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What constitutes a "timely response" from real estate agents?

My agreement with my buyers agent says that she should respond in a "timely manner" to me.  I asked her over ten days ago to draft a contract on a house I found over a month ago and she still has not begun.  Also, she does not work weekends and does not respond to me sometimes for over 72 hours (her excuse is always some engagements she had that has nothing to do with work--i.e. friends, parties, etc).  She knows I am in a rush to buy a property because I will be leaving town.  Is this normal turn-around time, or is she not fulfilling her responsibility towards me?  How do I get out of this agreement I signed with her and find someone who is on the ball and serious about getting their clients the houses they want?
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July 15 2012 - Nashville
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Answers (21)

I absolutely would fire their a**. Your agreement is technically with the Real Estate company. Call the office and speak with the broker. Ask them to work with another agent. I'm sure you will get much further much faster.  
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October 19 2013
Wow...is the property still available to purchase?  Sounds like to me you need to get another agent to represent you with your purchase.  Anyone's definition of "timely manner" is certain not that timeframe.  It would be unacceptable to me.  I would be released from that contract immediately.  I hhope your home is still available.
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October 06 2013
Being an agent is a 24 hour job. I have clients that are bi-costal and they expect to get me on the phone or via email every time, all the time. Whenever I receive an inquiry from a potential client from one of my listings or I have a client that wants to sell their property I response within ten minutes but usually much faster. If I'm in a meeting I'll send a text or email. There's no excuse to keep a client waiting hours especially not 72 hours. 
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October 06 2013

The Nashville market is hot right now....inventory is shrinking fast. Having an agent with just as much enthusiasm and excitement as you have is a must., no matter the price of the property. Real estate doesn't stop selling just because its the weekend. 

 

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May 13 2013
All buyer's agents are employed by the buyer to handle their questions and needs concerning real estate in a timely manner.  I generally stipulate my hours of work before ever signing a contract, and promise to contact you back within 24 hours if it is a day off or I am out of town.  If I am unable to assist in a timely manner (ex. weeklong vacation) I would have put you in touch with another agent to assist you in my absense.  I don't agree with the working 24/7 mindset as an agent, as my family time is essential to my well-being, but I do understand the time-sensetivity associated with many real estate transactions.

I'm sorry to hear you had to deal with this.  I hope all ended well!
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May 06 2013
Profile picture for tj44
I am in a similar position to you. I want to buy a building lot and since they aare so cheap, realtors simply look at the small commission and say no way! So I have ended up making an offer thru the listing agent which is not a very good solution but thats pretty much the only option for me..
See if you can terminate the contract and make an offer thru the listing agent. Be aware tho, an agent that double ends (is both listing and selling agent) will have to walk a fine line between the sellers interests and yours.. They are supposed to be "fair" to you (not that it means much, as I am finding out myself).. I would also hire a good real estate lawyer to protect your interests & have him/her look over the contract first & go over any questions you have.. Your lawyer will give you straight answers, a double ending realtor will be very obtuse in his/her answers..
Best of luck..
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May 06 2013
I'm sorry your agent is not responsive to your needs. If a client wants to make an offer on a property it should be done on the same day you request it!
I'm not sure of the Tennessee contract legalities, but the agent's boss will certainly want to know that your agent has not submitted an offer you requested a month ago.

Be sure to interview your next agent and communicate your needs- response time, preferred method of contact etc.
I've never heard of an agent who doesn't put in some time on weekends.

Best wishes.
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February 25 2013
This sounds like an awful situation.  You may want to call the broker of the office and ask him to be transferred to another agent.  Buyers' Representation agreements vary state to state, but the Tennessee Buyer Rep says that you are under contract with the brokerage firm, and possibly a specific designated agent.  Meaning that the broker will most likely refer you to another agent in his or her office, who will be more diligent.  This is a disappointing story.  Most full time agents are much more professional than this.  I am so sorry to hear of your situation.
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February 24 2013
OUCH! You need a different agent!  Maybe she doesn't need your business, but most agents I know do - especially in this market!!! A responsible agent would get to work that SAME DAY if you told him/her to draft an offer, and would have it in the other agent's hands within 24 hours. My advice is to talk to a few other agents.  I think you will be shocked at how under-served you are. I hope this helps!
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November 19 2012
Hi!

