Life comes at us fast sometimes. One moment, we’re entrusting our dreams in the hands of a real estate agent, hoping for an exciting and smooth journey to the next chapter of our lives. The next moment, we realize that the relationship isn’t quite shaping up the way we envisioned. It’s like ordering a margarita on a hot summer’s day, only to receive lukewarm tap water. Disappointing, isn’t it?
Let’s face it… firing someone isn’t a pleasant task. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that, in this high-stakes world of real estate, your dreams and finances are on the line. Roughly 20% of real estate transactions were unsuccessful due to ineffective agent-client relationships. These stats throw a stark light on the reality that agent compatibility isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity.
How do you (as a home buyer or seller) get divorced from your real estate relationship? How do you avoid burning bridges and part ways with grace? Here are four empathetic ways to say goodbye to your real estate agent.
1. Start with a Face-to-Face Meeting
In the age of texts and emails, human connection often takes a backseat. Yet, it’s crucial when delivering news that could impact someone’s livelihood. Meet your agent in person and express your concerns honestly.
This face-to-face conversation shows respect for them and their efforts, even if those efforts haven’t met your needs. Also, consider meeting face-to-face when hiring a realtor. Finding credible realtors is easier when you meet them in person. It’s harder to fake it when right in front of a home seller staring them in the eyes.
2. Honesty is the Best Policy
Honesty is not only the best policy, but it also becomes your best friend when you need to fire your real estate agent. Clearly articulate why the relationship isn’t working. If it’s about their approach, their communication style, or their performance, be upfront. Lies can lead to fights and eventually legal action with an attorney, which you should avoid.
Remember, your feedback might help them improve their service for future clients. Just like the reviews we leave on Yelp or Google help others make informed decisions, your honest feedback will help your agent grow.
3. Keep it Professional, Not Personal
It’s essential to maintain a professional demeanor throughout the process. While it’s okay to feel emotional, getting rid of your agent isn’t about their personality—it’s about their performance. Aim to communicate in a way that focuses on the business aspects of the relationship, rather than personal elements.
This tactful approach can make the process less confrontational and more about mutual growth. If the goal was to sell your house fast, and it didn’t happen, point that out. It’s not personal, it’s just business.
4. Propose a Mutual Agreement
In the world of real estate, contracts are king. If you’ve signed an agreement with your realtor, you might be bound legally to work with them for a specific period. But remember, real estate agents are people too, and people understand when things aren’t working out.
Discuss the possibility of a mutual release from the contract. This way, both parties can move forward without resentment or legal issues. If they can fulfill a few items that were initially agreed upon, outline that too. For example, if your realtor said they would market your property online, make sure that gets done before you cut ties. Either that, or they compensate you. And then you fire them.
Firing Your Realtor
Real estate transactions can be a roller-coaster ride of emotions, expectations, and money—a trifecta that can either lead to a dream home or a complex situation. When your agent isn’t meeting your expectations, don’t wait. Put you and your family as the priority. Fire them like it’s nobody’s business if you need to and find a better realtor!
Firing your real estate agent isn’t personal, it’s business. You must make a professional decision based on your needs and the agent’s ability to meet them. Approach the process with empathy, honesty, and professionalism. They should understand if you’re not happy or goals haven’t been met.
If you find yourself sipping lukewarm water when you really ordered that ice-cold margarita, remember that it’s okay to send it back. Your dream home is waiting for you, and the right agent will help you unlock its front door.