It's not me, the Realtor, it's you
How Realtors can diplomatically part ways with a difficult home buyer or seller
When a Realtor contacts a prospective homeowner looking for representation, the initial meetup may seem like this will be an easy business relationship. The buyer’s agent knows what’s available on the multiple listing service and can negotiate with the seller’s agent. The aspiring homeowner is looking for the best options to purchase. What could go wrong? Nothing at all—or plenty.
Unfortunately, all three parties may find themselves unable to work together. Maybe the seller refuses to get suggested repairs made or install upgraded technology to make the home more attractive. Or, maybe the seller is determined to charge a much higher rate than the value of the home or similar local rates.
The rift could also be the aspiring buyer’s fault. Maybe the house-shopping buyer has bad credit or a history of evictions but has high expectations for a new home. Or, maybe the Realtor only has options that are out of the buyer’s price range.
Although Realtors are not required to have an exclusivity contract so that a seller or buyer can work with them, the National Association of REALTORS specifies that other Realtors cannot take on new clients who are already affiliated with other Realtors. The business relationship between the initial Realtor and that client must be mutually severed in order for a work peer to take over.
So how can a Realtor sever these ties diplomatically without burning a bridge in the process?