Home Selling in Frisco>Question Details

Joe Shipp, Home Seller in Frisco, TX

Do I have to pay a fee to take my house off the market?

Asked by Joe Shipp, Frisco, TX Fri May 9, 2008

My house has been on the market for 4 months. My situation has changed and I would like to remove it from the market. I was told there will be a fee of 1,100 bucks for marketing the house. Is this about right?

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Joe,
Contrary to popular oppinion on the answers of this forum, I would ask you a question. Did the firm you hired do work for you? Beleive it or not, agents and firms don't work for free. I realize your situation may have changed since you placed your home on the market, but that doesn't reduce the amount of work your firm has done for you. So many things happen behind the scenes you don't see that deserve compensation. Most listing agreements have cancellation fee agreements in them. When you signed your agreement, you agreed that if something should change and you took your home off the market, this would be the fee you would pay to the firm for their work and effort. If $1100 was the fee in that agreement, then that is what the firm you hired and you thought was fair. The figure your asking would have been in writing on your agreement. I would look through it , if I were you, and you can verify the figure. I don't, however, suggest sabotaging your agent or firm by removing signs or making it difficult to show while waiting for it to expire. Be honest with you agent and firm and I'm sure you can work something out.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Joe,

As all of the previous answers have stated, any fee that the Broker wants to charge you should have been agreed to upfront in the Listing Agreement.

Now...here's the kicker. Normally, a Broker will NOT just remove your listing from MLS...they have too much invested. So what they suggest are as follows...

Tell us what is making you upset and give us an opportunity to correct the situation. This makes some sense because the Broker does not want to lose you as a client.

OR

We will take your house off the MLS as an ACTIVE listing but only change the status to TOM...temporarily off the market. And this status will remain until the original listing date expires. Problem is you will not be able to list the house with anyone else during this time. The MLS listing has to be actually Withdrawn in order for you to move on with another Broker.

So it sounds to me like the the fee they're asking you to pay...if it's NOT in the Listing Agreement...is to get them to Withdraw the listing rather than TOM it.

And unless they did an enoumous amount of marketing including newsprint, magazines, luncheons,etc., $1,100 sounds like an amount to subsidize a lost commission rather than a fee to offset marketing costs.

I am truly sorry you are having these difficulties and I apologize for the industry. To me, it's better to release a client from a difficult situation...and keep them happy...than to create an unhappy situation and lose that client for the future.

I hope this helps. Thanks for using Trulia Voices and please feel free to call or email if I can answer any questions for you. Best of luck.

Alan Wynn
Like NO ONE Else!
214.729.5582
info@DallasHousesOnTheWeb.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Joe - Take a look at your listing agreement (and any supporting documents that you signed) as it should clearly spell out what your obligation should you wish to cancel your listing. If indeed you agreed to a fee for cancelling, then there's not much you can do. If you don't want to pay the fee, simply request that the broker remove your home from the MLS and the sign in your front yard (if applicable). If you have a legitimate reason for removing your home from the market, I'd be surprised if the broker gives you much grief.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
What does your listing agreement state? I don't charge anything to take it off the market, because that's a risk that I assume when I take on a listing, but please read your listing agreement that you signed. That should tell you. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Joe, all of the marketing we do as Realtors can be expensed as an advertising expense on our taxes. We are independent contractors. However, there is a trickle-down effect when a listing that an agent marketed cancels instead of sells. That agent is out-of-pocket on those expenses and has no income to offset it. Guess who suffers? The next seller. If there is no income stream, there is no advertising budget. If your circumstances changed and you must pull the house from the market, consider sending the agent someone else to work with. You know people, and there are always folks looking to buy, sell, or lease residential real estate. Help keep that agent's income stream from taking a hit due to your sale dropping out. You want to make sure that the good agents are around to help you again when the time is right. Thanks.
Web Reference: http://www.rondaallen.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 31, 2008
No, your home can just expire. You may research new Realtors and pick some one more suited to your personal work ethic.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Most agents will let you out of a listing agreement. I am not sure why you would be paying a marketing fee.
Read the listing agreement, and get us some more information.
Web Reference: http://www.bigdrelo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
They are right read the listing agreement. It is the "prevailing" document in this situation. If it says you agreed to pay...you can see where it goes. There is no set "fee" so it depends on what was agreed to in the original contract. None of us can say about right for you ,sorry!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Why is this regarded as "a problem"? If you signed a listing agreement and agreed to the terms then you should just abide by those terms. Otherwise why even have an agreement? If you are having a change of heart about paying the fee you agreed upon, then speak with your agent about it. I am sure that you will both come to an amicable agreement.

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
LIKE EVERYONE HAS SAID GET YOUR LISTING AGREEMENT OUT IMMEDIATELY! Read any and all parts that the Realtor added to the listing agreement because that is not a standard thing we do in our business. However I have heard of agents charging but its normally agreed to up front in the listing agreement that you are responsible for market costs etc and its in writing and you signed it. If its not on the listing agreement then I would contact the Agents broken and if you don't get anywhere there then contact the Texas Real Estate Commission and seek advice on how you can handle this problem.

Good luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Joe,
That's interesting and high from what I've ever heard. You will need to refer back to your listing agreement to see what was agreed to. I'd be surprised if there is any mention of this. I've seen $395 before but that's about the highest amount. One thing you may want to do is discuss this directly with the broker NOT the agent with your agreement in front of you. Explain your situation, if you were happy with the services consider using them again in the future when you are ready to move. My standard of practice is not to charge in these situations and I think that is the standard not the exception.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
Joe, you need to review your contract which you signed with the listing agent if there is a fee more than likely they will request for you to pay. I am not familiar with how they may have marketed your property, if they paid for print ads, brochures and etc it is a huge expense for an agent including the time vested posting to MLS, brokers office fees to process your account. Most don't understand the time vested of "back of the house for real estate agent or office"... I hope that helps perhaps you can reach a happy agreement.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
Joe, you need to check your listing agreement to see if you agreed to pay a fee if you terminate. We personally do not charge a fee for a listing to terminate, but each realtor runs their business differently.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 9, 2008
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