Skip To Content

How to Know When to Change Real Estate Agents

how to know when to change real estate agents

Relationships of any kind can be tricky, and that includes your relationship with your real estate agent. Real estate is a challenging industry to navigate. Home sales and purchases are some of the most important transactions individuals and families make in their lifetimes. Having an excellent relationship with a trusted realtor is critical to feeling confident, comfortable and valued when dealing with real estate.

Often times, people are referred to agents by a family member, colleague or go with the first realtor they contact. Unfortunately, this sense of loyalty or duty can sometimes lead to strained relationships. Not clicking with the agent generally leads to mishaps and miscommunications.

If this happens, it may seem uncomfortable to end your relationship with your agent. However, there are ways to end the partnership tactfully and amicably. This will allow you to find a better fit and move forward to successful sell or buy your next home.

Can I Change Real Estate Agents?

When you find yourself in a relationship with a realtor that just isn’t working, it’s possible to feel trapped, frustrated and unsure if it’s even possible to move on to another agent. If you’ve found yourself experiencing these emotions, then the short answer is yes. It is possible to change real estate agents and it’s better to do it sooner rather than later to avoid wasting your time and theirs.

Though it is completely possible to change agents, sometimes we aren’t even certain if the situation has reached that point. However, there are clear signs to watch for if you begin to question your new real estate partnership. There are also some factors to consider based on whether you are a buyer or a seller, as well as some proper etiquette recommendations to follow.

The reality is, not everyone sees eye to eye. The sooner you acknowledge this, the sooner everyone can move forward.


8 Signs it’s Time to Change Real Estate Agents


If you’ve started feeling like maybe things aren’t working out between you and your real estate agent, be on the lookout for certain red flags. If you’re experiencing any of these with your agent on a regular basis, it’s likely time to switch to an agent who is a better fit.


  1. Non-ResponsiveSign to change Real Estate Agents

When you stop receiving timely replies from your realtor, it can be a serious warning sign that the partnership isn’t a good fit. Whether it’s unreturned phone calls, text messages or emails, unacknowledged messages are a strong indicator that your real estate agent isn’t prioritizing your needs. It also indicates poor management skills, which makes it even harder to work with someone in a professional capacity.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it’s important to receive regular updates from your agent so you can be kept in the loop and move the process forward. But when you’re not hearing back, it can make things frustrating and difficult.


  1. Not Scheduling Showings

If you aren’t hearing from your agent regularly, then chances are you aren’t having many showings scheduled either. As a buyer, you want to be attending showings to find the best house, and it’s your agent’s job to schedule them. The agent’s ability to find the right house for you is an indication of their professionalism and skill. As a seller, you want to reassurance that your agent is properly representing you by the number of interested buyers who view your home.

If you feel like there isn’t enough activity, it can leave you feeling stuck and you’ll begin to question the amount of work your agent is putting into you as a client.


  1. Limited Area Knowledge

Many real estate agents specialize in certain neighborhoods or communities, so they can build up their expertise and deliver better value to buyers and sellers in those areas. If you are seeking homes in a specific area, it’s important to find an agent who knows the market inside and out and can help you find the best home for your needs.

If you’re a seller, you also need an agent with a tremendous amount of knowledge of your area’s market. They will know which types of buyers to attract, how to position your home at the appropriate price point and more. If you get any sense that your agent isn’t a total expert in the area, then you likely won’t have a good experience in working with them.


  1. Limited Availability

An example when to change real estate agents

Most realtors try to keep their hours flexible to accommodate the needs of their various clients. However, some realtors work part-time or don’t work weekends, which makes it challenging to coordinate showings.

If you are only available for weekend showings, but your agent isn’t able to work around this schedule, it can become frustrating. Finding an agent who is available when you are is key to a successful working relationship.

If you’re finding your agent is constantly unavailable when you need him or her, then it is a major sign that you need to find a new partner.


  1. Pushiness

A good real estate agent listens to your needs, understands your lifestyle, budget and concerns, then finds the right home to match these requirements. When agents start to show you lots of different homes that don’t meet your requests, you should begin to question if they’ve listened or if they care.

In some cases, realtors try to get you to expand your thinking. In other cases, it starts to become clear that they are pushing you in a direction that just isn’t a good fit. It could be a lack of concern, or it could be because they just want to close a deal.

Whatever the reason, if your agent isn’t listening to your needs and is pushing you in the wrong direction, it’s a definite sign to change real estate agents.


  1. Lack of Forward Progress

Perhaps your agent isn’t doing any one thing in particular to make you question the fit. Perhaps instead, you have a general sense of feeling like you’re spinning your wheels. If you feel stuck and it’s clear you’re not moving forward then this could be a sign that it isn’t working.

Real estate is an industry that requires activity and movement. By not making any progress it can feel like a waste of time and can become disheartening. If you feel like you’ve given it enough of a shot, but you aren’t seeing any forward progress, it could be time to question the relationship between you and your realtor.


