Home Selling in Glendale>Question Details

Goingcrazy3, Home Seller in California

Can I cancel my listing contract with my agent if his license expired and he's not working to sell. The broker won't help us.

Asked by Goingcrazy3, California Tue Jul 26, 2011

My agent (Sales person) DRE license expired 3 month ago and he won't renew. He dropped the buyers on us twice because of the license issue. I asked the broker but he won't assign new agent for us. Can I cancel our listing?

Help the community by answering this question:


The following is personal opinion and not fact of law or legal advice. I am not an attorney, I am a Realtor.

Contrary to the opinions of several contributors here, you cannot unilaterally cancel your listing CONTRACT. I emphasized contract because we need to remember that a contract is a legal agreement that has been signed by two parties (in this case) and cannot be canceled by only one party. Both parties will have to agree to the cancellation.

I agree with Shel-lee Davis. Put your request in writing and deliver it to the broker. Your now un-licensed agent signed the listing agreement with you on behalf of the broker who is the actual contracting party with you. If the broker refused to cancel the contract and does nothing to fulfill his fiduciary responsibilities to you, take your complaint to the local Association of Realtors and to the Department of Real Estate. Let the broker know that you will not let the matter rest until it is fairly resolved.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 26, 2011
The listing is in fact with the broker.
The agent is an agent for the broker.
So, to cancel the listing you need to get the broker to cancel it.

I would recommend writing a letter to the broker explaining the situation. You hired the agent and broker to sell your house. If they cannot sell your house, or are unable, or don't want to, then you should be able to get them to cancel the listing.

You can also get help from the Dept. of Real Estate.

The Glendale Association of Realtors can probably also help you.
http://gaor.org 818-241-2184
Web Reference: http://dre.ca.gov
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 26, 2011
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
I should start this by saying I am not an attorney. It is my underrstanding that an agent with an expired license is expressly prohibited from engaging in real estate sales on behalf of a third party. The fact that the broker is allowing this to continue, may put them in violation of California law. I am surprised to hear that they will not work with you to assign another agent to your listing.

I would suggest that you put your request in writing to the broker. If they continue to ignore you, I would take my complaint to the local real estate board and ask for their assistance. You should get some response from them when you take it to that level. Hope this helps and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 26, 2011
An unlicensed agent can not list or sell a home period, if the managing broker wont help, you can contact the state real estate commission. They will act very fast in your situation. You should make all requests in writing and document everything to who, when and where. Once that broker sees teh RE commission involve dthey will act a little faster
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 4, 2011
Yes you can cancel and you should cancel. The broker can also be fined by the state for having unlicensed salespersons. You can file a complaint with the DOS (department of state)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
Thanks everyone for helping me. This forum is very valuable! :)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Of course you can, and unlicensed broker can not engage in real estate activities without a fine in my neck of the woods. However, the listing is technically owned by the expired agents office, so contact his Qualifying Broker for more information. I'm sure you can cancel without a problem since you hired the agent who is longer licensed and not the Qualifying Broker per se. It should be easy to do and doubt they would put up a fight under these circumstances.
Good luck and I hope you sell your home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Don't be afraid to let us all know how much you appreciated us. There are ratings for best answers and thumbs up for great contributions. I'll start by giving a few thumbs up to some pretty great answers and contributions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Your father’s signature, as none-owner, is meaningless. I think you already know that. You never had a contract. The broker agreed to cancel the contact that he never had.

You thought that you were in a listing contract with an agent whose license has expired and who works with a broker who did not care enough about your situation to even review that contract to see whether it was signed by you! Run away as fast as you can and seek a local, reputable Realtor to list your house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
I would send a certified letter to the broker requesting they cancel your listing. If that does not work contact your local board of Realtors.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
I recommend using the C.A.R. form COL because it has specific languages in there that protects both parties and especially for you. I prefer to use the form for myself if I were to cancel the listing with the broker.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Part of my answer was cut off. I wanted to add that you should have the broker sign the "Cancellation of Listing" C.A.R. Form COL and make sure box #4 "Principal Owes No Compensation to Broker".

