Home Selling in Philadelphia>Question Details

Craig Charles, Home Seller in Philadelphia, PA

HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF A LISTING AGREEMENT WITH A BROKER ?

Asked by Craig Charles, Philadelphia, PA Tue Oct 18, 2011

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Hi Craig, unfortunately, I get asked this question often. The advice I always give is as follows:

1. First, you should know that a listing agreement is a binding contract, so you are legally bound by its terms. That said, if you feel your broker is not doing their part, you can ask to be let out of the agreement. Explain to them firmly the reason you feel they are not performing. Like Bruce mentions below, I find that most brokers do not want an unhappy client on their roster (I wouldn't), so they usually let you out with no issue. As Michael says below, expect to see an 180-day broker protection clause in any release.

2. If your goal is to re-list with another Realtor that you feel will be more proactive in selling your property, you need to request an Unconditional Release. This is different than simply withdrawing your listing from the MLS.

3. Unfortunately, sometimes this sort of thing requires an attorney get involved to write a strongly-worded letter.

Once released, you are free to interview new agents if that is your goal. Best of luck to you!

R. Eric Axelson, Associate Broker
Licensed in NJ and PA
Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty
856.617.1212 mobile
axelson@kurfiss.com
View Distinctive Homes in ALL price ranges at KURFISS.COM
Web Reference: http://kurfiss.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
Release paper were signed, but only by agent, not broker. Is this valid or do I have to hunt down the broker. For the last 7 weeks I left voice messages and did not get any response. What now?
Flag Sun Sep 15, 2013
As a person in the business, a contract is a contract. However, the reality is that an unhappy seller is no good for an agent. I'd suggest talking to the agent and the broker as a first step.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
I got the agent signature. He said he wants to release the contract. After 1 week of me requesting to get paperwork ready I met in office he gave the release form but without the broker's signature. The Broker I have tried to get in contact with for over 7 weeks per phone and left request to meet with her in her office. My phone calls were ignored. What can I do to move on. I need to sell my property and the agent has an attitude from the start, the broker does not respond. I do not want to waste 3 more month, because they do nothing and no communication.
Flag Sun Sep 15, 2013
It depends on the reason you want to end the contract with the broker. If you are not happy with their services, then you should be able to notify them in writing the reason you want to terminate the contract. Most reliable brokers will not force you to stay with them, no one wants an unhappy client. If it is a different reason, then we would have to talk about it further. I suggest you speak to your broker since you had enough faith in them at one time or you would not have signed the listing contract.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 19, 2011
Hi Craig,
Eric provided you the best answer. While the listing contract is a binding contract, most Realtors don't wish to work with Sellers who don't want to work with them. It's just a headache and won't be a good situation for anybody.

Most brokers will release a listing upon receipt of your written request. Most will include a protection clause for any prospects that they introduced to the property.

Good luck with your sale. Please feel free to call me with any other questions.

All the best,
Larry Lichtman
REALTOR, Property Manager
Your Real Estate Resource For Life
Cell (267) 254-7994
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
This sample agreement is for illustration only.Your attorney can tell you what terms make the most sense for you.

THIS LISTING AGREEMENT is made and entered into this ____ day of _______, _____, between_________________________, a ___________ corporation (the "Company") and ________________________ ("Broker").

In consideration of the mutual benefits and obligations of the parties set forth in this Agreement, the Company hereby retains the Broker to use its best efforts to solicit offers for the purchase of substantially all of the asset or all of the stock if the Company, subject to the following terms and conditions:

ARTICLE I

OBLIGATIONS OF BROKER

Broker shall use its best efforts to find a buyer for substantially all of the assets or stock of the Company.Broker shall (1) include the Company with other listings maintained by Broker; (2) place a suitable sign on the premises; (3) promptly notify the Company of prospective buyers; and (4) show the Company's premises and operations to prospective buyers.

ARTICLE II

BROKER'S COMMISSION

2.1 Commission.Broker shall receive a commission of ____% of the selling price of substantially all of the assets or stock of the Company if: (1) Broker procures a buyer who is ready, willing, and able to purchase substantially all of the assets or stock of the Company on terms deemed acceptable by the Company in its sole and absolute discretion; and (2) substantially all of the assets or stock of the Company are sold to a buyer procured by the Broker during the term of this listing or if, within ___ months after the termination of this listing, substantially all of the assets or stock of the Company are sold to a buyer who was first submitted to the Company by the Broker.

2.2 Expenses.The Company and the Broker shall each pay their own respective expenses involved in performance of their respective duties under this Agreement.

