The biggest complaint in real estate is a lack of communication. It doesn't surprise me. Throughout the course of a real estate transaction there are easily over 15 people associated with the file in one way or another. The Realtor representing the seller is communicating with the title company, the other agent, the inspector, the lender, the processor, their broker, repair professionals, the funding department, home warranty companies and much, much more. And this is just for one file.
Even still, a home buyer or home seller are fully entitled to close to perfect service. Home sellers and buyers should recognize that Realtors do have a life, but at the same time, excellent communication is without question expected from their clients.
So, what is considered "poor" or lousy communication by a Realtor?
Lets assume Betty Bookmark is the Listing Agent and Daniel Doorknob is the seller. If Daniel calls Betty at 7:31 p.m. he should expect some kind of response by no later the following morning. Personally, Daniel would hear from me the same evening - depending.
What does depending mean?
Some clients and customers are more "needy" than others. Needy can be defined as Daniel calling Betty 5 times a day EVERYday with repeated questions that have already been answered. Badgering can lead to Daniel being spoken to less than he would want, but certainly not need. If Daniel were to call me at 5:19 in the morning I would probably email him later in the day.
I once had a buyer who texted, called and sent emails between 3-5 times per day - for 4 months. And weren't dating. I was new in the business and responded lighting quick to every single thought she had. When I wasn't immediately responding she would grow concerned and say things like.. "Are you okay, usually your communication is where I need it to be."
The fact of the matter is that sometimes you have to treat clients differently than you do others. If I have a client who rarely calls me but does so at 9:00 p.m. then you can bet I'm taking the call. But that's just me. To be honest, I fully understand the concerns, worry, and sometimes anxiety associated with the sale or purchase of a home.
To expect your agent to respond very quickly after 5 or 6 p.m. may not be a universally acceptance by all agents, especially if they are part of a large team with "office hours." The best way to communicate with a lot of agents is going to be what works out for the two of you. I personally don't have a preference. I tailor my patterns to the client. I try to adapt to what works best for them and what's practical for me. That's fair.
I have to admit, if a client calls me at 5:00 in the morning there's a great chance they won't hear from me until probably 8:00. The same can be said if they're calling at 10:00 p.m. Like I mentioned before, if a client is being unreasonable and blowing the phone up every 10 minutes throughout the day then it's a matter that I'll handle differently then say another client who is good about lumping all their questions or thoughts into one conversation.
BAD communication is not easy to point out in real estate. Not always. Sometimes the Realtors Home Inspector is in the attic or on a roof. He may not be able to "call back" for several hours, if not later in the day. Each player in the transaction has a lot going on. Everyone is doing their part to "close the transaction.
I know an agent who recently got yelled at by one of her home sellers because she took 4 hours to return his call. In fact, he threatened to terminate their business relationship if she "took that long again."
Not all business is good business. And not all communication is necessarily bad.