We started to ramp up and were a bit bummed that she continued to be fairly unavailable. But okay, we figured, we're doing okay on our own, and it's probably our fault for not planning way ahead to get on her calendar. We had started traveling to our destination city every weekend to go to open houses and occasionally asked (usually fairly last minute, like Thursday or Friday) whether she could help us get into homes that weren't having open houses. Once she got her colleague to let us in; he voluntarily offered to spend half the day showing us other places. Once we were just out of luck. (We really didn't like this guy. He said some things we found offensive.)
After a month of spending long weekends looking at open houses and weeknights studying the listings, we spotted a house that we thought was "the one." It was in the neighborhood we wanted and at the sweet spot of all our preferences: nice in the areas we valued, cut corners in areas we didn't care about to land right where we wanted to land on price. I know you can't always tell from a listing, but after seeing like 25 houses in person, we've started to be able to read between the lines.
We texted her at 9 pm Monday, followed up with a voice mail at 9:30 am Tuesday, an email, another voice mall, three texts spaced at 90 minutes intervals, another voice mail... ugh, I'm so angry recounting this. I've bought another house, and to me, this level of unresponsiveness is unusual for an agent. My original text specifically said that we wanted to put in an offer ASAP. I finally got a reply text at 3:39 pm letting me know what time the weekend open houses were at (!! we know how to use Redfin already). About 1/3 of listings in our price range are going Pending within 48 hours, so we were prepared to move fast.
She said it was too late to see the house that day, Tuesday, which yeah, now that it's 4 pm I guess it might be. Plus, she had another event from 5-7 that evening. I had all day work events midweek and couldn't find a way to travel there again until Friday. She said that they probably wouldn't look at offers until Monday and encouraged us to see it on the weekend. I did a little arm twisting to get her to agree to show it to me on Friday. She did talk to the listing agent (who works in her office and who she's selling another house with!). We got the mortgage team all ready to go with a letter, no thanks to her. She did get a heads up that they'd received another offer whose terms we'd have to be prepared to match, so we talked to the mortgage broker and felt all set there.
Then an hour before we were going to go see it, she texted me that the house went pending and that the sellers didn't want to wait for the buyers (plural) who were looking at the house today to make offers. She didn't say "they felt the offer was unbeatable" -- she said "they didn't want to wait." If I'd toured it on Tuesday and put in an offer on Wednesday, that would've at least gotten our offer looked at! Even today we were already in the fray with a bunch of competition. We wanted to move quickly; she was unavailable, so we moved slowly. Are my expectations out of whack or can I just fire her now?
Complication: we got a recommendation for someone else from our mortgage broker. ("I've been in this business for over two decades and dealt with a lot of realtors, and he's one of only about three I'd work with. He's the one who helped me buy my house.") Turns out this guy is in that same brokerage (or whatever the word is). Assuming we like him, could we switch to him? I think she'll be annoyed at being fired. She's opinionated and a persuasive advocate in the way that realtors sometimes are. Is there anything specific to do to have this break-up not have continued fall-out? Will she and Offensive Guy try to split the commission with New Guy? Will New Guy have to check in with her and hear her talk about ... whatever she'll say to explain why she let someone who said "we want to put in an offer asap" linger for over 18 hours without so much as a text in reply and then recommended that they go to the weekend open houses? Do I need to explain to him why we're switching so that he doesn't think we're bad clients?
Can we fire our realtor? This is surprisingly hard to Google! We can, right? We're buyers who aren't under contract. Feel free to weigh in on if we should as well. We've been looking for a house for a long time and thought we had a realtor to work with when we found something. We never felt like she was paying much attention to us, but that made sense; we were moving slowly.