Like John recommended earlier, contact the DRE to start the complaint process and I believe that broker will respond when DRE is knocking at his/her door. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
I wouldn't just accept your agent's writing that the listing agreement between you and the broker is cancelled. It doesn't take long to update the MLS status. Your agent just have to log into the MLS and change the status from
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 28, 2011
You should be able to contact your local NAR office. You can't be tied to a listing with an agent without an active license but your contract is also with the brokerage. If you take some time at the local NAR office and file a greivance, they should be able to help resolve this issue. Hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 28, 2011
For those who advise that a member of the public call the CAR legal hotline, please be advised that the CAR attorneys provide advice to Realtor members of the Association.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 27, 2011
A quick resolution is simply to contact the DRE in California. They will assign an investigator and tthis will probably get the situation resolved quickly.

Jack Gillis, M.B.A., J.D.
Jack Gillis Realty Advisors
Nathan Grace Real Estate, Broker
5619 Dyer Street | Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75206
Cell: 214.718.4910
Email: Jack@JackGillisRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 27, 2011
Agree with John Juarez (who happens to be on the local MLS Pro Standards Committee). The contract is with the broker - your conversation starts with them. If you don't get a suitable response, call your local MLS - they will help you get the ball rolling.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 27, 2011
Going Crazy.
I can see why you picked that name.
I am going to help you here.
Just so you know, the agent is a salesperson who works for the brokerage. The brokerage is always responsible, from the get go. The agent is someone hired by the brokerage. Your contract is and will always be with the broker, not the agent.
The brokerage takes over the contract when an agent leaves by either transfer and yes unlicensed.
You do have an existing contract from what you stated with that firm. The broker or the manager is your new agent until they appoint a new agent for you to work with.
It would be wise to leave the frustration at home, and speak with the broker or manager of the brokerage and resolve the issue. You are in a contract ( WITH THE BROKERAGE ) and you need to make it work.
In answer to your question,... No you can not cancel your contract with your agent if his license has expired.
You can consult with an attorney, You can wait out the contract expiration period. You can do your best to get along with the broker.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 26, 2011
Your real estate agent and his/her broker as supposed to be working for YOU and looking out for your best interest. If the broker is aware of the problem and not willing to resolve the issue then get away from that real estate agency and find a true professional to handle your property.

Your listing agreement hopefully has a clause written into it whereby you can cancel your listing with a written notice without penalty. Give then a written notice that you are taking your listing elsewhere. There are plenty of Realtors that would be glad to represent you and your interest and work for you in getting your property sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Trust me, this is an issue that a broker doesnt want. Maybe a face to face will do the trick. Once the issue is resolved, and you go to relist, you can go to http://www.dre.ca.gov and research your next potential listing agent to ensure that this doesnt happen again. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Of course you can cancel your listing. Get out of there and FAST!!
It is horrible people like this agent that gives bad reputations to sales agents.
Sorry that you have had to deal with such bad people.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Wow! Sounds like a nightmare. I am glad you got it figured out! Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Gee, Larry, how do you really feel? I agree.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Here's the short answer, you have novalid listing agreement and no agent as they are no longer licesnsed.
You should immediately contact the California Real Estate commission and file a complaint against the company the agent worked for and let them know what's going on. Mention the fact that the Broker in Charge refused to assign you a new agent. This entire company should not be permitted to operate as they apparently have absolutely no idea what their doing, what the laws are are what their fiduciary responsibilities include. If what you've written is true, they are a disgrace to the real estate industry and should all lose their licenses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
Happy this worked out well for you Goingcrazy3, good luck with your home sale and I hope you're no longer goingcrazy! : )
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
You're most welcome. That's what this forum is all about. Best of luck to you in your future plans for homeownership.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Thank you all for helping me on this matter. The broker emailed me stating that my listing is officially canceled without any fee and he removed the sign and the mls listing. I've saved that email and text message as our agreement since he did not send me the COL form and incase he wants commission down the road. Once again Thank you all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
I think perhaps Goingcrazy3 has done just that. He hasn't responded to this thread since the very beginning. I think he may be over it. Maybe it'st time to say......................................NEXT!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Goingcrazy3, several of the people below have answered your question correctly...your property is listed by the broker, not the agent. But, if the broker is not fulfilling their obligations to service your listing, you may have a very good argument. First, contact the broker by phone or in person and ask nicely for the listing to be placed into another agent’s hands, or that he would release the listing. Secondly, if the broker is not responsive, gather any communication you have with the broker and contact the local Real Estate Association (if he is a REALTOR, he has ethical responsibility that is much higher than most agents). Your complaint at the local Real Estate Association might stir him to action. Third, if it gets really bad, the state Real Estate Commission can be of support, but this takes a few months (...but at least the Commission will be aware of the brokers activity and unwillingness to support the consumers). Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
The listing is held by the broker, not the agent and you should contact the real estate board and make a complaint if the broker is, indeed, not servicing your listing. While you're waiting for that process to evolve, contact a broker from a reputable national brokerage and make a consultation appointment. Bring all your paperwork and ask for that broker's help in transferring the listing. He or she should be able to give you sound advice and a large national brokerage should have attorneys at the other end of the phone to field questions.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
In Massachusetts, an unlicensed agent cannot sell a home. If you have tried to contact his Broker to get a new agent without any response, I would go to another Broker/agent that you would like to work with. That new Broker can handle the details of getting the listing transferrred.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
An unlicensed agent cannot sell a home, and if you have tried to contact his Broker (who in my state, owns the listing) to get a new agent, I would go to another Broker/agent that you would like to work with. That new Broker can handle the hand-off of the listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Yes you can. If the broker won't assing a new agent the listing is with the broker. In Arizona you have the right to cancel the listing contract for any reason. check the laws in your state by calling the Department of Real Estate in your area. You can also report both the agent and the Broker too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
I would say absolutely you can cancel this listing contract. The fact that the agents license has been expired for 3 months is plenty of reason (the agent has no license to practice real estate). Not to mention you could file a complaint on the Broker for his/her lack of attention to the issue...the agent is a representation of the Broker.

