Real Estate agents, can I cancel my contract?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by canfossi, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    I have had this real estate agent for quite a while, and was wondering if I can cancel my contract and get another agent? I am not particularly happy with her approach to selling my house, which hasn't sold. I looked at my contract and the fine print and don't see anything that relates to cancelling the contract part way through. The contract goes until August. With the new agent I am only listing it for 3 months to start, so they will really work at getting the house sold. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks Chris
     
  2. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    In Missouri you can cancel a listing agreement by mutual consent of you and the agent's broker.

    The only other alternative is a lawsuit for breech of contract.

    A lot has to do with whether or not they have failed to do their job, or whether you just don't like the way they were doing it. If they have tried to sell your house then it will be difficult to prove that they have breeched their contract.

    If I were you I would write a letter to the broker documenting all of the areas where the agent has failed to fulfill her end of the agreement and ask that you be released rather than having to pursue legal action. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. Ninety-nine out of 100 brokers will cancel rather than facing a lawsuit. You can also "mention" that if you are not released from the agreement you will have no other choice than to go to the local board of realtors for their assistance in the matter since they have violated the rules of the board by not upholding their end of the agreement. No broker wants to have a complaint filed against them to the board.

    Donsgal
     

  3. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SELL YOUR HOUSE ON YOUR OWN WHILE YOU ARE STILL IN CONTRACT WITH A REALTOR!!!! The realtor will still be able to claim a commission while doing NONE of the work!! Happens all the time, owner gets po'd waiting on the realtor and sells the house another way and the realtor sues for the commision and WINS!!!! Either cancel the contract first or let it expire before trying another realtor or selling on your own. Some contracts even allow the realtor to charge commission 3 MONTHS AFTER the contract expires.
     
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    Also if they have showed the property to anyone who might buy in the future they can still charge the commission.
     
  5. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can cancel your listing contract at any time in WRITING, but unregistered is partially correct - if someone buys your place that your original realtor showed it to, you realtor is entitled to the commission IF the buyers buy within the contract stipulated period of time, usually 90 days after cancellation or expiration of the contract.
     
  6. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your contact will determine if you can drop your agent. Usually they have a fixed amount of time you have to keep them. After that your on your own. If your unhappy let the agent know and tell them you want to drop them as an agent.
     
  7. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    You can also ask for a price on work done so far to get out of the contract. They will figure the cost of their work so far. I had this option once.
     
  8. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    US LAW'S DO NOT APPLY IN CANADA is Ontario a town in the US or Canada?
     
  9. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    Big Dave is right! If you're north of the border, asking most of us won't do you a lot of good, as we're not up there and things sure can be different. I have no idea if you will be needing a lawyer/solicitor to take care of your legal papers on your house sale for you, but if you have one you are using or are intending to use - or someone you know - then why not give them a call and ask them that question, as they should have all the answers for you. In the meantime, as others suggested, it would be a good idea to do nothing, sign nothing, until you get it figured out -- you sure don't want to wind up having TWO realtors at the same time and maybe owing BOTH of them a commission and/or winding up in a lawsuit to figure out who owes what to whom and who gets what, etc. I have seen it happen! Good luck!

    MaryNY
     
  10. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Ontario Canada - it all depends on what exactly is in the original contract... contracts can vary quite a bit.

    In most cases, you cannot cancel the contract early unless both parties agree - and you'd probably want the agreement in writing.

    Unless you agreed originally to have the option to cancel the contract before its expiration, then the contract is valid until August.

    I really doubt any real estate agency would agree to a "cancel anytime" contract, since you could just use them to find a buyer, then cancel the contact and avoid the commission.

    cheers,
     
  11. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    When selling, you may want to consider Private Exchange http://www.privateexchange.ca

    Many folks who are serious about buying will have an agent - that agent will be happy to show them your "Private Exchange" listing (many agents follow private exchange as do buyers). If that agent's clients are interested in making an offer on your property, the agent will have you (or ask you to) agree to a "one day" listing at 3% commission, then they make a written offer. Obviously, this does not apply when you already have a selling agent.

    I sold a piece of property about 18 months ago in a similar way - it was a private listing - an agent had a buyer - I signed a 48 hour seller agent agreement at 3% and sold the property. If you go this route, be sure you have a lawyer, and make it known to the agent that all offers go to the lawyer. I dealt very little with the agent, my lawyer did most of the work... which wasn't that much.

    cheers,
     
  12. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Unquestionably, laws in Ontario are probably different than they are in Wisconsin.
    In Wisconsin, its unlikely for a person to "get out" of a real estate contract. At best, a messy lawsuit in which obscene legal fees would occur probably would take place. In fact, Wisconsin law says that a realtor, at the expiration of the contract may list up to 6 likely prospects, and STILL be paid a commision if the property sells to ANY of these 6 prospects within 6 months.
    Clearly, the law in Wisconsin favors realtors.

    Ontario law is likely somewhat different. Check with one that knows for certain.