Firing a RE agent. - Posted by PDM

Posted by Glenn OH on January 19, 2000 at 14:54:44:

Or maybe the broker will let you out, since legally the contract is with them. I did just that with my house last spring. Listing agent promised my listing would go in their magazine when it listed. When it did not, I called the office manager (multi-office brokerage for national franchise chain). I reminded her that they were working to protect my best interests, and that there performance was not in my best interest. She started back-peddling, etc. After second call to her with no results, I asked for broker’s name and location. Immediately drove to that office and asked to speak with the broker. When he got off the phone, he came out, said he just had spoken to office manager, and that the contract would be cancelled. We met with agent the next day to cancel contract. She handed us a standard Bd. of Realtors cancellation form (WATCH OUT!!!) that stated we were just cancelling the contract, and if we re-listed or sold it ourselves (even to family) they would be due a commission. Since we were going to sell the house some way, I could not live with those terms. So… I got out my pen, crossed out all the ways they would get paid, added that we fully intended to sell the house, and under no circumstances would any commission be due. Agent got a little nasty, went out of office, came back, and added the comment that under no circumstances would the brokerage ever do business with us (I’m not sure the broker was aware of that little petty statement). In the end, she sign the cancellation, and we later sold the home privately.

Firing a RE agent. - Posted by PDM

Posted by PDM on January 19, 2000 at 09:03:49:

Is it difficult to terminate a contract with a broker? The agency I signed with appears to be quite incompetent as they are listing my home for an exorbitant price so out of line with comparable RE values that is will never sell at this price. I want to fire the agency. What are my rights. Please advise.

Thank you in advance,


Re: Firing a RE agent. - Posted by Ray (NJ)

Posted by Ray (NJ) on January 19, 2000 at 10:30:23:


Got your e-mail, but deleted it by mistake. Came here to re-read the message, but it wasn’t here!

If memory serves, you wanted to keep the property and sell it to yourself (in an LLC).

Again, you might want to seek legal councel for this, but if you approach it properly, you really won’t need to.

I would approach the broker, inform them that you have decided to keep the property and don’t want to sell it. Then, inform them that your intentions, since you are keeping it, are to form an LLC and sell it to yourself. Most reasonable brokers will have no problem at all with that. They still may want you to sign a waiver that if you (or the LLC) sells the property in XX days, you would still owe a commission. This is reasonable (to me), and really isn’t a problem, since you’re planning on keeping the property anyway.

If they insist on keeping the contract, which is doubtful, the only way they can FORCE you to perform, is if they find a buyer willing to pay full price with no contingencies. Your listing agreement states that you will sell the house for XX dollars with XX terms. They only way they can FORCE you to sell (and pay a commission) is if they bring you those exact terms. Anything else would be a negotiation on your part, and not part of the original contract. The very few times I’ve ever know this to happen, after the seller threatened with legal action, the broker backed down. Once, the seller DID sell to one of the parties, but they negotiated a lesser commission out of court. In that case, it was the seller trying to get out of paying a commission, though - he was being sneaky. You’re not.

Having said all that, I highly doubt anyone is going to hold you to your contract if you sincerely plan on holding your property, even if you’re transferring it to an LLC. If they do, you can always call an attorney who could find a “legal” way for you to terminate the contract.



Re: Firing a RE agent. - Posted by Ray (NJ)

Posted by Ray (NJ) on January 19, 2000 at 09:18:31:

It’s YOUR home, YOU set the price, terms, etc. All you simply have to do is call them up and say, “I want to lower the price.” Most likely, they’d be estatic, because, to them, it would be more apt to sell, meaning a quicker commission. In my experience, Realtors want the sellers to have the lowest price, and buyers the highest, not vice-versa.

Now, if you want to cancel your listing agreement, call them up and tell them, “I don’t want you to sell my house anymore.” Chances are very good, they’ll cancel your contract. Most likely, they’ll want you to sign a waiver that if you sell your property in the next XX days to a buyer they procured, you’d still owe a commission (and rightly so).

If they give you a hard time, which is doubtful, let them know you’ll be contacting an attorney to cancel the contract. If the bluff works, great. If not, call your attorney (but there REALLY should be no need for this, it really is an everyday occurrence), and I’m sure he/she could find a dozen ways to cancel your agreement.

But, before you do all that, read your contract. There should be a clause in there explaining the repercussions of you cancelling the contract. Simple, easy, to the point.

Re: Firing a RE agent. - Posted by Corey

Posted by Corey on January 19, 2000 at 14:04:43:

Boy would I like to have you as a client. 99% of the people selling property are just the opposite of you. They want the high price and then wonder why the property won’t sell! Have you discussed your pricing concerns with the agent and his broker? Also a little know fact(in most states) is that you did not hire the agent to represent you but instead the broker. Maybe he could assign you a new agent. Good Luck!