Can You Get Out of a Contract With a Realtor

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Can I Get out of My Contract

So you have a realtor that is trying to sell your home. It’s been listed for some time and you just don’t feel that this is the best match for you. Maybe your home hasn’t gotten an offer and has been on the market quite awhile. Or potentially your agent has requested you to lower the asking price again. You may be asking yourself, “can you get out of a contract with a realtor”?  

Reasons you might want to find another real estate agent

  1. They don’t call you back
  2. The agent didn’t really know the market area in your neighborhood and just stuck a sign in your yard.
  3. He or she keeps telling you the market is soft and you need to wait.

When you selected your realtor you probably did a little due diligence yourself. You selected the agent for a good reason. It’s always positive  see if you can work things out amicably. However if you did sign a contract, then read the fine print.

  1. The agreement is usually between the homeowner and the real estate broker.  You may need to get permission from the broker also. There should be a contract termination date that will state the day the contract ends. More on this later.
  2. If you didn’t sign anything, then you have a much better chance of moving on. Although verbal agreements are binding. They are much harder to prove and enforce.
  3. Now it is possible that even though your contract may expire soon, you still may owe a commission to your agent.

What does your contract state

The details will be in the agreement you signed. There are many types of contracts and promulgated forms that realtor use. You are looking for the commencement dates and the date the contract expires. However, there are also “protection periods” in many of these contracts.

Let’s say for example that a potential buyer offered you a price you declined. Then you contacted them and told them to come back after your real estate contract ended and you will give them a better price. The realtor would be protected, and entitled to their commission if you did in fact sell to that buyer.

Also be aware that most of these contracts are “exclusive right to sell”. This means that even if you sell it on your own, ¬†that your real estate agent will still be entitled to that commission. So don’t be surprised if they demand their commission.

Ask your Agent to Terminate the Contract

One way to end the agreement early is for both parties to agree to terminate the listing. However, it is hard to get an agent to agree to these terms. Especially if they have listed your home, done extensive research, and marketed the property. But if the real estate broker and agent agree to void the listing, then you won’t owe them a commission.

There probably are other ways to terminate a listing early, but these reasons are better left for a real estate attorney to address.

Resources:

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/are-verbal-agreements-binding-35794

https://www.reca.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Exclusive-Seller-Representation-Agreement-Feb-4.pdf

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