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Really Need…, Home Seller in 08854

If you hire a realtor to sell your house and they are not doing their job can you fire them even if you signed a contract for a year?

Asked by Really Need Help, 08854 Fri Mar 16, 2012

We hired a realtor in sept of 2011 since then she has done 1 open house that we had to force her to do and only did it for 2 hours. She claims to have our house listed on over 80 web sites yet only 6 people have been to the house. We went to check on our home and who ever was in it damaged the home in several rooms. We asked her for a print out of the lock box and she has one excuse after another not to give it to us In January we told her we were unhappy with her and wanted to void the contract. It took her 9 days to answer and she said when the listing expires she will. I asked her when it expired and she told me to click on the clientfull tab which said she listed the house again on Jan 14 and it expired in 60 days. Now that the 60 days is up she refuses to let us out of the contract. She claims she will let us list with another agent but she will still get her commission, even if we sell the house privately. Plus she keeps insisting we do a short sale even though we are not behind

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No Lisa,
If I were you agent your home would be sold. But I am not and that is not what this discussion is about.

You would not want me as you agent because I speak the truth? That is pretty funny. These discussions always have two sides. My point here is that all these people making these "oh it is so easy" statements are full of baloney. Let’s talk reality.

It is not easy to just get a release from your contract. And NO, all contracts can just be cancelled.

There are consequences and they are built into everything we do. So for some people to just want to blow smoke up your skirt to appease you.. it is not realistic. The Broker will give a decision on what happens here, not saying it will not happen, but you should be aware that is NOT that easy.

"And even the nj real estate commission said she should be sued and her broker looked into"

So you are saying that someone at the Real Estate commission gave you advice to seek legal consul because the agent does not know when the showings are? Or does not know how to operate her Supra Lock box.. Really? That is amazing, then if you have them on your side.. by all means get an attorney!

In reality, you need to speak to the agent broker and see what can be done, because technically you are under obligation to the contract and cannot list your home with another until you have that discussion and come to an agreement with the agents Broker.

You need direction, From the posts it all seems that this is so erratic I am pretty sure there are other factors involved here too. Speak to her Broker.

I do wish you luck. Let us know how it turns out!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 30, 2012
"Anytime you are that dissatisfied with your Realtor you can get an unconditional release. She should offer it. No one should keep you trapped"

Really ?

Just playing devil’s advocate here... So why bother signing contracts if they are going to be willy nilly released? Who is to say this Realtor is NOT doing their job and the seller is a little bonkers?

No, NOT "anytime you are dissatisfied with your Realtor you can get a release" it does not work like that. The agent does not own that listing and does not have that power, your Broker does. The listing is a contractual obligation. If there is an issue, the Broker can have another agent assigned to the listing.

I am not one for just telling people what they want to hear to look good, The reality is that you are in a contract and it will just not go away because you asked.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
I have to agree that you are describing sub par service. Based on what you've shared, seems to me you have a good case to be released from your listing agreement. The problem is you are in a contract so you need the cooperation of the listing broker to get that done. I want to stress that the release MUST be an UNCONDITIONAL one so be sure of that, otherwise, the scenario of having to pay commission to the existing broker/agent until the end of the term may well be true if you relist.

As I read through your post, I think you may have the grounds - you say that the agent relisted in January for another 60 days. A property can NOT be listed and that includes extending the expiry date without the approval/signature of the seller. I think you "got 'em" there. I would question that action and demand to be released. If you did not approve of this change, this may be the easiest and surest way to exit this relationship.

Once done, you will have learned much from this experience. Take what you have learned and apply it to the interview process as you choose - with great care - your next listing agent. There are great agents out there - don't lose your faith in us!

