RelatinshipIf you’ve ever bought or sold a house, you know that picking a Realtor to help you with the process is no piece of cake.

You have any number of articles and blog posts telling you what to look for and how many people you should “interview” before making the decision on who you should work with making the most important financial and lifestyle decision of your life.

Interview 3 people. Make sure they’re experienced. Knowledgeable. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

On the other side of the coin is the Realtor. The person always on the hunt for new business. After all, the average homeowner stays in their home an average of 7 to 10 years before they decide to move. That’s a long time to wait for your favorite client of all time to call you back up.

So, Realtors do a lot of stuff to find new business.

The “Relationship”

Lots of real estate trainers will tell us that the real estate transaction is all about the relationship. The idea is that we’ll be the home buyer’s or home seller’s BFF for at least three months, if not a year or longer. We’ll here some of their most personal stories. Their aspirations and dreams.

We’ll also see the absolute worst side of our client.

Depending on who we’re reading or listening to at any given time, this “relationship” continues long after the real estate settlement has occurred. Or, maybe not.

Is It A Good Relationship?

Most people kinda know that Realtors only get paid when the deal is done. If you’re the home buyer, you get the keys and the Realtor gets a check. If your the home seller, you get a check (hopefully) and the Realtor gets a check. In the meantime, several months have passed and even though the client may be getting paid weekly or biweekly by working at their job, the Realtor is just spending money.

More to the point, thee is a lot of second guessing and second thoughts involved in the process. The homeowner isn’t sure if this is really a good offer of if their Realtor (the person on their side) is really giving them good advice or “just trying to sell the house”. The home buyer may think the Realtor is just trying to “sell them something” or that there is really a “better deal” just around the corner.

Either way, buyer or seller, there is a lot of uncertainty. This uncertainty, I think, comes from a lack of trust combined with a bit of lack of respect for the knowledge and experience for the Realtor they selected.

Or, it could be they just aren’t ready to make a decision.

It is a big decision and not one to be hurried. Yet, at the same time, if you have come this far, there must be a reason.

The Way Out

As I mentioned above, we Realtors don’t really make money until we reach the settlement table and everybody is smiling and passing keys back and forth.

Realtors also spend a lot of money looking for new business so that when we do get a someone who says they want to sell or buy a house, we tend to stick with them.

Sometimes, as the saying goes, mistakes were made.

In our Listing Agreement in Maryland, there is a specific way to end the arrangement and get out.

As required under Section 17-534(b)(5) of the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act, the parties agree to the following provision for the termination of this Agreement (Broker to insert terms of termination): _______

Notice it says “parties” as in plural. That means either the Realtor of the Client can say “good-bye”.

Most of the time, I want to stick it out. I want to be my Client’s BFF. I don’t often want to get out of a listing or a buyer’s broker agreement but if it’s not working out, it’s not working out.

Occasionally it’s time to cut my losses if it’s not going anywhere. If a Seller can’t or won’t negotiate in good faith or accept a reasonable offer or if a Buyer can’t make up their mind or becomes unreasonable during the process.

Believe it or not, it really isn’t all about the money. Sometimes it’s about peace of mind, less stress, being able to sleep at night and enjoying life.

(this post originally appeared on LinkedIn. Please feel free to connect!)