Dealing With a Difficult Real Estate Agent? What can you do about it?

Most real estate agents are professional, respectful, and have great personalities. When you work with a real estate agent, you sign an agreement outlining the terms of your working relationship beforehand, but what can you do if, beyond those terms, they have a difficult way of conducting business?

Set clear boundaries

Setting clear boundaries will help you feel more in control of the situation and ensure that your needs are respected. This is the first step your need to take when dealing with a difficult real estate agent.

Let them know what you're comfortable with and what you're not: if you don't want to have open houses every weekend, let them know, or if you don't want them to call you after hours, tell them that. Remember that selling houses is their job, and they may have different approaches to doing things that will probably collide with your availability or ways to engage with others, so you need to be clear about what is acceptable and what is not.

Communicate your expectations

Do you want to sell quickly? Are you looking for a certain price? Do you have specific requirements for selling? Let the real agent know what you're looking for in terms of the sale of your home. Your real estate agent may have different objectives than you and push towards those if the situation arises, forcing you to accept less-than-ideal terms to achieve their business goals.

Your real estate agent may have several homes listed at the same time, so it's key to get everything in writing to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page, especially with a difficult one. Besides formal agreements, you should agree on proper channels of communication and exchange following-up emails after calls.

Be firm but polite

When dealing with a difficult real estate agent it's important to remain firm but polite. Don't allow the agent to push you into making decisions you're not comfortable with, but also avoid being confrontational or aggressive. Instead, respond calmly and politely, and reiterate your boundaries and expectations.

It may come as obvious, but remember, you have the final say in the sale of your home. Don't be afraid to say no if your real estate agent is pressuring you to do something you're not on board with. If the real estate agent continues to push or becomes hostile, consider ending the relationship and finding a new agent who will respect your needs.

Consider switching agents

If you've tried all of the above but the real estate agent is still difficult to deal with, it's time to consider switching to a new one. While it may set back the selling process, it's important to work with an agent who makes you feel comfortable and respects your needs. 

To switch real estate agents, review the contract you signed with your current one to see the provisions regarding termination or switching agents. After making sure the provisions are acceptable to you, start looking for a new one and, once you have found a new agent, notify your current agent that you have decided to switch. Be sure to do this in writing and provide a reason for the switch. 

If your current agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors, they will be required to provide you with a release form. This form will allow you to work with a new agent without any legal issues.

Once you have found a new agent and resolved any issues with your current agent, you will need to sign a new agreement with the new agent. Make sure you review the terms of the agreement carefully before signing to ensure you are comfortable with the terms.

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