OUCH!

You need a different agent!  Maybe she doesn't need your business, but I sure do, and most agents I know do - especially in this market!!!

I would get to work that SAME DAY if you told me to draft an offer, and would have it in the other agent's hands within 24 hours.

My advice is to talk to a few other agents.  I think you will be shocked at how under-served you are.

I hope this helps!  Feel free to contact me any time!

Sincerely,

Peter Del Vecchio
Buyer's Realtor ®
RE/MAX Affinity Group
[deleted by Zillow  moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
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October 23 2012
In my opinion not longer than 72 hours, best of luck.

Brad
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October 23 2012
Contact the Broker, terminate the contract, hire someone who will give you excellent customer service and do not turn back. We teach people how to treat us, and you should not accept that lack of communication from your agent. We do need to take a day off here and there just like anyone - however the amount of time you referenced is way too long. Good luck!
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July 18 2012
With out a doubt, fire this person! No business should take 72 hours to get back to you. For me, if a restaurant or business does not pick up their phone during normal working hours, they already start off with the wrong impression! In this industry, time is of the essence and if you don't act quickly, opportunity is missed. Find someone who will help you, because from what you wrote, that agent is not serious about working.
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July 16 2012
You should definitely contact the Broker, regardless of how much the home is she agreed to provide a service to you .
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July 16 2012
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
Two thoughts...

Thought #1
 
"Timely" is not a quantifiable term, which is part of the problem. If I say I will get back to you in 3 days, and 3 days later I call back, that's still "timely" - although you may not be very happy. As with everything, the more quantifiable the services are, the easier for everyone to manage expectations.

Thought #2

You may, or may not, be able to do the deal yourself. However, if you do, be sure to terminate her (and identify the whys, especially the failure to generate/submit the offer) in writing. I'm unsure how it may play out, but you could still end up owing her some payment as she is currently the "procuring cause" for this house.
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July 15 2012
Profile picture for user677886
Thanks for all the great answers.  Unfortunately I think I figured out why I'm getting such bad service.  I just called one of the top agents in my area and he told me point blank that he's not interested in helping. What's the issue?  The house I'm trying to buy is a fixer upper for around 30k.  I think the commission is not enough to make it worth while for agents?

That's super depressing.  I wonder if I should just do this on my own without any agents.  It looks like the kickback is not enough for anyone to take me seriously.
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July 15 2012
You definitely need a new agent!

If a buyer asks me to write a contract it happens that day. Usually within an hour or so.

Nobody would sensibly consider over 24 hours a "timely response" so in my opinion, she has broken the contract. Not a legal opinion though - I can't give that.

Fire her! If she balks at that, talk to her broker. But get another agent!
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July 15 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
As a consumer, this agent would have been fired three weeks ago or longer.  (The other input on what to do in order to fire her are good.)   Then, write a factual review for her on Zillow (if she took time to register).

When finding your next buyer's agent, interview rigorously to learn their style and what they can do for you.    There are some great agents out there, some very lousy agents and a bunch of fair to middling agents.   It is up to you to sort out who's who so you get the service you need.



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July 15 2012

As a buyer, if I cannot get an offer drafted by my Buyer Agent within 24 hours I ask the Managing Broker to write it.  You are a very patient person, because I would have found another Buyer Agent altready, it is obvious that this person does not match your expectations (I wonder how she stays in business).  Talk to her Managing Broker and tell him/her that you want to cancel your buyer agency due to performance issues, maybe he can direct you to another agent who is up the speed with your needs.  Good luck!

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July 15 2012
I would talk to her broker and ask for another agent.That is totally wrong
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July 15 2012
In my opinion, those time frames are not acceptable. You need to have a sit down meeting with her and her broker and demand more responsiveness. I don't know what you signed, or the duration, so I have no idea what it entails or how you can get out, but you should be able to get some satisfaction from a meeting with her broker. How has she responded to your complaints so far?

The way the Tulsa market is going, many homes sell in less than a month.
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July 15 2012
 
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