Firing real estate agent after offer made?

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fantasytensai
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Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by fantasytensai » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:49 pm

I made the mistake of hiring a completely incompetent real estate agent who also happen to be very lazy and unresponsive. I found a house that I liked and unfortunately made the mistake of asking him to contact the listing agent. So once he showed up with us to see the house and we loved it and made an offer, he played his way into part of the commission.

Now, however, we discovered that this is a short sale and the process is going to be long, arduous, intensive, and uncertain. The agent that we have is completely clueless about not only the short sale, but everything about the property itself. He also makes no effort...not even responding to my calls and emails for days at a time (at a time when I'm eager to get a contract to preclude further showings).

Recently, I found another agent who is smart, responsive, diligent, and works fast. I so want to fire the original agent to hire her, but she says that he will likely sue to get his commission, despite not signing a contract, since he could argue that the sale would not have happened without him. Is that really the case? Can I seriously not fire such an incompetent and unmotivated agent without the legal process? I mean I understand why the law is the way it is - to protect innocent agents. But this guy is just a completely useless, if not detrimental (I will spare you the details of his incompetence) to the closing. We have absolutely zero confidence of him being able to guide us through the closing process, even with an experienced attorney. We are seriously considering withdrawing our offer. Is there a way to get rid of him without losing the house? Trust me. He doesn't deserve a penny.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by LiveSimple » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:54 pm

Based on the papers signed, you will owe him his commission, if you close the deal, with another agent.
Finish the deal, with him, until the contact expiries.

exit_r
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by exit_r » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 pm

In my state agents work for brokers. Talk to the agency broker right away. I am a part time agent myself and have seen this first hand. The owner of the brokerage doesn't know there is a problem unless you approach it.

The broker will find you a new agent. And hopefully this brings to light the serious issue they have with their agent.

Johnsson
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by Johnsson » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:57 pm

I believe that the die is already cast. Once the offer was made through that agent I believe you're committed, at least for this specific transaction.

Since both agents work for the seller, I would suggest, in a kind way, you communicate with both the listing agent and your agent's broker your desire to make sure that all appropriate i's are dotted and t's crossed or the sale will fall through. Maybe even ask your agent's broker if you can deal directly with her/him...

pshonore
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by pshonore » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:14 pm

Generally speaking, the agent who shows you the property is entitled to a commission if you eventually buy it within a reasonable time frame.
Not sure what you mean by "he played his way into part of the commission". He is usually entitled to 1/2 the commission which will be split with his broker if he has one, in whatever arrangement they have. Of course its also possible he is a broker as the term "agent" gets tossed around quite a bit.

colemanst13
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by colemanst13 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:22 pm

That agent would be the “procuring cause” for your real estate transaction. It would be very difficult to fire him. I would report him to the broker. If you’re not satisfied after that threaten the broker that you will be reporting his conduct to the states licensing board. Every state has an authority that regulates real estate licensees.

If you have specific questions with regards to what to expect from the short sale, let me know. Unfortunately, I have extensive experience with them.

exit_r
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by exit_r » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:29 pm

Johnsson wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:57 pm
I believe that the die is already cast. Once the offer was made through that agent I believe you're committed, at least for this specific transaction...
In my state the commitment is to the brokerage not necessarily the agent. The broker should be able to swap agents quite easily if that is the desire.

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AndrewXnn
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by AndrewXnn » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:32 pm

I realized a long time ago that Real Estate agents in general are not good for the vast majority of buyers.

As they say, buyer beware!

stan1
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:33 pm

Calling your agent's broker with specific concerns seems like a good idea. I'd want a good explanation for the delays and a commitment to fix if it's the agent's fault. Some lenders discount the agent's commissions in a short sale so there can be an incentive for agents to minimize their effort. Was the short sale disclosed in the MLS or did the seller spring that on you after you made your first offer? If the fact that it was a short sale was in the MLS and your realtor didn't tell you that before you placed the offer I'd be very upset. Lenders are notoriously non-responsive and slow on short sales. They could care less about your timeline. Open communication with your realtor and the broker about what he can do for you might help. Your realtor probably has little ability to speed up the lender's timeline.

