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If your relationship with your real estate agent is proving frustrating, there are steps you can take to get it back on track – or change your agent altogether.

As you prepare to sell your greatest asset, it’s vital to build a relationship with a real estate agent who you know has the necessary market knowledge, marketing skills and negotiating power to achieve the results you want.

However, not all business relationships work out as you may hope. Sometimes personality clashes, miscommunication and differences of opinion can complicate your relationship with your real estate agent and throw it off course before you reap all the benefits you should.

That’s why you should never settle for an agent who you feel isn’t living up to their promises, or isn’t giving your property the attention it deserves.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to get your relationship with your agent started on the right foot, get it back on track if it falls foul, and – if all else fails – switch to a new agent.

Set clear ground rules

Before signing a contract or a listing agreement with an agent, it’s important to set very clear ground rules. Your agent will likely promise open communication, but be sure to specify exactly what that looks like to you. For example, do you prefer to be contacted by email, SMS or phone call? Do you want daily updates from your agent, or are you more comfortable with a weekly catch-up? Being clear about your expectations from the beginning will make sure you’re on the same page and help to prevent frustrating miscommunication down the track.

Listen to each other

Your real estate agent will have clear ideas about how to market and sell your property to achieve its full market value. However, this may differ from your own ideas on the subject. Both agent and vendor need to remember that this process is a two-way street. As a vendor, you should listen to the professional advice of your agent, however the agent should also be paying close attention to your individual goals and challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask an agent to explain their position or reasoning in greater detail, and if you feel you are not being heard, it might be time to move on.

Switching agents

If you hit a dead end with your agent and feel like switching to a new agent is your best option, then it’s important to take decisive action to avoid delays that will make the sale of your home even more frustrating. If you have signed a contract or listing agreement with your agent, you’ll need to read it to identify how you may be able to terminate it. It’s a good idea to ask for a ‘get-out’ clause to be included in the contract before you sign it. Otherwise, your first step is to ask the agent to release you from the contract. If they refuse, take your complaint and request to be released to the principal of the agency. Both the agent and principal will want to protect their reputations so will be likely to let you out of the contract if you have a significant grievance, so be detailed and specific with your complaints.



The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.

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