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Serice, Unsurpassed Results
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to comment back - I'm so sorry you have had this negative experience. Hopefully the situation will improve with your current agent/broker or you will be released unconditionally. Whatever the outcome, now is the time - the Spring Market truly is the best period of any 12 month cycle and it is well underway. There are more buyers - also more competing inventory - than at any other time of the year. Getting your price right is THE most important element of success so do take a step back and look at that as objectively as possible, remembering that a lack of traffic/offers IS feedback. Promises are easy to make, delivering on them is the essence of fine service. I do hope that you succeed in brining them into alignment. And glad to hear that the experience has not caused you to lose faith, as I said before, there are great agents out there!
Flag Thu Mar 22, 2012
Thank you! I haven't lost faith it's just ashame people do this to other people to make money off of them. She is very misleading and sneaky in what she has done and does unfortunately she was in the top 10 realtors when we did a search to find a realtor, then someone told me that those sites can be made up. This is very scary to go threw and see that one person can destroy everything you worked for and make your life so difficult and her broker is in on it because she wont even return our calls. I wish I could list the broker and agent without getting sued so other people know not to get involved very sad to see how people take advantage of others
Flag Sat Mar 17, 2012
Hello. I'm not local to your area but after reading, I had to respond. This sounds like the broker from hell. I thought I had seen or heard it all being in New York but wow. Yes, you have to contact this brokers' office and talk to their Principal broker or office manager.

I would go to this brokers office personally and not leave until I have a voided contract and gave the principal broker and this ridiculous broker a piece of my mind as her behavior is outrageous. She has a Fiduciary responsibility to you and the needs of the client (you) superseeds her own. I would also report her to the local realtor board or whatever branch of your local government deals with brokers. Here in NYC it's the NY State Dept of State that oversees brokers This Woman put all licensed professionals in a bad light. I wish you all the best.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
Thank you and I know not everyone is like this,
I just got lucky lol We did call the state and if the broker doesnt get back to us by monday were going to file a complaint. They also told us to get an attorney we just dont have the money and have already lost 6 months. Its just very hard
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
i have a problem and need help, i hired a realtor to sell my house and he talked me into doing a shortsale which i did only to find out after the sale that he sold my house on a shortsale to his wife, the problem with this is that they created a llc and purchased it under the llc but the wife is listed as the owner of this llc and he works for a real estate company, what can i do. i want him punished for what he did to me
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2016

One letter to the real estate commission will solve this issue. Tortuous interference is against the law and she is impending your ability to sell the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 22, 2015
I was home builder and several of my homes have video and security surveillance. I contracted with 3 agents on 3 of the homes told them the bottom dollar and all 3 times they advised buyers my bottom dollar for quick sale. 60k under asking. I confronted them and they said they didn't say that. the surveillance systems were in the marketing of home and how it worked, 60 day loop hard drive. when I showed it to them they all screamed illegal. wrote real estate board over the practices of the 3 agents. make note that all 3 of them were listed as "best agents in the industry" nothing was done. I paid one of my workers wives to get her broker license and work selling the other homes in the addition. she was a great investment making herself over 2 million in commissions during the 2 years. I did lose a great worker and a trustworthy agent when they went back to Mexico. now that I am semi retired and my wife wants to move back to New York I asked her daughter if she wanted to get her broker license and sell the home here in California than to list it with agency since we don't owe anything on it and figure it is worth in the upper 5 mill price. she agreed . my small investment gave her 285k in her commission of 4%, well we gave her a 40k bonus for getting 6.1m for the house listed at 5.3m. it was the oldest home and not the largest in sq footage in the area and sold 300k under a home almost 2000 sq feet larger than ours built 14 years later. reading some of these horror stories thought it might give some of them and idea, look what you could save with little of your time and have sold it themselves. nothing against someone trying to make a living but after 20 plus years building and dealing with agents you do learn they are most likely not looking out for the seller and I have dealt with 100's of different agents and agencies during the years. I saw it with agent in upper New York where we bought thank goodness it will be our retirement home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2015
She was unethical. I hope she is not selling anymore. Oh yeah I hired her, because my Realtor done the same thing. Except when I refused to lower the price we agreed on she quit. She told me she was going to end my listing and was taking her signs. Okay but I want my contract voided. There are so really unethical people in this world.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
If I behaved as you say this agent behaved, I would expect to be fired not only by the client, but by my Broker as well.

Having said that, the complaints regarding open houses and the few number of showings are not a reflection on the agent. Open houses are a form of prospecting. The purpose is to identify prospective buyers, not to sell the house being held open. I haven't held an open house in twenty years and I don't have any trouble whatsoever getting properties sold.