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jfn111
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by jfn111 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:09 pm

I'll second calling the Broker. The agent is the Procuring Cause, as stated above,but the commission goes to the Broker who's responsible for the agent. The Broker can assign another agent to finish the transaction and probably split the commission with the original agent. (This part is the Brokers problem not yours).

staythecourse
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by staythecourse » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:15 pm

Okay this is how it works. There is a rule/ law called Law of Procurement. IF said RE agent helped you come to the point of giving an offer he/ she is legally allowed to have their fair share of the commission IRREGARDLESS if you fire the agent or not. Trust me at this point the RE agent would be happy if they got fired. They wouldn't have to do any more work for you AND get the full commission. A win- win for the agent.

Don't ask me how I know about this, but was in a similar situation. I actually tanked the whole sale as I could NOT allow myself to let someone get a commission that I thought was not deserved.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

fantasytensai
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by fantasytensai » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 pm

Thanks for the response. When you guys say broker, do you mean the agency that the agent works for, or something else?

Right now I'm contemplating walking away from this whole deal before further damage is done. I don't really care if he gets the commission or not. I'm just seriously worried that a guy like him won't be able to help us get through the short sale process, and that would really suck. As much as I love that house, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Also, I understand the procurement principal. The problem I have is that I found the house I offered. I told him to make an appointment because that's what he requested that I do. All he did is show up with me on the day of the appointment and now all of a sudden he partakes in the commission. So not fair. I did all the work - obtained the preapproval, hired a lawyer, set up inspection, gathering paperwork.

mortfree
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by mortfree » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:47 pm

What are your contingencies listed in the offer? Anything you can use to get out of it?

That’s typical that you would arrange the pre-approval, inspection.

Easy for buyers to find a home now with the internet so that isn’t uncommon either where you find the Home before the agent does.

mouses
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by mouses » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:55 pm

This is just a war story, as others have given you more knowledgeable advice.

I was in a somewhat similar but not quite situation when I bought my first house. The agent was unbelievably incompetent, did not respond to phone calls, and I had by myself found a house I wanted and eventually made an offer myself using a form I had found I no longer remember where. To make this more aggravating, I really loved the house and houses were selling within a few days of being listed. (I did get the house.)

I just walked away from the agent and had a real estate lawyer handle things. These were no repercussions except the agent called people I dealt with like the inspector and yelled at them because she thought they had given me the idea to buy the house by myself. I think I complained to her manager and that stopped. But...I had no written contract with the agent.

staythecourse
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by staythecourse » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:57 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 pm
Thanks for the response. When you guys say broker, do you mean the agency that the agent works for, or something else?

Right now I'm contemplating walking away from this whole deal before further damage is done. I don't really care if he gets the commission or not. I'm just seriously worried that a guy like him won't be able to help us get through the short sale process, and that would really suck. As much as I love that house, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Also, I understand the procurement principal. The problem I have is that I found the house I offered. I told him to make an appointment because that's what he requested that I do. All he did is show up with me on the day of the appointment and now all of a sudden he partakes in the commission. So not fair. I did all the work - obtained the preapproval, hired a lawyer, set up inspection, gathering paperwork.
It does suck, but that is how the field goes. Often it is hard to get another agent involved anyways because they don't see a chance of getting that commission so are not interested in doing work for free (can't blame them). So it feels like you are obliged to use this one agent or nothing.

However, If you really like the house you should still go for it. Don't let this guy/ gal have that big of an effect on your life. I'm a bit immature and vindictive so that is why I just walked away. I would rather see the person get a big ZERO then enjoy the property my wife had some reservations on it anyways.

It all worked out well. Less then 3 months later we bought, designed, and built our own custom home in the same place. So everything does seem to work out in the end.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

exit_r
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by exit_r » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:02 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 pm
Thanks for the response. When you guys say broker, do you mean the agency that the agent works for, or something else?
Yes. The agency he works for has a broker, most often then broker is the owner of the agency itself. Talk to that broker. You will be made whole, the broker wants satisfied customers. Commission is owed but it is to the agency not the agent.

fantasytensai
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by fantasytensai » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:16 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:57 pm
fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 pm
Thanks for the response. When you guys say broker, do you mean the agency that the agent works for, or something else?

