I would call her and ask to meet with her personally. Be honest and let her know first what a great job she is doing and that you appreciate the qualities that have gotten you this far.
Then explain that the purpose of selling your home was to..... and that your circumstances have changed. Now, after careful consideration, you and your husband are thinking of......
I think that giving her the names of some people whom you know could use her services would be very helpful. So far as the liquidated damages go, offering to reimburse her for some of her expenses I do not think would qualify as a commission (therefore not triggering a broker's share).
I agree with the others, these are trying times and thoughtful, loyal clients are very much appreciated.
I agree with Keith completely. Explain to your agent about why you have changed your mind about selling, acknowledge her hard work and how much you appreciate her effort, expertise and loyalty to you. In return, you will also be loyal to you and that you will definitely be using her when you decide to sell again.
I will understand it if she is disappointed after working so hard, and doing such a great job for you that you have decided not to sell. However, most of agents know that selling a house is a big decision and that circumstances do change; especially after 9 months. So, I think she will understand.
I also think she'd ecstatic if you give her something to show your appreciation. Like Keith said, a check to reimburse some of her expenses will not be considered compensation and the brokerage shall not be sharing that. And I bet she'd be very pleasantly surprised that you are considerate enough to do so - a client we all wish we have. If there is not much expense (which I seiously doubt, especially after nine months), you might want to give her a gift certificate to go to a fine restaurant.
Referrals are what we all love, but if they are not happening for a couple of years, it might not have the immediate effect you are looking for compare to other suggestions. .
Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!
In our industry, this is the nature of the beast. We do not earn our commission until the escrow is closed and recorded. Do what is right for you and your husband and the best thing you can do for your agent is to refer her to your friends and families to make up for the lost sale. Good Luck to you.
In my opinion, the thing that your agent would appreciate most is a letter to her managing broker, stating how wonderful she was during this whole trial, that you don't hold her responsible for the failure of the transaction, rather that you know she worked hard, gave good advice and counsel, and is a quality asset to the agency.
If in addition you'd like to give her a gift of something soothing (maybe a massage, or spa day?) I'm sure she wouldn't decline.
Wow, you are so considerate of your agent. When I have sellers like you, it truly makes you feel good when you get something. I have had sellers cancel because circumstances changed and they have asked me how much I have into their transaction and have actually given me a check. They don't even ask for receipts or anything which made me feel great that they trusted me that much. I certainly would reimburse your agent for those types of things such as advertising, or whatever else they have done for you. You could also give her a gift certificate somewhere on top of it to show your appreciation like other agents have mentioned. Most of all, if you tell her that you will be using her in the future if you sell that will mean a lot to her too. Things like this happen all the time and agents know going into a listing that it may or may not sell. I have actually gone into a house and staged my listing and then my clients changed their minds about selling because I made their house look so great! And, they have reimbursed me for all my time and efforts. Later on, when they do sell, they remember if the agent was nice about letting them out of the contract and it pays off if they are kind about it.
Good luck and she is lucky to have you for clients!
Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
I would write a letter of cancellation and e-mail or fax it to her especially if your original listing agreement is expired. You really don't need to explain yourself. Just make it short and sweet and don't get pushed over. You, of all people, know what is good for you and your family. And like what the other agents said, if you relist it next time, then call her and help her to get more clients. That's the best you can do for yourself and that's the best you can do for your agent.
I think part of the reason I feel like we should give her something is because we are getting the liquidated damages (the 3% deposit minus costs incurred by the escrow company) and she's getting nothing. I know it's the nature of the business that things fall apart and I suspect I'd feel differently if we fell out of escrow without getting anything from it. I feel strongly that we wouldn't be getting these liquidated damages if she didn't push the removal of the contingenies along so aggressively.
I was speaking with another broker yesterday who told me that if we give her cash, she might be obligated to give some of it to her brokers office, just like she would have had the sale gone through. It is for this reason that I want to give her a gift certificate so she doesn't have to share that. I was thinking about a gas card.
How do I break the news to her in the kindest way that we want to cancel? I don't want an arguement and I think that's what we are going to get when we tell her. I've been very happy with her as an agent because she is very aggressive when it comes to business matters. I have issues with her aggressiveness with me on the personal level.