ARTICLE III

TYPE OF LISTING

This listing is and shall be an exclusive listing from the date first set forth above through _________, _____, and the Broker's right to a commission will arise from a sale of substantially all of the asserts or stock of the Company to a buyer who is procured by the Broker, but shall not accrue if the buyer is procured by the Company itself.

ARTICLE IV

TERM

The rights and obligations of the parties shall commence on the date first set forth above, and shall terminate at midnight on _________, _____.This listing may be cancelled by either party at any time after __________, _____, by ____ days' written notice.

ARTICLE V

CONFIDENTIALITY

5.1 Confidentiality Obligations. During the term of this Agreement and for a period of ten (10) years thereafter, Broker shall maintain in confidence and use only for purposes of this Agreement any information or documentation which Seller marks "Confidential" (collectively "Confidential Information"). To the extent it is reasonably necessary or appropriate to fulfill its obligations or exercise its rights under this Agreement, Broker may disclose Confidential Information which it is otherwise obligated under this Article not to disclose to its affiliates and to prospective buyers, on a need-to-know basis, on condition that such entities or persons agree to keep the Confidential Information confidential for the same time periods and to the same extent as Broker is required to keep the Confidential Information confidential.

5.2 Limitations on Usage. Except as expressly authorized by this Agreement or by other prior written consent of the Company, for the term of this Agreement and for ten (10) years thereafter, Broker shall not deliver, transmit, or provide to any person other than as permitted under this Agreement, and shall not use any of the Confidential Information, or authorize, cause, or aid anyone else to do so.Except as permitted in this Agreement, nothing shall be deemed to give Broker any right or license to use or to replicate or reproduce any of the Confidential Information, or to authorize, aid, or cause others so to do.

5.3 Survival.The covenants set forth in this Article V shall survive the termination of this Agreement and continue in full force and effect for ten (10) years without limitation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 19, 2011
Very easy look at the terms. We are here to give you customer service. Honestly if you are not happy you should get out. You need to be comfortable in selling your home. And if your agent is not giving you the quality customer service you need and you are not happy, Get out of the contract! I would never want to work with someone if they were not happy with my service. I would let you out of the contract with no problems. Clearly it would be my fault and I dropped the ball on your trust, and I would completely understand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 19, 2011
In my office, simply putting your request in writing terminates our contract.

Not all offices are so lenient, though. Call the broker and explain that you want your listing terminated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 19, 2011
Hi, You should read the agreement fully to see what the terms spell out. That will really decide what path you can take.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 19, 2011
First check the terms and wording of your listing agreement, it may state how much in advance you have to give notice to the brokerage/listing agent to cancel this agreement....
If you are not clear on it, talk to an attorney and by all means contact the brokerage manager to see how you
can be released from the listing agreement, and it really all depends on the terms and why you want out of the
listing agreement. You do not want to sell anymore, you feel that the listing agent is not doing a good job,
(make sure you know exactly what not a good job means, as you must have agreed on certain services when
signing the listing agreement)

Good Luck and take Eric's advance into consideration as well.
Edith YourRealtor4Life! And Chicago/Northern Illinois and North Shore Expert
working always in the very BEST interest of her clients....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 19, 2011
A listing contract should clearly state that your agent will perform certain tasks to agressively market your property. If you feel your agent has not serviced your listing effectively as far as constant communication and strong marketing tactics, many broker will release your contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
Craig, just ask. Also, legal advice is recommended.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
Most Brokers ask that you submit your request to terminate the contract in writing.

If you are looking to terminate your contract because you are unsatisfied with the way your home is being marketed then a written request addressed to the Broker of Record (not necessarily the agent) should be sufficient. If you then list with another broker you will be protected from having to pay your first broker a commission.

If you are terminating your contract because you are no longer selling your house the same rule will apply.

If you are attempting to terminate the contract in order to pursue a private sale, be aware. We as agents and brokers have to protect ourselves from unethical Sellers so there are stipulations in the contract that allow us to collect a commission should the home sell, read your contract carefully and understand the clause that requires you to pay your broker if the house sells.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
Most Brokers are very PR conscious; if you ask them to cancel a Listing, they will do it.
I presume that you have a good reason.

If you are planning on selling your house yourself, to someone that the Listing has produced; please don't even consider that: It would fraud and you would still owe the Commission.

If another Broker has solicited your Listed; please report them to the MLS; this is a serious violation. If they are promissing a lower commission or such; please do not fall for that sleezy tactic.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
Most brokers will allow you to terminate a listing agreement with a written notice. At least that's how my office is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 18, 2011
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