FYI, when it comes to firing a client I always used to seem to fire them too late. Over the years I've learned to cut ties, rather than hang on for dear life until things end up imploding anyway and I ended up wasting even more of my valuable time. My philsophy these days: it's better to fire them sooner than later.
I think we've all run into a seller to two that have been difficult or impossible to please - keep your eye on the end game, helping them successfully sell their home. If through their lack of cooperation or lack of realism, you see no opportunity for that to happen, then it is surely time to talk it out. I'd approach it that way - this is business, nothing personal. You've been hired to do a job, and if you have set expectations properly and the seller is not cooperating, then explain that unless he adjusts you can't do your job. But one caution, if you have "bought" the listing, ie accepted a listing that you knew was way overpriced, bets are off, in my mind, agents that do this have invited their own trouble.
I had one seller that was really impossible - and I hung in there but it weighed heavily on me and dragged me down. I would also use the impact the situation is having on your overall business - sometimes situations like this can be so overwhelmingly negative and time consuming that they drag down your business overall which is really a bad outcome.
There may also be positives that come from it - in my case, though I didn't sell the home, I met a wonderful couple in the process of trying. And they were the source of my largest transaction and then referred me to a family member that beat bought a high priced home as well.
Unwavering Commitment to Service
I disagree with some of the comments. This business is a business of professionalizm, and ethics while I agree that the listing does belong to a broker, your obligation to the seller as their lister is to represent them and that is where your fiduciary responsibilites lie. However, if you have a seller that is unreasonable and does not respect you, I do believe you have the right to release them and allow them to go elsewhere. We do this business because we like it, we like to help, and we like the money. Some people, no matter what you do will not think it is enough and I personally believe if you are an agent and a reputable respectable agent, at some point you will end up firing some sellers and you will even release some buyers. I believe it they (the seller and buyer) do not respect you as a professional and will not take your professional advice it is time to release ( fire) them. You are working free until you sell.....so I do not believe working free entitles any person whether it be a buyer or seller, to disrespect or undermine your professional career ethics as long as you are like I state ethical and reputable.
I fired a seller. I did everything I could, brought them an offer the first 2 weeks on the market explained the situation entirely and she still decided to take the offer against my recommendation. After 1 month the deal fell apart which I knew was a plausibility, yet, the sellers had the rudeness to tell me I did not want to sell their home and they did not think I was working hard enough. The seller called me, spoke rudely to me, and hung up on me. Her husband was twice as rude, saying that when an employee of a company does not work the president along with the company is fired. That night, I made a trip to her home, explained to her that under no circumstances would I allow anyone to talk to me in that fashion. I kept my coolness, and I was polite, I showecd them everything I had done, and I said here is a release, I no longer wish to help you sell your home, you are free to find another agent whom you think will work harder and do more than I have and I wish you much luck. I did;say to her, I work free until I sell so ask yourself, why any agent would want to spend money on advertising and promoting a home and end up with -0- return. Im sorry, I no longer wish to work with you I have never spoken to anyone in the fashion you have spoken to me and I certainly would never hang up on someone when they were trying to explain to me. So we are not compatible. I pulled my sign and gave her her keys. She did not sign the release but I did explain to my Broker, and we pulled the listing. You have to work for a Broker, that stands behind you 100% and that is the only kind of Broker I would work for or with. So, Yes, sometimes you have to seperate your self and better sooner than later.
Call me I would love to chat with you....and don't worry about it.....fire them if they are not treating you right. Just because you in this business does not mean we have to be treated like doormats......you have the right to be selective of whom you work with, and most good agents are.
When you feel that there will not be a deal coming from the client. Or that he is not giving in as much as you are. Then I think it's time to call it quits on both sides.
A real estate deal has to be a mutual compromise in which everyone is satisfied and where everyone has given in his/her share.
If you cannot realise this, then you should walk away.
At what point is your question.... well it depends how long you had the listing, how long the listing agreement is for, and do the sellers cooperate with YOUR suggestions or do they tell you WHAT to do.....
Discuss with your broker and then yes you can cancel your listing agreement with them.....
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago Connection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
Ultimately, they control the decisions, you should be controlling the process. What do you want their reference to you be like when their neighbors ask, "Hey, who was that agent you used? Would you recommend her?"
If they agree with the process and don't support your efforts. Remind them and if you still get resistance, part company! Let someone else deal with the people who really don't want a solution to their problem! After all it's there problem not yours if you tried to help them.
In my office, we don't have to ask permission to fire a client. All we have to do is get the client to sign a rescission agreement, and they're gone.
The way I do it is to tell them, after I've heard their complaints, is that I'd be glad to continue to market the property until they have found another broker that is more to their liking, at which time they can call me up, I'll take the sign down and the keybox off, and we'll go our separate ways. I've only had to do it three times, and we're all the better for it.
I am very up front and realistic about the market and what I will do for the client. I do what I say I will do. I set expectations up front so. If I get a bad feeling at the listing appointment, I don't take the listing.
If I do get a client that I wanted to fire, I would discuss the issues with them and if we could not get them resolved. I would say that I may not be the best agent to help them and would bring out the cancellation form.
Next, you better understand that a listing agreement is a contract and you just can't say I quit. If the seller agrees and the Broker or owner of the listing agrees then a document can be drawn ending the listing agreement but it is not just able to be dismissed unless there is terminology in the listing agreement saying either party can cancel at anytime. I like to add this clause to listings that I feel might become trouble in the future. A seller can require a listing to run its term, but most sellers will release an agent if the problems are really bad.