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New Year, New Real Estate Agent?

Jessica Evans

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jan 7 6 minutes read

Regardless of if you’re buying or selling a home, you’re in the middle of a big transition! And it’s your real estate agent’s job to know all the things you don’t so that you can make informed decisions during the process. 

But what happens when your agent is less of an informative guide and more of a ghost extraordinaire? What happens if they're totally missing the mark? 

Are you stuck with them? Will switching mid-process cause more harm than it’s worth? 

Here’s everything you need to know about securing the right real estate agent (even if you already signed a listing agreement). 

The truth is, buying or selling your home isn’t like getting a haircut or picking out a new pair of shoes. It’s a major financial investment! 

Yet, buyers and sellers alike still feel indebted to their original real estate agent… even if they’re not working out. 

Because of that, people all over the city ignore warning signs that their agent isn’t willing or able to be an invested partner in their move.

Signs Like… 

  • You’ve seen dozens of homes and don’t feel like your needs are being heard
  • You have to reach out a few times before your agent responds
  • You’ve lost in several multiple bid situations
  • You don’t know why your home isn’t selling

On top of that, you may be riddled with questions like: Can I even switch agents? Won’t it be super messy to change mid-sale or mid-buy? 

If you’ve been harboring feelings of discontentment toward your agent, all the while thinking it’s too late to do anything about it, you’re not alone. In fact, I hear a version of this tale from buyers and sellers all the time. 

Let me put your mind at ease right away: Yes, you can switch real estate agents, and doing so can actually speed up the home-buying process! 

(Schedule a call with us to cut to the chase!) 

How To Switch Real Estate Agents 

Step 1: Identify Your Timeline

Regardless of if you’re buying or selling a home, take a good, hard look at your timeline. While switching real estate agents can speed up the process once the deed is done, it will take some time to find a new agent and set everything up with them. 

So before you do anything, sit down with your family and identify your exact timeline (if you haven't done so already). 

Step 2: Check Your Buyer/Seller Agreement 

If you’re in the middle of the process, you’ve likely already signed something. But don’t worry! It’s generally not that difficult to deliver written notice. In fact, it can be as simple as an email (just make sure it explicitly states that it’s serving as written notice). 

Here in DC, listing agreements are actually with the broker, not the real estate agent. So if you feel uncomfortable confronting your agent, you can always address the broker directly. 

Pro Tip: A broker is a manager of all the real estate agents in a certain office. All agreements are actually with them, not your real estate agent. 

There can be financial penalties in listing agreements if they expire, so be sure to check the dates on your paperwork and keep them in the forefront of your mind as you think about your timeline.  

Step 3: Find The Right Agent 

I know, this may feel easier said than done after the process you’ve just been through. But rest assured, there are agents who see more than dollar signs and truly want the best for you and your family. 

A few of the top traits to look for in a new real estate agent are knowledge and experience. 

For instance, after working in this city for nearly 10 years, I can tell when a property is really a gem, versus when it’s more sacrifice than it’s worth. 

On the flip side, I can put myself in a buyer's shoes and determine exactly how to best position your property. 

Takeaways

Buying or selling a home is a major financial investment. You need a real estate agent who not only understands your goal in the process but can offer personalized knowledge and experience.  

You’re not obligated to an agent who isn’t working out for you, and switching to an agent who understands your unique needs can actually speed up the process. 

Breaking a buyer or listing agreement isn’t usually complicated or expensive. Just take a look at the dates and be sure you’re within your rights. You can even usually offer written notice in an email (without the help of an expensive lawyer). 

You deserve a smooth, enjoyable buying or selling process. This is an exciting time in your life, and the right real estate agent will not only get you where you need to go, but be your advocate every step of the way. 

If you’re ready to achieve your real estate goals in 2019, we would love to talk to you! Since 2014 we’ve been offering buyers and sellers the highest level of comprehensive services in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Our 8-step buying process, and state of the art marketing process for sellers leave clients raving

Click here to schedule a pressure-free phone call with one of our team members.

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