Unresponsive Agent- any advice?

14 Replies

Hi everyone, I put an offer on a house that is listed on the MLS and the sellers agent is VERY unresponsive. He was unresponsive when my agent and I were looking at the property but now that my agent has submitted an offer he is difficult to get a hold of. I submitted an offer and he contacted us within 24 hours with the sellers counter offer. My agent then submit my second offer and the sellers agent said he would get back to us again within 24 hours. It’s been 4 days and he hasn’t answered any calls or texts and his VM is full. Anything I can do to get a hold of this agent? Anyone have experience with this? Thanks you! Nicole
Originally posted by @Nicole Grenier :
Hi everyone,

I put an offer on a house that is listed on the MLS and the sellers agent is VERY unresponsive. He was unresponsive when my agent and I were looking at the property but now that my agent has submitted an offer he is difficult to get a hold of. I submitted an offer and he contacted us within 24 hours with the sellers counter offer. My agent then submit my second offer and the sellers agent said he would get back to us again within 24 hours. It's been 4 days and he hasn't answered any calls or texts and his VM is full. Anything I can do to get a hold of this agent? Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks you! Nicole

 He's probably fielding other offers working the price up. If you revise your offer to a more competitive offer i'd imagine that you'll get a response. Remember the seller's agent doesn't work for you. He is not there to make sure you buy the property. He is there to make sure the seller gets the most money out of the sale.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

Thanks James! The house is overpriced, 20 k over nearby similar comps and needs some updating so you are probably right since my offer is low compared to the listing price. However I brought my next offer up to what the seller was willing to go down to which is close to nearby comps. When I looked through the house the owner was there and telling me how terrible the agent was and how he only answered the phone when he wanted too. He even said “anything you could do to help would be appreciated. I just want to move out of the house”. So the seller is motivated and I am nervous the agent is going to ruin this deal.

Originally posted by @Nicole Grenier :

Thanks James! The house is overpriced, 20 k over nearby similar comps and needs some updating so you are probably right since my offer is low compared to the listing price. However I brought my next offer up to what the seller was willing to go down to which is close to nearby comps. When I looked through the house the owner was there and telling me how terrible the agent was and how he only answered the phone when he wanted too. He even said “anything you could do to help would be appreciated. I just want to move out of the house”. So the seller is motivated and I am nervous the agent is going to ruin this deal.

 I've been involved in 1,000's of sales. Dealt with 1,000's of buyers, sellers & agents. Few thoughts come to mind, not in any particular order.


  • There are a lot of incompetent agents out there. The industry has a 90% fail rate. So if the agent involved is a newbie 9 out of 10 shot he's an idiot.
  • Sellers lie. Sellers lie a lot.
  • if a house is overpriced sellers will talk like it's the agent who overpriced it. They will say they just want to move, leading you to believe they would actually prefer a lower price. THAT IS THE BIGGEST LIE OUT THERE! Agents aren't paid unless it sells. I have NEVER seen an agent argue with a seller & twist their arm to list for a higher price. Makes no sense. It's always the seller behind the scenes with an unrealistic price expectation.
  • “anything you could do to help would be appreciated. I just want to move out of the house, (AT MY PRICE)”.
  • All deals don't close. Take your best shot. If it works, it works. If not on to the next.


James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

Thank you James! I appreciate your insight

 Knock on the sellers door and find out if your offer was received. You didn’t sign a contract with that agent, and obviously they aren’t getting the job done.   Bring a copy of the offer with you. I’m sure some agents are going to wholly disagree with my suggestion, but if time is of the essence and you need to get a deal done, ring the doorbell. You can always work out any problems later.

Is it safe to assume your agent has called the listing agent’s broker to find out why he isn’t responding? Unless he’s in the hospital and his phone got run over, four days is outside the bounds of professional courtesy. 

If this isn’t a home run deal, and it doesn’t sound like it necessarily is, it may be time to move on to the next. 

Sharon Powell, Real Estate Agent in TX (#695962)
830-581-1020

Withdraw the offer with the reason being an unresponsive agent. Find another house. The agent should be fired, but since he is the seller's agent, he is costing them the sale.

The listing agent got his own agenda.  It happens when it is competitive. On all offers you need a expiration time like same night such he can not use your offer as leverage. 

@Nicole Grenier Is the home you offered on a foreclosure or a short sale by chance? If so, it can take some time to hear back from the bank in these cases.

I am in your local market here in CT and know a lot of the agents personally, especially the ones who list multi family from 2-units and up. If you want to shoot me the info on the agent you are dealing with on the sellers side (or have your agent reach out to me) I can look into it for you or give you a heads up on the type of person you are dealing with at the very least.

Lastly, have your agent reach out to the sellers. Very rarely will a sellers agent acknowledge a buyer who is represented by an agent directly. 

Michael Noto, Real Estate Agent in CT (#RES.0799665)
860-384-7570

We just bought a foreclosure and it was a nightmare dealing with the sellers agent.  Submitted our first offer on the deal in late october and finally closed on it feb 2nd.  We went past two earlier closing dates because of no response from the sellers agent.  My agent finally contacted the broker and we did get a response but it didn't help the communication much.  Good luck!

@Casey Mericle I actually did that! Knocked on the door and talked to the owner. He said “anything you can do to help me get a hold of the agent”. The seller even called me today saying he wants to work out a deal with me, just can’t get a hold of his own agent- his contract is up in March. Seller said he wants to work with me even if he gets another offer- but I’m not Naive, i know money talks and nothing is for real unless it’s on paper.

@Nicole Grenier good for you.  I would contact the managing broker for that agency. I would outline exactly what happened but don’t make any off-putting comments, or get personal about the situation. Simply state the facts of your offer and the non-response. See if the managing broker can  get the ball rolling. 

 If nothing can be done there then offer the seller to lease it with the option to buy once the listing is up. You want to check and see if the agent still gets a commission after the listing is up. Typically you’ll see in the seller’s contract that they’ve  probably agreed to 30 to 90 days of still paying  that same agent if the property sells after the listing expires. 

Good Luck

Is the agent an agent or a broker? If an agent, find out the broker and have your agent speak with them (have all the documents regarding when and how you tried to make contact). If the agent is a broker, find them at their office and speak to them directly. That is what I would be doing in your shoes.

Call his broker. I have done this in the past after making full price offer and getting no response from the agent. Turns out the seller had no idea that the agent wasn't responding. Called his broker and received a call within minutes. Yes that agent works for his seller but you work for your buyer. Period. If your buyer wants the house, rattle his cage. Call broker and express your concern in a nice manner. On my particular case, my client really wanted this property. So I was not about to let some
Lazy non responsive agent prevent that. My buyer closed on the house.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.