Home Selling in 93110>Question Details

Tab, Home Buyer in Santa Barbara, CA

Can a client cancel an existing CAR California listing agreement before a listing expiration date?

Asked by Tab, Santa Barbara, CA Thu Oct 4, 2012

We signed a listing agreement with our agent a few months ago to sell a 2 bed 1 1/2 bath view home in Santa Barbara. Our realtor does not return our phone calls. We received an email from him that he was having trouble selling it because it had was small (1040sf) and had 1 1/2 bath not two baths. We suggested advertising on Tulia and Zillow but his response was these web sites are not important.

How can a client cancel the listing agreement?

We learned our realtor does not have a cell phone, a web site to list property and all prospective buyers are routed to his home phone which is answered by a voice mail box. Any suggestions? Thanks

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Tab,

Yes, you can cancel your listing agreement. You might want to talk to your Realtor's Broker first to see if they have another agent in their office who would be better for you. (The Broker actually 'owns' the listing, not your agent). If you want to change Broker/Agent after talking to the Broker, you can definitely cancel the listing. Just let them know you want to do a Cancellation of Listing Agreement (C.A.R. Form CLA).

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Yes you have the right to CANCEL your listing agreement BEFORE a listing expiration date! You are the client...the agent..and the brokerage work for YOU... The agent had a fiduciary obligation to represent YOU and do their due diligence and market the property as aggressively as possible to obtain buyers and get a sale. Please read your listing agreement to see what he/she may have put in there if you owe them anything for cancelling BEFORE the listing period is OVER.
If the agent did NOT give u a copy of your signed listing agreement AT the time of signing or within a maximum of 12-24 hours...this is a serious violation of Article 9 of the code of ethics and the contract could be null and void. Also... if he/she NEVER gave u a copy to this date...then he or she could have written anything on the agreement without your consent or knowledge, and this wouldn't hold up in any court of law on their part.
I just helped 3 people in this situation in the past 3 months.
If you go ahead with your cancellation do 3 things:
1) send a written email, text, fax...and registered or certified letter or go INTO the brokerage with a witness and give a written copy of your wish on paper, dated to CANCEL the listing agreement.
In other words...do it in WRITING...verbal or via the phone is heresay.(demand a copy of your agreement while u are in the office...do NOT take no for an answer..believe me..it IS on file, if u do NOT have a copy)
Then demand they fax, email, or give u in person asap with a deadline on it...the cancellation of listing form CAR FORM (COL). Please look it over and if everything was done correctly, meaning when u signed you DID get a copy of your listing agreement right then and there and if u did not agree to any cancellation fee..etc... then make sure BEFORE u sign, the box #4 is marked that says...principal(YOU) owe no commission (ZERO) to the agent/brokerage.
2)Also demand they take their post and sign down asap within a specific time period.
The Realtor can take their SIGN down asap..the post company may take 24-48 hrs to come by and take the post down, but you can also show them u mean business by pulling it out of the ground and laying it on the side of the house and telling them it is there...They will move faster this way..:))
3)Also tell them in writing again or face to face with your witness in their office, or via email, fax and text...to cancel your listing ASAP in the mls within a specific time frame... It takes the agent or broker
like 3 minutes to do this...all they need is your authorization and to get into the mls on their computer and go to the listing and hit the CANCEL button, etc... not hard to do...

He WAS supposed to be the "expert" on selling this property. If a home isn't getting any offers within the 1st 2 wks..then it's time to sit down with YOU and go over what tweaks can be made in order to obtain offers....even if it means lowering the price, etc...sounds like he just HID and wished for the best... .HE is the realtor...HE did the comps...HE saw the house before listing it inside and out...I assume. So for him to come back NOW and tell you it's YOUR fault it is NOT selling due to it being small and not being 2 full baths is CRAP...then he should have done the comparables based on other homes as small as this one and with 1 1/2 bath...etc.. and it IS his job to advertise on sites...He can go on listing syndication sites that will automatically post your listing on MULTIPLE sites at once to gain exposure.
The HUGE RED FLAG is NOT returning phone calls...
Any realtor should return phone calls within 12-24 hours max...if they are not on vacation and IN the country. Once he did NOT return your call after the 2nd or third time..I would have cancelled THEN, after giving him a warning.
NO CELL PHONE??? You gotta be kidding me!!! In this day and age of technology?
I hate to say it..but it sounds like this realtor is OLD or elderly? Possibly from another era and time in the real estate world and holding onto old tactics of selling homes...I could be wrong but this is what it sounds like...
If you need help or guidance with this..because it IS stressful and uncomfortable..please let me know and I will help you in any way I can...I hate to see sellers being taken advantage of by real estate professionals who take advantage of the general public not knowing their rights or knowing better.
Hope this helps... Sheyenne Schultz 310-429-4170 shy@shysells.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 13, 2012
Seriously? "OLD or elderly?" I know older agents that run tech rings around the younger ones. I think maybe people with preconceived notions and biases about others have no business selling real estate.
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013
Thank you for your great response! We are sending a letter certified mail to our realtor canceling the listing to our realtor.

Many thanks to the Trulia community for many great responses and information. We appreciate everyone's help!
Flag Sun Oct 14, 2012
Yes - if your agent is not working for you appropriately, you should be able to cancel. My suggestion is to contact his or her broker. You can call the main office number of your agent's company and ask to speak with the Broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
The BROKER needs to be aware of what is happening; both for your sake, and his.
Please take the time to call him, or go in and sit down with him.

If your LISTING price is reasonable; it should sell quickly.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
Yes you should be able to cancel your listing agreement with your REaltor/Brokerage, but before
you do this you should first read the terms of your listing agreement, to understand what the cancellation terms are.....

Then you have the option to visit the managing broker of the office/brokerage in question, remember the Listing Agent does not own the listing, it is the brokerage who owns it, and the managing broker easily can assign another Realtor to you from that same office, and you can express what it is that
you would like that Realtor to do to service you better, including where on the internet list your home, return phone calls, and also double check, why your home has not enough interest, or received an offer, remember it could be the pricing in comparison to other similar homes in the area, or it could be that you need to do some staging, i.e. some new en vogue colors on a few walls, move or remove furniture, may be putting hardwood in the living room .... I do not know what your property looks like but there is always much a good agent can do to promote a listing, curb appeal changes and the very best quality photos of the property on the internet in as many places as possible....

May be some changes to the curb appeal.... So talk to the managing broker of that office and
see what he or she can suggest to you, before you cancel.....

Good luck to you
Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties, 30 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 ---- EdithDoesItRight@yahoo.com or EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com Check out my website at htttp://www.tinyurl.com/MeetEdithHere
get to know me better and learn about my experience, expertise, services available and letters of recommendation of former clients..... Also you can sign up on my site to search for properties in my expanded service area. HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
Your listing agreement is with the broker not the agent (unless the agent is the broker). The broker will need to agree to cancel the agreement. A simple call to the broker to discuss your situation should lead to a quick resolution. Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
Have you read the listing agreement Ben? I would start there to learn your rights as a seller. If you have any specific questions about your rights as a seller please contact me. You deserve quality representation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
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