decision of your lifetime and requires dedication on the part of all parties involved. Once you get the release from her, then interview a few agents and find one you like and sign a buyers agency agreement with them. A buyers agency agreement assures you the agent is working only for you. If you do not have an agreement in place, the law says agents are actually working for the seller, don't believe anything otherwise. The other thing you must have is a pre-approval from a lender. Even in todays market most agents will not want to waste theirs or your time showing you homes that you can't qualify for. I do not work in your area but work do have contacts throughout the country and would be happy to refer a good agent to you or lender as well. Wish you the best - Gordon

  • October 29 2010
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team

This is a great topic; however, the original post is 2 months old. It may be better to start a new discussion as the op has probably moved on by now. And you can get your picture at the top of the discussion every time someone opens it!

The date it was posted is in the lower left hand corner of the original post.

  • October 29 2010
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There are so many wonderful contributions on this post. Thank you for taking the time to ask.

I agree with many of the comments. If your Agent/Relative who agreed to help you with making the biggest purchase of your life, is too busy, then you may want to choose another Agent. Let your Agent/Relative know that you don't feel you are getting the service you expect. This is the problem sometimes with family, they may take you for granted with business. You are a consumer who is making a purchase, a very important purchase. If they don't have time to work with you, then get a different Agent. The comment about Realtors having nothing else to do is interesting. Agents are typically trying not to step on any toes. If you explained you have an Agent, then they expect them to help you. Imagine going to work as a Teacher only to find out someone else had a contract for payment and you taught the class for no pay. I am not sure if there are Realtors out there who have "nothing to do". I'm sure any Agent would love to assist you and make time for you! However, they are going to work, just like you. If your Relative/Agent is too busy, then find someone who will make time for you.
  • October 29 2010
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If you have committed to working with this agent and signed a Buyer's Broker Agreement, unless terminated, you have to honor the agreement.
  • October 28 2010
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Profile picture for JarydRuffner
We only get paid if you buy with us. I have no interest in showing homes to buyers all day if they don't intend to purchase with me when it becomes time for them to make an offer. It costs us time, energy and money to show houses and we have bills just like everybody else in the world. Sometimes, the listing agent will allow you access as their obligation is to the seller to get the home sold. If you go this route, disclose up front that you have an agent and have your agent setup the appointments to view with the listing agents. Don't let the listing agent attempt to convince you to write the offer with them. If you started your home search with your relative, it is only right to allow them to be compensated for their time involved.
  • October 28 2010
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The question is who do you plan on using when you are ready to submit an offer on a home?  If the answer is your relative, then it's not fair to use another Realtor with no intention of doing business with them

If your relative is truly too busy to help you, the right thing to do would be for her to refer you to someone else and get a referral fee. 
  • October 28 2010
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I agree with Mike Malina's response. The actual listing agent should be asked for a viewing- their job is to promote the property to all interested parties. Bring your relative's business card, as well, and advise your relative ASAP. Best to keep them informed in case they are contacted by the other agent.
  • October 28 2010
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If your Realtor-family or not-is too busy to show you homes, I doubt the sale process will go well.
  • October 26 2010
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Before calling another agent you should have a open conversation with your relative and set expectations.
  • October 26 2010
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It's simple. Real Estate Agents don't get paid until our clients close escrow. They spend their own money (on fuel, paper, in, help and more) and time and do not realize a paycheck until all is said and done. Meaning, unless they are the agent writing the offer, they simply will not get paid for their services. Many don't necessarily understand that agents are paid commission and don't receive a regular paycheck. 

One option would be to have your relative refer you to an agent that has time to help. I'll leave it up to your relative to explain this possibility.

I hope this helps you understand.  Agents are not trying to be difficult, they just trying to earn a living like you.

All the best,

Rocky

  • October 26 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
If you plan to use your relative to save money on the commission or to put money in her pocket, then you shouldn't waste other agents time showing you property. Finding a realtor when you don't already have one is easy, it's asking one to work for free that creates the issues.
  • September 02 2010
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Go see the homes on your own by asking the listing agent to assist you.  If the listing agent asks if you are working with an agent, just explain the situation.
  • September 02 2010
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Hi Tom,

I am totally agree with Amy Sullivan's answer to your question.

If your relative is so busy, just ask her, is she can refer some one else, who is not as busy, as she is.

So you will not be in an uncomfortable situation with your relative.
  • September 01 2010
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If you are working with a relative, I know from experience that can be difficult on both sides. However, I also had a relative who did not start out using me, which of course really annoyed me, but when I proved my committment to them as clients and family by doing more than the other agent (friend of the significant other) then I got their business, made the effort, listened to their needs and wants, found them the home, and I made sure that they were kept informed of the progress and what was required, and in turn they were easy clients to work with and are now happy homeowners pleased with the deal they got- and I got my full commission.