The lack of showings tells me that the property was priced too high. Any property that is priced at or near its CURRENT fair market value (what the house USED to be worth does not count) will have little trouble getting showings and, in short order, a sold sign in the yard.

The flip side of that is that there are no tools or tricks (other than blind luck) to sell an overpriced property. Even if an agent were to show an overpriced property, and even if a buyer wrote an offer, the appraiser would kill the sale. That is what they are paid to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
Any contract can be ended in writing if all parties agree, to get a release put it in writing and ask for their signature. Firsdt thing is you need to check to make sure you are priced at market value. You can advertise a home in 1000 web sites but if the price is too high than no one will look. Next 80 web sites sounds goo but you need to direct the ad to the potential buyers, 1 good site targeted at teh rigt buyer is better than 80 that are not tragetted to anyone. A year is a long time, most contracts are 3-6 months tops. If they wont release you speak with the managing broker, if they wont release you speak to an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
The average agent sales 4 houses a year. Seems you are one of her four homes to sale for this year. I would go to this agents office and not leave office until I obtained an UNConditional withdrawal. BROKER cannot hold you listing with them if your dissatisfied.

Your Realtors job is to be honest with you and educate you on the value of your home.

If a house is not selling, it must be overpriced. If she is asking you to short sale, it must be because she knows the house has no equity.

If she took listing knowing house had no equity , In hopes you will short sale then this Realtor is unethical.

It must be why she took listing for a year. Very wrong.

Realtor should be straight forward with you from the beginning.
Sorry you are going through this. Not all agents are this way.

When choosing your next agent, make sure they are producers- make sure they show you a print out of number of homes they sold.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
We've lived there 15 years so there is equity, granted we took a second mortgage so that has cut our equity down but we still have about 30,000 in equity. We had already moved out into another home when we hired her to sell the house and she knows our income and she knew we had to sell quickly because we are strapped paying 2 mortgages. We told her from day one because she tried to push us then to do a short sale that we need the money for the down payment on the new house and we are not interested we are interested in a realtor that will be aggressive to sell the home, she is not and she seems to be banking on us falling behind and her getting her commission on a short sale she is very unethical and sneaky and sadly we got stuck with her. We moved to be right next to my ill parents who are both unable to care for themselves, plus we have a 2 yr old & now struggle to pay all these bills so she new what she was doing she is hoping to make money doing nothing & letting us lose everything
Flag Sat Mar 17, 2012
Wow. This is not a good situation. Document everything & make an appointment to speak with her broker.

Side note - If you have only had 6 showings, then the house is most likley priced to high. Even agents that don't do any advertsing & price a house correctly have had more activity that this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
Thank you. I don't think it is that the price is to high, Where I live in the 50's all these houses were built for like 8 blocks and over the years people changed them added to them ect. . but there are houses all around us the same that listed and sold and the ones that sold have the huge oil tank in the basement, ours does not have oil.
Flag Sat Mar 17, 2012
Definitely talk to the managing broker of the office. They will most likely try to pair you up with another real estate agent in the office that will be a better fit. Your property will be the home that is selling the houses in the area if it is over priced.

Good Luck,
Christine McDaniel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
I would contact the broker directly and speak to him/her about your concerns and your release from the listing agreement. I'm assuming that if she listed the house again on January 14, you would've had to have signed something. The Garden State Multiple Listing Service requires us to send a copy of the signed listing agreement AND/OR a signed change form if there's a price change, if there's a change in the expiration date of the listing, if the house is withdrawn or temporarily withdrawn, etc. Did you sign any form when the home was listed again on January 14?

Aside from everything that the agent has done or has not done, do you know why only 6 people came to see the home? Are you priced correctly? It doesn't matter how many open houses or websites your home is on - if the pricing is not right - buyers will not come to see the home.