Right now I'm contemplating walking away from this whole deal before further damage is done. I don't really care if he gets the commission or not. I'm just seriously worried that a guy like him won't be able to help us get through the short sale process, and that would really suck. As much as I love that house, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Also, I understand the procurement principal. The problem I have is that I found the house I offered. I told him to make an appointment because that's what he requested that I do. All he did is show up with me on the day of the appointment and now all of a sudden he partakes in the commission. So not fair. I did all the work - obtained the preapproval, hired a lawyer, set up inspection, gathering paperwork.
It does suck, but that is how the field goes. Often it is hard to get another agent involved anyways because they don't see a chance of getting that commission so are not interested in doing work for free (can't blame them). So it feels like you are obliged to use this one agent or nothing.

However, If you really like the house you should still go for it. Don't let this guy/ gal have that big of an effect on your life. I'm a bit immature and vindictive so that is why I just walked away. I would rather see the person get a big ZERO then enjoy the property my wife had some reservations on it anyways.

It all worked out well. Less then 3 months later we bought, designed, and built our own custom home in the same place. So everything does seem to work out in the end.

Good luck.
My issue isn't with vindication. To be completely honest for something as important as a house, even if the agent is a complete jerk, but a competent jerk that gets things done, I will probably swallow my pride and deal with it. The issue is that the level of incompetence that I have witnessed so far is alarming. I really don't know why he is so disincentivized to not do his best to close this deal - his freaking commission is riding on it! But bottom line is that I see 100 ways that this short sale can fall apart, and weighing the risk with the rewards, it's not worth it.

stan1
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:28 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 pm
I did all the work - obtained the preapproval, hired a lawyer, set up inspection, gathering paperwork.
There may be a misunderstanding. Buyer's always do those things (at least in my part of the US) and the buyer works directly with the lender and escrow company. We don't use attorneys to buy and sell houses in my state so that's a little different. What do you want your agent to do that he isn't doing?

fantasytensai
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by fantasytensai » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:40 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:28 pm
fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 pm
I did all the work - obtained the preapproval, hired a lawyer, set up inspection, gathering paperwork.
There may be a misunderstanding. Buyer's always do those things (at least in my part of the US) and the buyer works directly with the lender and escrow company. We don't use attorneys to buy and sell houses in my state so that's a little different. What do you want your agent to do that he isn't doing?
Respond to my inquiries within 24 hours and guide me through a complicated real estate process such as a short sale.

I am an attorney myself and I always make it my top priority to respond to my client's inquiries as soon as they are made. Unless I am being pistolwhipped by a judge I am constantly monitoring my phone and email to make sure I do. I don't ask the exact same level of attentiveness from my agent. But his lack of responsiveness is appalling.

stan1
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:59 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:40 pm
Respond to my inquiries within 24 hours and guide me through a complicated real estate process such as a short sale.
I'm 100% with you on the response time. I only select agents that sell at least 30-50 houses per year (e.g. are successful at their career). They work 15 hours a day 6 days a week, and often almost as much on their day off. I don't have sympathy for them (they know what the job requires and get compensated for it). For the 8-12 weeks they are working for me I expect quick responses and you should too.

As for the short sale those are much less common right now. If your agent wasn't around in the 2006-2011 timeframe you might know more about a short sale than he does. Also some agents are better at the business side of real estate and others are better at interior design or "feng shui" (helping people find homes that feel good). I'd much rather work with a good businessperson who knows the details of a real estate transaction than someone who will give me advice on whether a house flows well. Plenty of agents around here refused to work with short sales even in the darkest depths of 2010.

Definitely should be discussed with the broker (usually the owner of the office but a large office might have multiple brokers).

bsteiner
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by bsteiner » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:39 pm

Isn't the broker's or agent's job to find a buyer? He did his job. So he gets a commission. If it's a short sale the parties need to get the lender's approval. Why would the broker or agent be involved in that?

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BolderBoy
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:19 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:49 pm
Can I seriously not fire such an incompetent and unmotivated agent without the legal process?
No, but I bet he can be sued for his incompetence.

You need to play uber dumb about buying a house (especially this house) and let his incompetence in this transaction be his undoing. Contact a real estate lawyer and tell him you want to lay a trap. When the incompetence rises to "grossness" such that the lawyer can contact the broker to expose the deadbeat, then the real negotiations will begin. Your lawyer can work out a way to split the commission with the broker directly (so the lawyer will get paid). Any fallout from the incompetent agent will then hopefully fall on the broker.