  1. Unpleasant Communication

making the change to a new real estate agent

If eventually your relationship with your real estate agent has taken a bad turn, then it’ll make working together very difficult. You’ll probably want to avoid communicating with them altogether. This is a very bad sign. Partnerships can only work if there is open communication about needs, progress and results.

You may get anxiety or feel angry when you communicate with them. Conversations are no longer productive and may even have an undertone of hostility or frustration. If you are starting to feel like you dread communicating with your real estate agent then you should begin the process of changing agents as soon as possible.

  1. General distrust

If you feel like you automatically question everything your realtor is telling you, or you generally distrust them, this is a strong sign that this partnership is not a positive one. Think about some of the reasons why you may not trust him or her and determine if these are valid reasons or not. If you are still skeptical or have any doubts, then this likely will not improve. Instead, you should begin looking for an agent that you can work with without any misgivings or questioning their ability to perform their job.

Considerations for Changing Real Estate Agents

If you are committed to dissolving your agreement with your real estate agent, there are certain things to be aware of such as the procedures and legal ramifications involved in the decision. How you disband the agreement  also dependent on whether your agent is representing you as a buyer or a seller.

Changing Real Estate Agents as a Buyer

As a buyer, there are certain factors to take into consideration if you decide you want to switch agents. If an agent has shown you several homes and you decide not to continue working with them, then this is acceptable. Try going to the agent’s broker and asking for help finding a more suitable match. The broker will likely do what they can to help in order to maintain you as their client.

You may also consider asking your agent if they know of a colleague who may be a better match. Often times, the agent will be able to make an appropriate recommendation, given they have already worked with you.

In terms of legal and financial ramifications, if you were to change buyer’s agents, then want to switch back later and purchase one of the homes the original agent had shown you, then they’ll expect a commission. This is because your agent is the “procuring cause”, the reason for which you found the home and were able to purchase it.

Changing Real Estate Agents as a Seller

As a seller, you’re also well within your rights to request to change real estate agents. However, it may be more complicated in certain cases.  Sellers typically sign listing agreements with the listing realtor representing them. The listing agreement will have an expiration date, so you will likely have to wait until the agreement expires before changing agents.

Otherwise, you may be able to work out a deal to dissolve the agreement with your present agent if you both agree the partnership isn’t a good fit. In this case, your agent may be able to provide recommendations for another agent who will be better suited to your needs. The broker can also help recommend another listing agent to work with in order to preserve your relationship with the company.

As far as financial ramifications are concerned, in some states, you may be required to pay a commission to the original listing agent. If you’ve switched agents, and a buyer who was introduced to your home by the original listing agent goes on to buy your home, then it’s possible you’ll be required to pay the first agent a commission.

All listing agreements are different. They depend on the state, the area, the brokerage and other factors. If you’re unsure about what is legally acceptable, consult an attorney to help determine the best course of action.


Etiquette for Changing Real Estate Agents

If you know that changing real estate agents is the right course of action, but taking steps to end the relationship makes you feel uneasy, then there are some ways to handle the situation gracefully.

Remember these simple etiquette tips can go a long way to easing the transition, minimizing stress levels and ensuring all is fair for both parties involved. Delaying the switch will only eat up your time and theirs.

  1. Have a conversation as soon as possible: Don’t drag it out. If you are having these feelings, then it’s best to address them. Make the decision and discuss it immediately with your agent.
  1. Discuss legal requirements together: If there is an agreement in place, your realtor, whether a buyer’s or seller’s agent, will understand the legalities. Discuss the available options to dissolve the agreement. Also, be sure to lay out your expectations for any future dealings you have with another agent.
  1. Show appreciation: Despite the fact that the partnership isn’t working out, it’s always best to show appreciation for the work your agent has contributed so far. Leaving on good terms or trying to preserve your relationship in an amicable manner will go a long way to ensuring no added emotional stress.

Show appreciation to real estate agent

  1. Be firm with your decision: It’s difficult to say how the agent will react when you decide to move on. Perhaps they will understand your decision. But don’t expect them to accept it without a proper explanation. In this situation, some agents may begin to bargain and to try to persuade you. Reinforce that the decision is final, and that it’s best for you and the agent.

Ultimately, communication is key whenever you are addressing a concern or ongoing problem. By having an open and frank discussion about concerns, you can clear the air and allow for positive movement forward, even if that means dissolving your agreement.

Choosing Your Next Real Estate Agent at CENTURY 21 Core Partners

Once you’ve made the decision to change real estate agents, it may seem like a daunting task to start your search all over again. But this doesn’t have to be the case. At CENTURY 21 Core Partners, our agents understand that your home search isn’t just a home search. It’s the chance to find your dream lifestyle. We believe that it’s an important investment in your future, and our agents work hard to ensure a smooth home buying and selling process.

If it’s time for you to change real estate agents, consider choosing CENTURY 21 Core Partners for your next real estate relationship.

Contact Us Now


Recent Company Testimonials

Testimonial data verified by RealSatisfied