Contact your local real estate commission to find out for sure if you are uncertain on the issue but I do not think it is a big of enough concern to spend money on an attorney, my advice would be to negate the current contract and find a more active agent/brokerage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Always check with your state law, but if the agent is not licensed I wouldn't think that contract is binding.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
In California your listing is with the broker even though you may have been working with a salesperson from the company. I would advise you to talk to the local board of realtors or seek legal advice from an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
It would depend on your states contract law.
See legal council.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
It would depend on your states contract law.
See legal council.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Yes, You can cancel your listing agreement with your Real Estate agent. Go to your Local Board of Realtors and ask them for advice. Sometimes you can contact an attorney and have them threaten your agent or their Broker and I am sure you will get some results. If this is happening I am sure that your agent or the Broker does not have the money to fight this in court and you should be able to withdraw your listing pretty quickly if you have an attorney get involved. Also, I tell my sellers that they have the right to withdraw at any time as long as thier is not a fully executed sales contract in place at the time of them wanting to withdraw. Sometimes I have homes that have not had any showings on it at all and they ask if they could withdraw their listing. I tell them that they can and that I will let them know when our market is not as "Soft" and I feel like thier house will sell again. 100% of the time they agree and are good with my end of the deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Dear Going..
Well, yes of course. IF he is not licensed in the State to act as a Realtor, that is the only thing that should happen. Ask for another licensed Realtor!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Put your home along with a low sales price on craigslist.com without an agent and see how it goes. Also consider forsalebyowner dot com. Doubt not that price trumps all variables.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Absolutely go to your local board office!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 3, 2011
Absolutely. I would make it happen sooner than later too, don't waste your time working with people who arn't willing to work with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
Man, is this thread ever getting some milage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 31, 2011
YES!!! Do research and find out which agent is selling the most homes in your area/price range! Interview a few agents and select the agent that you feel is dedicated and will work hard for you! Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 31, 2011
The answer is YES! Looks like you have gained all the necessary information needed to correct your issue. It's wonderful that buyers and sellers can, with this and other sites, have the ability to access necessary facts & information needed for their Real Estate Transaction. Please remember this, although information may be correct in one State, it may NOT be the correct information for another State. Each State has different Real Estate Laws and guidelines, that their Realtors, need to follow. Keeping that in mind, look for the answer applied to your state. Good Luck in your future real estate transactions. Asking questions from licensed Professional Brokers, is a sign that you are on the right track!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 31, 2011
No. Since we contacted the sales agent without contacting the company the broker gave the agent the full power. The broker didn't want to do anything with us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 31, 2011
YES YOU CAN cancel this listing. The listing belongs to the Broker, but the agent can not operate without a license. Is the Broker acting as your sales associate now?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 31, 2011
I absolutely agree. Yes. You can cancel you contract, and should.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 31, 2011
You can cancel your listing. And you Should cancel your listing! Being represented by an unlicensed agent means that your transaction is not valid.

Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
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