Reader Question: Our real estate agent has told us the listing agent on a home we like is difficult to deal with and has made it clear they would prefer not to deal that person. Is this a red flag if we decide this is the home we want to pursue?
Amber and Josh H. – Atlanta GA
Monty’s Answer: Hello Amber and Josh, this is an intriguing question. Here is the most likely scenario. The issue boils down to the fact that your agent does not trust the listing agent. They are displaying professionalism by not sharing what they know of the listing agent. If you decide you want to buy that home, both you and your agent will have to make decisions. It is likely your agent believes the listing agent possesses certain undesirable traits that will riddle the process with surprises and delays. This could potentially result in the deal collapsing somewhere in the future.
If this home is your first choice otherwise and you have the time for potential delays or worse, simply ask your agent to proceed. Then your agent has to decide if the potential of aggravation is worth the risks for them. I suspect they will go ahead when they realize you have prepared yourself for surprises. They could also ask a co-worker in their office to present the offer and deal with the listing agent when it is necessary. The red flag here is to construct the offer document clearly with explicit language about who does what, by when, and what happens if one do not comply, then follow up during each step with written communications. You can learn more about contingencies at https://dearmonty.com/satisfying-contract-contingencies/. The efforts to document every little detail may possibly be enough for the listing agent to rise to the challenge and things will go smoothly. Remember, someone is going to buy that house.
If your agent continues to balk and you still want to proceed, I would advise you to get a written release from your agent regarding their claim to any future fees. If, your agent balks at your request, I recommend going to the designated broker at the company and ask them to intervene. With the release in hand, you are free to locate another agent, or even go directly to the listing agent. I am not recommending doing that, but if you did and things do not go well, you have only yourself to blame.
There is at least one other possibility here. I do not know your relationship with your agent. Have you spent much time with them? Has your agent suggested issues with agents on other homes? Have you observed your agent interacting with other agents? What I am getting at here is there being an outside chance the problem could be the listing agent does not trust your agent, and your agent knows it. They only brought it up when it became apparent the home you liked was a co-broke. It could be the agent no one wants to work with is your agent. While I doubt this is the case, I did not get enough information in your question to dismiss mentioning it. There are other more remote possibilities I see no reason bringing forward.
Please let me know if you have other questions.