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Realtor’s long vacation

Realtor’s long vacation
ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.

Dear Phyllis,

I used to look forward to your real estate question and answers. However, much of it seems repetitive. I have a new topic for you which I think your readers will find interesting.

My son has been working with a family friend with a real estate license who is also a full-time nurse. Last month, this agent/friend took off for a one-month vacation. My son understood that he was traveling and tried to be considerate. While the agent was on vacation, my son’s dream home came on the market. I believe my son found this online or through another friend who knew he was looking. Unfortunately, it sold within just a few days. He can’t get over losing this home. He asked his agent to be a backup buyer, but the seller already had a backup offer. While my son wants to be loyal to the agent since he is a family friend, I believe he needs to find someone who takes their real estate career more seriously. What are your thoughts?


Dear Jenny,

Thanks for your input and such an interesting question to shed light on another aspect of real estate. Has your son signed a Buyer Representation Agreement? This agreement establishes the relationship between homebuyers and their real estate agent. An exclusive agreement means that the buyer will work exclusively with that real estate agent. Exclusive agreements are typically in force for 30 days to one year. Of course, the agent must meet specific obligations. If your son has signed this, he needs to read it to determine which of several options he agreed to.

If your son has not signed this agreement, I agree that he should work with a full-time Realtor who takes his business more seriously. When working with a buyer, most Realtors and I often set our clients up on automatic emails of listings that meet their criteria. In this instance, the dream home would have been emailed to your son, and he could have texted his agent to arrange a viewing. There also may have been an open house your son’s agent could direct him to.

I don’t understand any business owner taking off work for a month without a backup plan. Typically, when a Realtor goes out of town, they have a plan with another colleague, manager, or broker. Your son’s agent should have left a Realtor colleague in charge of his business. The only reason not to do so would be because his Realtor/friend didn’t want to compensate someone while he was on vacation.

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