Changing Real Estate Agents Midstream

Sometimes the first agent isn’t the right one for you. This isn’t exactly an unusual situation, but you may be worried about how to handle the switch. Here are a few tips on ending your relationship with your current agent and finding one who is more suited to you.

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How to Change Real Estate Agents

If you’re not satisfied with your current real estate agent, you might be wondering about the viability of switching to another representative. Don’t do this lightly — this is a decision you’re going to want to think carefully about before you take action. Here are a few considerations.

Is Your Current Agent Right for You?

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you can work productively with your current real estate agent. Try asking yourself a few questions:

  • Do you feel chemistry with this agent? Do you believe they understand your needs and are the best advocate for them?
  • How have your interactions been since you began working together? Do your communication styles mesh?
  • Are they living up to the references provided before you started working together? (And if you didn’t get references, consider it a lesson learned for next time.)
  • Is your agent as available as you would like?

Once you’ve added it all up and decided it’s time to switch, there’s no time like the present to put that plan into action.

Reasons to Switch Agents

So you’ve decided you want to switch real estate agents, but need that decision validated. Here are a few more reasons that you may want to look for other representation:

  • Your agent doesn’t respond promptly to you
  • They don’t seem to have the local knowledge necessary to represent your interests
  • They do not appear to be a strong negotiator
  • They aren’t a good match for your needs

Scout around for a new agent before breaking up with the first one. This way your real estate transaction won’t be delayed any further.

Now it’s time to take a deep breath and get ‘er done.

Breaking The Bad News

You can’t ghost a professional relationship. You’re going to have to level with your current agent and let them know that you no longer wish to work together. A few tips on tactful ways to do this:

  • You’re not under any obligation to offer reasons why you wish to end your working relationship. It’s certainly acceptable to thank the agent for their time and let them know that you’ve chosen to work with a different person.
  • However, if you do choose to let them know the reasons behind your decision, be both honest and tactful. For example, if you feel that their communication style doesn’t jibe with yours, try telling them that you are seeking a new agent whose approach is more in line with your own.
  • It’s best if you do this on your own, but if you really can’t see your way clear to approaching your soon-to-be-ex-agent, ask your new agent to do it. This isn’t necessarily the least awkward way, but it can be easier for you.

If you haven’t signed a contract with your current agent, you are under no obligation to them. Now is the time to remind you not to sign a contract unless you are certain you want to work with a particular person.

Parting Thoughts

Just as working professionally with an agent is critical, parting ways with them professionally is just as important. First off, your agent is a human being and deserves respect, even if they weren’t exactly what you wanted in a real estate professional. A handful of thoughts on ending this in a friendly way:

  • No threats. Don’t let the parting get ugly. There’s no point to it.
  • If your agent refuses to cancel a listing, talk to their broker.
  • As a last resort, contact a real estate attorney. Before doing so, though, make sure the agent knows you plan to do this as that may spur them to cancel the contract.

You can avoid things getting heated by staying calm and reasonable. This is a business decision. Treat it as such and your agent should as well.

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