Choosing the right real estate agent can be crucial to selling your house, but if you make a mistake, you may be able to switch to someone else. The key is to make sure you’re in compliance with the terms of the listing agreement you signed when you started working together. If you no longer want to work with your agent, first check your contract to see if there’s any real estate listing agreement cancellation form or policies in place, then tell your agent you want to end things.
Real Estate Termination Agreement
You’re probably contractually bound to work with your agent for a fixed timeframe. This is outlined in something called a listing agreement, which you sign when you agree to work together. Termination of a real estate contract by seller is usually covered in this agreement, with restrictions on such cancellations and details about what steps you’ll need to take.
In some cases, a real estate termination agreement is mutual, meaning that both you and your agent want to cancel it. In that case, you’ll simply need to follow the steps laid out in your agreement to end things. However, if you both aren’t willing to walk away, you’ll need to carefully review your contract to see how to get out of it.
Types of Real Estate Agreements
What you’ll need to do to put a real estate termination agreement in motion depends on the type of contract you’re under with your agent. The majority of real estate agent agreements fall in one of two categories:
- Exclusive right-to-sell:This type of agreement ensures the agent gets a commission no matter how the buyer finds the house.
- Exclusive agency: With this type of agreement, the agent’s compensation is withheld if the buyer found the listing without the agent’s help.
Termination of real estate contract by seller depends on the type of contract, as well as the wording within it. With both types of agreements, you’ll usually find a section covering cancellation. Agreements typically expire if the home isn’t sold within a certain timeframe.
Canceling the Real Estate Agreement
Once you’ve studied your contract, you should know what to do next. While it may feel easier to send an email or fill out some real estate listing agreement cancellation form, it’s important to do the right thing and have a conversation with your agent. If you haven’t expressed your concerns previously, you should give your agent the chance to make things right.
Termination of real estate contract by seller is never easy for either party. Instead of canceling, your agent may offer to shift you to another agent within the agency who can take over your listing. If your agent doesn’t agree to let you out of the listing, though, you may have to enlist an attorney to get out of the contract if you can’t wait out the rest of the term.
Reasons to Terminate a Contract
If you’re looking around for a real estate listing agreement cancellation form, you probably have a good reason to do so. Perhaps the most common reason for terminating your agreement with a real estate agent is that the agent simply isn’t delivering. If your house has been on the market for months with no action, you could understandably feel as though a switch to a different agent could finally move things along.
Agent negligence can be a claim that’s taken seriously, particularly if the person handling your listing works for a larger agency. But in some cases, you may simply feel that the agent is the wrong fit, perhaps because of a personality clash or poor communication. However, if your agent is engaged in unethical behavior, you may be able to file a complaint with the National Association of Realtors, which maintains a strict code of ethics for its members. Mentioning that you’re considering doing this could be enough to have an agent agree to cancel the contract when all other attempts to do so fail.
- Most real estate agreements last 180 days -- but you can request one for a shorter term. If you’re unsure about an agent – or about selling your home – ask for an agreement with a 3-month term.
- If your agent invested money marketing your home and you cancel the agreement, you might be liable for expenses that the agent incurred during the listing period.
- Once you cancel the agreement, read through it again. Agreements often include clauses stating that if the property was shown to any person while the listing agreement was in effect and that person buys the property within six months to one year after the agreement is terminated, the listing broker is still owed a commission.
Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a ghostwriter for a credit card processing service and has ghostwritten about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, Ecommerce Insiders, GoBankingRates, and ThriveBy30.