When is it OK to “unload” on another agent?

Property Manager with Red Rooster Property Management, 904-469-6335 BK3161230

When is it OK to “unload” on another agent?

I’m working on one of my last few sales, which carried over from 2009.  It’s a short sale with Chase Home Finance, and we’ve had really good response from the negotiator.  They have been patient with the transaction like I’ve never seen before from a negotiator.  They granted an extension after a request from the buyer for more time with their financing and clearing some conditions.  And, they even gave us more time when the buyer couldn’t meet that new expiration date.  But, we’re at the end of that timeline, and the negotiator told me today he just can’t keep the file open any longer, so at the end of today, the file is closed.  I don’t blame him; this can’t go on forever.

This leads me to the buyer’s side of this transaction.  Everyone on that side of the deal, starting with the buyer’s agent, on to the mortgage broker and then the funding lender, has been TERRIBLE about communication.  (I did get to speak with the broker for the buyer’s agent, and he’s at a loss for speaking with his own agent, too.  He apparently has given her an ultimatum over her professionalism.)  There seems to be a complete aversion to picking up the phone and returning a phone call.  Literally ALL communication has been handled through email.  I’ve even called them all to the table about not using the phone, but I get no response, as if they are ignoring it.  Ok, I get that some folks like to have everything in writing, so email may be a preferred method of doing things.  But, we’re talking about a transaction that has gone on and on for a couple extra months.  Each time I call to get a simple update on things, my call goes to voicemail and I get not much more than a short email with very little information.  Nothing of substance is to be seen.  The mortgage broker has gotten better with communication in the last couple of weeks, but we’ve still not received our clear-to-close.

Today, I decided to respond even more directly to an email from the buyer’s agent.  This was after I sent an email to her broker, earlier in the day, asking, “What the hell is going on with her!?!”  And, I had even left a voicemail message for the agent earlier in the day, specifically requesting a return phone call and not an email.  Here’s what I sent to the agent: “[Buyer’s Agent], bluntly speaking, why will you NOT call me?  I just don't understand how you can operate a business without speaking to the folks on the other side of the transaction.  Seriously, how about a professional courtesy of a frickin' phone call!!!!”  I doubt I’ll get any worthwhile response from that question, but I felt I needed to get that out there to her.

So, my question, when is it OK to unload on an agent for their continual lack of professionalism?  Some of you may say, “You gotta pick your battles,” which I’ve always thought implied a passive look at dealing (or not dealing) with certain issues.  But, I’ve recently come to the realization about myself that I really need to heed that advice in an active manner and truly “Pick my battles.”  There’s a scripture in Proverbs that says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov 27:17)  I gotta believe that we must pick our battles and fight for what’s right in our lives.  And, we can certainly apply that to real estate transactions!

I look forward to your comments and thoughts.

Thanks for reading!!


Eric M. Boyd, Realtor, e-Pro
Residential Sales and Property Management
Step One Realty http://StepOneRealty.com
cell: 904-813-5010 fax: 888-345-5054


Comments (10)

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Eric * the BROKER is ultimately responsible so letter him/her know of a problem ASAP is the way to go.

Jan 05, 2010 07:43 AM
Mark L. Ostrovsky
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Beachwood, OH
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

I agree that going to the other agent's broker is the way to go but would stop short of "unloading" on them. Remember, you are the reasonable and calm professional who has done everything right in the always cumbersome short sale process. The other agent from what you say is careless and unprofessional. They own the problem. I would not however hesitate to remind the other agent just how much time and effort you have put into this transaction. Good luck.

Jan 05, 2010 07:56 AM
David Tapper
Coldwell Banker - Burlingame, CA

I'm sorry to hear about your frustrating transaction. We have all been there. But, I must admit it put a smile on my face because it brought back memories of my UNLOADING on the other agent.

I admit, I probably do it once a year. And you know what, it makes me feel better. BUT, be very careful Eric.

You said you have no communication with this agent other than email, so be very careful what you say because this idiot agent can either keep the recording or email and use it against you.

If you do unload, make sure to point out how unprofessional this agent has been and even her own broker is at a loss of words.

If there is a silver lining, it's you now have an approved short sale which is much easier to sell.

Good Luck!


Jan 05, 2010 08:03 AM
Randy Schulenburg
Schulenburg Realty, Inc. - Pingree Grove, IL
Schulenburg Realty, Inc.

You can't ever take back those words that come out of your mouth.  Stay professional and let the other person grow by your example.

Jan 05, 2010 08:39 AM
Mike Sparks
The House Company Galveston Texas - Galveston, TX
Galveston Island Real Estate

We've all been there.  We all expect the agent on the other side to uphold our own high standards of practice.  Sounds like you've done the right thing in contacting the other agents' broker and voicing your concerns.  I'd suspect there are other issues you're not aware of regarding the buyer and their motivation.  Send an email and paper trail terminating the transaction, advertise the listing as a quick approved short sale and move on.  Any other measures, and I can think of many, would reflect badly on your own professionalism and might violate ethics regarding interferring with the relationship between agent and principal.

No wonder you're focusing on management now, you understand that when you don't control the transaction it goes to pot.  I'm the same way, and most good agents are also control freaks.  Only time I step back is when I know the other side is doing a good job on managing their client and their responsibilities.  Like when I dealt with you.

Jan 07, 2010 03:53 PM
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Never according to our COE, but we al feel the need to. I would never unload on another because I believe till you have walked in their shoes, you never know and one day that could be you.

Jan 25, 2010 02:06 PM
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

IMHO, at the closing table, as soon as they hand you your check!!!  LOL  Seriously, all you can do is go to her broker, unless she's violated the code!

Feb 05, 2010 01:21 AM
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Sometimes it's best not to state your true feelings, especially in writing!

Jun 23, 2010 12:18 AM
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


......and that is why I have segued into Property Management!It's funny how many agents hate managing property, but at least I get to call the shots.I work half as much for twice the pay of Short Sales AND hitching my paycheck to some agent who lacks professionalsim and often ruins the escrow, is a thing of the past. YES I am a control freak but I need to pay my bills every month.

Aug 08, 2010 11:11 AM
Eric Boyd
Red Rooster Property Management, 904-469-6335 - Jacksonville, FL
FL Lic Real Estate Broker / Property Manager

Right on, Deborah!  I'm very happy with PM and wouldn't give it up at all.  :-)

Aug 08, 2010 11:14 AM