How To Work Around Difficult Realtors

How can real estate investors and homebuyers get past those difficult Realtors to get the property deals they really want?

Scoring a good deal on a home, commercial property, or piece of land isn’t always as easy as we’d like it to be. More often than not is has less to do with the seller and more to do with the Realtor. A Realtor could just as easily not be pulling their own weight in a transaction. This can be extremely frustrating for serious homebuyers and real estate investors that really want to take action. Reasons can range from pure incompetence to honest mistakes. So what’s the solution? What are the workarounds?

Launch a Full Barrage of Contact Efforts

Sometimes Realtors don’t get the message. They have many types of advertising running, all going through different channels. So they may simply not be getting your messages. If you’ve tried contacting them through one website via a messaging app, try phone, email, text, or other websites they are on. If you really want it that bad, try contacting their office.

Send an LOI

Send a Letter Of Interest. Don’t just ask if the property is still available, or for more details. Pose an informal offer.

Give Them Options

The Realtor or the seller may have no interest in that initial offer, especially if it is low, or overly creative. If they don’t like the way it sounds they may just not bother to answer at all. So how about sending a few options instead. For example; “I’d be interested to buy this property at X amount for cash, or a higher X amount if I can close in 4 months, or if we can do owner financing.” There is a greater chance of at least some type of counter offer or conversation with a proposal like this.

Let Them Know You are Legit

If you don’t back up your proposal, don’t expect them to take you seriously. In fact, they’ll often default to assume that you aren’t serious or qualified at all. Get this out of the way upfront. This will dramatically increase the odds of a response. So let the agent know if you are paying cash, or you are pre-qualified for a home loan, or at least if you have a proven track record of buying and selling investment properties.

Partner with Someone Stronger

If you don’t have the above qualifications, consider partnering up with someone who does. Can you find a co-borrower or investment partner that is respected locally, or has the cash?

Give Them Time

Sometimes all buyers can do is give the Realtor and seller some time to soften up. They may never give in, but what other choice do you have? Some will stubbornly and ignorantly hold out until the property is lost in foreclosure. But time usually helps. Give it a month or two and watch for price drop. Make another (lower) offer. Or make an informal decreasing offer.

Get another Real Estate Agent to Intervene

Sometimes you just aren’t going to get anywhere. Try using a buyers’ agent. The listing agent has no accountability to you really, and it is hard for the average buyer to motivate a listing agent to act in their favor. However, another agent can quickly change the dynamics. That is someone going to bat for you, and who represents you. Let them blow up that agent’s phone and email inbox until they get some answers.

Demand an Answer

If you really want or need a specific piece of property, you’ve done most of the above, and it feels like something shady is going on, demand an answer. Demand an answer to why you aren’t being responded to, or your offer hasn’t been responded to. Demand confirmation that they presented the offer to the seller, or at least a legit reason why not. Often times, the issue is that the Realtor didn’t even bother to present your offer to the real owner. If the listing agreement specifically spells out a scenario in which the seller doesn’t want an offer like yours, there isn’t much you can do about it, but that normally isn’t the case. No matter how low, ugly, or weak; your offer should at least be presented to the seller. Now let’s be clear that this probably won’t land you the deal. At least not through this agent. You are going to really upset them if you threaten a legal or board complaint. However, it might make them back off of their approach in the future. Actually filing a legal or regulatory complaint should be done with caution and has ramifications on both sides.

Let the Listing Expire

Don’t try to illegally go around the agent while they have a binding listing agreement in place. That’s just unethical, if not illegal. Even if you get the deal on paper, you or the seller could still wind up on the hook for the Realtor commission and damages later on. However, you can wait until the agent loses the listing. Most agreements are for 6-12 months. So put that on your calendar and try to go direct once the listing expires. That offers a nice fat discount too.