Not every relationship blossoms into a lasting friendship (or business arrangement). Anyone in sales knows that strengthening relationships once a business lead appears is key. It is also well known that a satisfied customer has its rewards.
That is especially true in the real estate business. As a Melbourne, Florida real estate agent I know a substantial part of my business comes from personal referrals from previous clients as well as referrals by those clients.
Now lets go back to the first sentence.... Not every relationship blossoms into a lasting business arrangement.
When one chooses their real estate agent, especially when selling a home, there is usually an interview process involving several candidates. During the process of choosing a real estate agent there are more opportunities for screening your prospective agent.
Still, bad choices are sometimes made....SURPRISE! But many real estate agents I know are like me... cancel your listing at anytime without penalty regardless of reason. My attitude is that if one does not want to work with me or decides to not sell, fine. [Ask any potential listing agent their cancellation policy....remember a listing agreement is a contract between the seller and the broker.]
But what about when one is a buyer? There are differences between states on how real estate agents operate and what their relationship can be with their customer. I am writing here as a Florida real estate agent.
Many agents use what they call a buyer broker agreement where the buyer commits in writing to a real estate agent to be their agent for a home purchase.
The Florida Buyer Broker Agreement outlines the buyer's obligations to the broker/agent as well as the broker's obligations to their client. The agreement deals with compensation, cancel procedures and any financial obligations. This written agreement is probably the most formal buyer-agent obligation when working with buyers.
There are less formal agreements (verbal or even implied) used by many real estate agents. As for me I work with buyers without a formal written agreement. That is just my way.
If a buyer is not satisfied with my performance at any time prior to finding their house and entering into the offer process, I will offer them a way out. If things are not working out I will gladly refer a buyer to another real estate agent.
Sometimes I will initiate the parting of ways. It could be because of difficulties finding the right properties, availability, familiarity with the particular target area or whatever. If I determine there is something preventing me form providing the best service possible I owe it to my buyer customer to refer them to someone else.
Sometimes people just can't seem to come together on the same page. The home-buying process is stressful. There will likely be a lot of time spent together over the process.
Sometimes buyers just want to part ways.
As an agent it does not feel good to be rejected. Still, it is what is best for the customer.
This is the time to talk to your real estate agent. Decide to part ways. Ask for a referral. Your "old" agent needs to know the relationship is being severed.
I would go one step further and advise buyers to tell their new agent of the previous relationship. Explain it is over!
Further, I would urge any "new" real estate agent to contact the previous agent to communicate your status with their former customer.
The real estate process, whether buyer or seller, is stressful.
To make it smooth keep the channels of communication open. If the channels become strained, make a change if necessary. That is likely the best move for all.
Sometimes, in the words of the late Yogi Berra, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
The above advice is my personal opinion and advice and is in no way meant to interfere in any way with any person and their real estate agent.
Finally, nothing above should be construed as legal advice regarding real estate agent-customer relationships.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net