From the Inbox:
I do not think my agent has my best interests in mind. I am trying to buy a home and she keeps showing me homes that are to expensive. When I ask her to show me lower priced homes, she says “but you are qualified for this amount and you wont be happy with a smaller home”.
I do not want to push the limit I am qualified for. I tried talking to her but she wont listen. I signed a paper saying she was my agent but I never got a copy of it. I want to use a different agent but dont know what to tell her or if that paper I signed means anything. What can I do?
The document you signed was probably a “Buyer Broker Agreement” (it may be called something different depending on where you are located). It is basically a contract between you and the agent to utilize her exclusively as your agent. Without seeing the language of that document, I can’t really tell you how binding it is.
It sounds like you have tried talking to the agent, so I would suggest talking to the agent’s broker as your next step. The broker is in effect the agents “boss”. They have a vested interest (and responsibility) to make sure you are satisfied with the agents that work for them. I am a broker myself and can promise you I would WANT to know if a client was having these concerns with one of my agents. The broker will probably have a discussion with the agent, and can reassign you to another agent in their office and/or release you from the agreement you signed (depending on the broker’s policies).
It’s possible that your agent IS the broker. In that case, you don’t have anyone “higher up” you can talk to. (other than going to the agents local Realtor association, but they probably won’t get involved unless the agent has done something legally or ethically wrong. And unfortunately, poor service isn’t really an ethical violation. Edited to add: But, protecting a clients best interest is. See Todd Tarson’s excellent comment). If your agent is the broker of her office, you may try another serious sit-down discussion and try to work things out. You should also ask for a copy of the agreement as you have every right to have a copy of any paperwork you’ve signed. Some agents/brokers utilize a “fire me” clause that allows you to get out of the agreement (but many do not). Another option would be to consult an attorney familiar with the agreement you signed and see if there is a way for you to break that agreement.
Finally, you might be to talk to your lender and get them to rework your loan qualification to reflect a lower amount. You could then use this new qualification amount to try to convince your agent to show you lower priced homes. You shouldn’t have to go this route as the agent should be respectful of your wishes. However, given what it sounds like is happening, it may be an option.
So sorry to hear of your troubles. Communication is the key here. I’m sure it’s very frustrating but I think you are very smart to not over-extend on what you can afford. There is often a big difference between the loan amount you can qualify for and what you can really afford to pay. Stick to your feelings and don’t let anyone talk you into something you don’t want.