IANAL.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Teague
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by Teague » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:47 pm

fantasytensai wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:49 pm
Can I seriously not fire such an incompetent and unmotivated agent without the legal process?
You've stated you are a lawyer, and you are asking us?
Semper Augustus

Eagle33
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by Eagle33 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:59 pm

Who provided the initial contact offer? If it was your agent's contract form & he presented it to the seller, then your agent will get his share of the commission through his broker once the sale is complete.

Regarding a short sale process, usually the Seller's agent is the one that is doing most of the work to convince the bank(s) that are owed $ on the house from the Seller. My DW has closed nearly 500 short sales and it is a much longer process that a regular house transaction. The bank has not agreed to the sell price prior to the offer. The bank begins their internal approval process after the seller & his agent present the offer to the bank. Banks do not quickly agree to a short sale - they want their $. If there is more than 1 bank that has claim to a portion of the property value, then the primary bank will not agree until the other lenders that have a claim to a portion of the house sale have agreed to reduced or zero out their claim amount. Sometimes the primary bank will not accept a bid even after going through a number iterations with the seller (which may or may not involve the buyer) to get more $. Sometimes they prefer to have the house go to a sheriff sale. To prevent this from happening, the bank needs to be given sufficient justification that your offer is better for the bank than completing a foreclosure process. Hopefully the seller's agent is more experienced than yours in the short sale process.

As others have said regarding your agent, contact your agent's broker to discuss your experience and your expectations going forward.

Finridge
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by Finridge » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:10 am

exit_r wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 pm
In my state agents work for brokers. Talk to the agency broker right away. I am a part time agent myself and have seen this first hand. The owner of the brokerage doesn't know there is a problem unless you approach it.

The broker will find you a new agent. And hopefully this brings to light the serious issue they have with their agent.
Came here to say this! This is what you should do.

Finridge
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by Finridge » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:16 am

Another possibility. See if the new agent you like is willing to split the fee and give part of it to existing agent--as a kind of referral fee. If not, you are out of luck. If new agent says yes, then go to existing agent and say that you cannot continue working with him--you are interested in continuing with the house, but only with new agent, if existing agent agrees to this--otherwise you both done with existing agent and the house.

Existing agent will likely agree to allow you to move to new agent and get the referral fee, rather then end up with nothing.

This might work. But talking to the managing broker and having him/her replace existing agent with someone better is more of a "sure thing."

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snackdog
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by snackdog » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:56 am

Offer him $1000 today to go away. Win-win as he gets paid immediately and for you as you get the better agent.

mouses
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:15 am

snackdog wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:56 am
Offer him $1000 today to go away. Win-win as he gets paid immediately and for you as you get the better agent.
If you do this, get it in writing.

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jfn111
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by jfn111 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:28 am

Eagle33 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:59 pm
Who provided the initial contact offer? If it was your agent's contract form & he presented it to the seller, then your agent will get his share of the commission through his broker once the sale is complete.

Regarding a short sale process, usually the Seller's agent is the one that is doing most of the work to convince the bank(s) that are owed $ on the house from the Seller. My DW has closed nearly 500 short sales and it is a much longer process that a regular house transaction. The bank has not agreed to the sell price prior to the offer. The bank begins their internal approval process after the seller & his agent present the offer to the bank. Banks do not quickly agree to a short sale - they want their $. If there is more than 1 bank that has claim to a portion of the property value, then the primary bank will not agree until the other lenders that have a claim to a portion of the house sale have agreed to reduced or zero out their claim amount. Sometimes the primary bank will not accept a bid even after going through a number iterations with the seller (which may or may not involve the buyer) to get more $. Sometimes they prefer to have the house go to a sheriff sale. To prevent this from happening, the bank needs to be given sufficient justification that your offer is better for the bank than completing a foreclosure process. Hopefully the seller's agent is more experienced than yours in the short sale process.

As others have said regarding your agent, contact your agent's broker to discuss your experience and your expectations going forward.
Good write up Eagle 33. :beer

michaeljc70
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Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:37 am

The time to fire him was before he showed you a house you wanted. You are stuck now. He will get his money and no one else is going to do the work for free. You can try talking to the broker, but I doubt that will help.

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