I think you need to have a talk with your relative and find out if they are really able to work for you and if not, find another agent. But as many others have said here, no one wants to work for free. If you do work with another agent and they find you the home you want to buy, respect them and the work they have done and let them see the deal all the way through - don't drop them and have your relative just write up the deal without having done any of the other work. It's very disrespectful to the agent who did do the legwork.
  • September 01 2010
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Most agents are willing and ready in this market to show homes provided the customer is willing to show some level of loyalty to the agent they are working with and are serious buyers, not tire kickers. No agent wants to spend a day showing properties only to have the customer go to another agent to draw up the contract. There is more to showing properties than hopping in an agent's car and driving from house to house. That agent is responsible for qualifing the customer, searching for properties they feel would best suit them and arranging showings including scheduling appointments. You need to respect their time and effort. Remember they don't get paid until they close a transaction. You need to decide who you want to work with. Maybe your relative is not comfortable representing a family member hence he/she is too busy to show property. You may want to consider representation outside the family to avoid possible future conflict.

  • September 01 2010
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team
Forrest - see Zillow's policy on spamming.
  • September 01 2010
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This is easy. You left out some minor details (smile). If a Realtor, other than your relative, shows you the home you want to purchase, are you going to use said Realtor as your representative? If not, that is your problem. No one wants to work for free. However, you want a Realtor who is willing to work for you and when you do, stick with that Realtor.

Good Luck!

Forrest E. Heath
Broker Associate
PMZ Real Estate
[contact info removed by moderator]
Serving California Home Buyer's and Seller's since 1988.

  • September 01 2010
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team
Working with a relative should have some perks IMHO. I wouldn't want to show my face around the rest of the family if a did a bad job representing a relative. I've flown to another city on my own dime to help family in the homebuying search. While I couldn't show them houses, I could ask the "right" questions and be more candid in my opinions.
  • September 01 2010
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I think when working with a relative its even more important to communicate your needs and expectations.  So my advice is to ask for a meeting.  Tell her your  home buying time line then set up to look at homes based on that criteria.  If you are pre approved and you are ready to buy now there is no reason why your relative shouldn't set up homes to view for you in a timely manner.  If your still not getting service, I would just call and tell her that you are setting up appointments to view with another agent and really sorry but you just can't wait any longer.  Sometimes you just have to look after # 1. 
  • August 31 2010
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You need to make your expectations clear with your relative. If she understands how often or how quickly you want to preview homes - then she'll be able to meet your expectations. And if after given your clear expectations - she doesn't perform, then you can clearly communicate why you would like to work with someone else.

Don't assume you are bothering her or that she is too busy if she is being compensated. She should be able to schedule a time with you to preview homes...but again, you will need to communicate with her to talk about her availability and yours.

P.S. NO Realtor is sitting out there with nothing else to do - and just hoping to waste time showing people homes if they aren't going to get compensated for it.
  • August 31 2010
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team
I'm sure your relative/Realtor won't be too busy to get paid on the deal, so he/she shouldn't be too busy to show you homes.

However, we are making a few asumptions. Is your relative a full time Realtor? Is the area you are looking in their area of expertise? Does your relative expect to get paid even if he/she doesn't show you the property? Are you being compensated from your relative's commission and therefore, don't want another Realtor to get the commission? And if that's the case, how important is it to your relative to work for a split commission w/you?

The details in this situation could make all the difference.
  • August 31 2010
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Even if the Realtor is your relative, this should be a business relationship if it is going to work at all.  I suggest to give your relative a few choices of dates to view the properties.  If he/she cannot show the properties on the dates you have given, ask when can they be seen.  If your relative cannot find the time, I suggest that you start interviewing other agents.  As I said, business is business.  By the way did you signed a buyer agency agreement with your relative already?
  • August 31 2010
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well, are they always too busy, or just one or two specific times that you want to look at homes?

realistically, any busy agent can't just drop everything and open a home whenever the phone rings, but should be able to find a time in the next day or two to show you homes.
  • August 31 2010
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This is a perfect reason why you should never do business with relatives...because when they can't or don't do a good job, you do not want to rock the boat with the family...instead you go waste someone else's time.

Will your relative have time to evaluate the house? write the contract? go to inspections?

....or does she only have time to pick up the paycheck?


Eve in Orlando
  • August 31 2010
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If you are not getting the level of service that you desire, interview other agents.  Keep in mind there are agent teams out there.  This might solve your problem.  It is nice to have multiple agents at your disposal if yours is busy.  Most agents also have another person in their office who will cover for them if they are too busy.  
  • August 31 2010
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Unfortunately this is a tough one because your Family is involved. But, I would have to agree with some of the other replies here. If you both cannot communicate your needs regarding finding a house, it may be time to interview other agents.
  • August 31 2010
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