How to Get Your Real Estate Agent to Quit

by Kevin on October 27, 2010

This week I’m telling stories surrounding the exciting adventure known as my wife and I trying to sell our house. I told you earlier this week that our mysterious visitors from Sunday returned with an appointment.

Today I’m going to explain the very simple of process of getting the poor real estate agent you signed a contract with (you dolt!) to quit!

And yes, fortunately or not, I am writing from experience.

I Want to Fire My Real Estate Agent

We decided it was time to put the house on the market in early September. We rushed around getting the house ready with your typical ideas: painting, staging, and decluttering. And I must say we did a fine job and our house looked great.

There was a house near us with a similar floorplan that sold within a week or two of the sign going up in the yard. Holy cow!, we thought. That agent must be amazing! There are homes in our neighborhood that have been on the market for months…

It made sense. I kid you not it was like one day the sign was up, the next day the sign was down, and the day after the new owners moved in.

So we called the agent.

The agent was nice, professional, and a little wet behind the ears in the industry. But we liked the spunk and energy they brought to the table. So we went ahead and signed a 3 month deal. We had contemplated attempting to sell it ourselves, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to have someone try to sell it for us. If the agent was successful we figured the commission was worth it. If not then it would have cost us only a few months of time. It seemed like a win-win.

We were wrong.

Know What You Want from a Realtor

We knew what we wanted from an agent: aggressive, sharp, experienced, and connected (meaning we should be able to get in touch with them via email/cell whenever needed).

Instead, we settled. We got aggressive and connected. We misjudged the sharpness, and ignored the lack of experience.

But knowing what you want — and sticking to your guns — is key to getting your agent to quit. You want to be so on top of everything that their flaws are readily apparent to everyone. Embarrassed they either step their game up or they quit. Either way you end up salvaging something. We laid out what we wanted from an agent at the beginning and stuck to those guidelines through the entire process.

Back to our story.

We saw some issues pretty quickly. Our MLS listing had us with a 1 car garage, not 2. When confronted our agent said, “No, that’s the number of garages on the main level.” My respond was, “No, see where it says ‘#CarGar’? That means number of cars in the garage.” (coughcoughidiotcoughcough)

The issue was fixed quickly after that, but it was concerning. Then our ads on Craigslist weren’t updated, and the homeowners association fee was the wrong amount. The fast e-mail replies we got were full of typos because they were typed on a cell phone. The agent didn’t know if the people seeing our house were pre-approved, pre-qualified, or just browsing for homes to rob later on.

The thing that put our agent over the edge (and into the quitting kingdom) is this person didn’t understand we were negotiable. The agent listed the price a little bit higher than we should (a mistake on our part for wanting it, a mistake on theirs for letting us have it just to get the listing). We were anticipating a buyer coming in and cutting the price down 10% and we would negotiate to somewhere in the middle.

When we repeatedly told the person representing us that literally everything but my wife and dog were on the negotiation table, it just didn’t seem to click. I told them if they wanted to have us include my wife’s old car in the deal we would look at it, but we needed offers first.

Instead of bringing us offers, we got “So what are you willing to do to get this person interested?”

Over. And over. And over.

We told the agent they could bring an offer, any offer, and we would go from there, but we weren’t going to go ahead and forfeit thousands of dollars here and there without any kind of offer.

A few days after an email on negotiation — days where we got no response at all to any communication — we got a polite e-mail essentially telling us it wasn’t working and they quit effective immediately.

It was glorious. We had feared we would be stuck until the end of the three month period — December. We celebrated, interviewed a new agent (from a referral from a friend) with a ton of experience, and we’re back on the market and very happy. (Except we still haven’t sold…)

Hopefully in the future I’ll be writing an article on how our house is sold rather than sitting on the market.

Until then just stay tuned. In my next article on Friday I’ll go over what we did to stage our house to increase foot traffic.

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19 Things We Learned Trying to Sell Our House - No Debt Plan | No Debt Plan
November 4, 2010 at 5:04 am

{ 3 comments }

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff October 27, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I cringed for you several times while reading that. I’m sorry and YAY for having a new agent!

Our real estate agent when we were buying a house was a family friend that we will NOT be using again. She was too aggressive with us and not aggressive enough with the sellers in my opinion. I had to stick to my guns on every offer or she’d try to talk me up. We didn’t need a house, we wanted a good deal. She just didn’t get it. We ended up getting a fantastic deal but is was a foreclosure (which she was inexperienced with and tried to talk us out of). I’m glad we got our house and now know what we’d be looking for in an agent in the future…

Golfing Girl October 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Wow-you went to so much effort to conceal the sex of the agent that it was actually difficult to read in parts. I’m guessing it was a lady. 🙂
I’m glad you were able to get a new agent–those errors were unforgivable. Unfortunately, almost anyone can (or is) a real estate agent.

Petunia October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

Is there a post discussing why you and your wife decided to sell your house? If so, please point me in the right direction. Thanks!

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