In a seller's market, a buyer has to be ready to take action at a moment's notice. Some houses get offers within minutes of the listing going live. Your realtor has to be accessible and working with your best interests in mind in order for the transaction to go as smoothly as possible. If your realtor will not respond to your calls, it might be time to fire them and work with someone else. Here are some tips on what to do when you have a non-responsive realtor.
Consider the Issue From Their Perspective
Before you take a hasty action, think about the issue from the realtor's perspective. They might be closing a deal with another client at the moment of your call. If you are calling them after 10:00 p.m. on a weeknight or at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning with a question that is not urgent, they may not immediately respond. When the issue is not urgent or you call after-hours, give the realtor some grace. You should expect a response to urgent calls within one or two hours on a business day and non-urgent calls on the next business day.
Non-Receipt of Your Message
Find out if the realtor got your message. If you have to leave a message with a receptionist, they might not be passing them along in a timely manner. If you leave voicemails, call the realtor's agency and find out if the realtor's mailbox is full and how often they check their voicemail. It is also possible that the realtor had a family emergency or has been in meetings and has not received your inquiry or not yet been able to respond. They may also be researching your issue in order to get back to you with a useful answer. For example, if you called your realtor at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday in order to ask if the sellers could leave their washing machine, your realtor might wait until business hours on Monday to contact the seller's agent and get an answer for you.
Review Your Contract
If there is no good reason why the realtor is not returning your calls, review your contract. Most contracts have a specific timeline. For example, you might be obliged to work with that realtor for three months after signing the paperwork. If the paperwork stipulates working with the agency and not a specific agent, you might be able to work with a different agent at the same office.
Talk to Your Lawyer
When you have to get out of a legal contract, a lawyer is your best option. If you are bound to an agent for an extended period of time and they will not return your calls, the lawyer can likely find a way to get you out of the contract with minimal or even no penalties. Be aware that word will get around within the community of realtors.