I definitely recommend that you contact the broker directly regarding the other issues.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
Yes, you can cancel the listing agreement. However, before you do that, talk to your Realtor's Broker - maybe they can assign a different Realtor in the office (the Broker owns the listing, not the Realtor). However, if you don't want to stay with that Broker, ask them to release you from the listing agreement and state your reasons for the request. They can't force you to stay with them as the Brokerage and I don't know why any Broker would want to do that anyway. Our business is supposed to be about providing good customer service.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
Sadly the one we chose doesn't feel that way she hasn't even returned our calls and we've left numerous messages. Every day we call we are told she is away on vacation but checks in and we can leave her a voicemail which gave us her cell number as well so we call that too but she does not call us back and the realtor will only let us out of the contract if we agree that if we sell it before 9/15/12 that she still get her commission on top of the new realtors commission there has to be something legally a person can do about this it's blackmail
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
Anytime you are that dissatisfied with your Realtor you can get an unconditional release. She should offer it. No one should keep you trapped.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
Well she is and so is her broker who wont return our call. She knows we are paying 2 mortgages and need to sell the one house we lived in it 15 years so there is plenty of equity no reason for a short sale other than she doesn't have to do any work to make money that way. She said she would take her lock box and sign but if we sell it she will still get her commission. She has us locked in until 9/15/12 and I asked her why a year and she said all contracts are a year this being our first time selling we did not know. I'm trying to find out if there is legally something I can tell her to get out of the contract. We moved to a house behind my parents because they are ill and we take care of them we didn't have money before and now both work two jobs to pay two mortgages plus take care of 2 sick parents and a 2 yr old baby were stressed and exhausted and she knows this yet she still is going to screw us the way she has been she is always on vacation and won't do open houses its horrible
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
What is your agents reason for a short sale? You do not need to behind on your payments. If you owe more than your home is valued at then you may need to do a short sale in order to sell your home. If you are basing your price on what your current mortgage is or what you paid then your price is probably too high, hense lack of activity on your home. Agents should have communication with their clients and there is no excuse for that. If your agent feels that it is the price then they should explain that and not stop servicing your home. If you are not both on the same page regarding this issue then that may be the disconnect. In that case she should release you from your listing. One because she can't just stop servicing it and two if a listing is overpriced for the market it would be not in her best interest to spend marketing money on it. What was the feedback of the buyers that viewed it? if the issue is not the price but that your home was listed and
ignored then you have the right to ask the broker for a withdrawal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
Her reason for the short sale is because we already moved and need to sell the home quickly, well 6 months ago we sure did. We lived there 15 years the mortgage amount owed is way less then the current market value and we are not behind. Her reason is because she does a lot of short sales and tells us we can't keep up paying 2 mortgages, right we can't thats why we wanted a realtor who would be aggressive in the selling we can't even get her to do open houses she is constantly away on vacation it's like she is trying to make us lose one of our homes she knows we are struggling and the asking price isn't the problem either we are only asking 229 and of course we aren't going to get full price but with only 6 people looking at it in 6 months we aren't going to get anywhere either obviously she is not marketing correctly houses on the next block over that are worse than ours are selling. All I want to know at this point is legally how to make her release us from the contract so we can g
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
It is true the contract is binding but the agent and agency can offer you an unconditional release from your listing or a conditional release if all parties agree. The unconditional release will allow you to go list with another agent of your choice and the other holds you to not list with another until the listing date term is over and as mentioned above if you sell the house you can pay a double commission. Obviously the first one is what you sound like you are looking for. I sell a ton of homes in Piscataway for 20 years and you sound like you need an evaluation done on where your home stands in this market. Once your listing or if it gets released only then can any agents help guide you to the proper decission. The market in Piscataway has been a bit slow but I see a bit of a surge at the moment. 60% if the homes listed will expire and not sell thus having to relist again. If your agent talks about a short sale than she might believe the true value of your home is less than the amount you owe on your mortgage. Only if you have a financial hardship can you attempt a short sale but warning you will ruin your credit and there is no guaranty the bank will accept this arrangement. It is a long and dark road to travel. Hope things work out for you and all involved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
she is saying she will give us a conditional release and if we relist she still gets her commission. The price is reasonable and of course negotiable but if people aren't looking at it you will never get an offer. you have to advertise in the right places and do open houses, she is doing nothing but keeps pressuring for a short sale. We have been there 15 years why would we give up all that equity? Houses on the blocks over are selling and are worse than ours with oil tanks in the basement our basement is never had water and can be another rec room it just doesn't make sense she just lists and then makes money off short sales and her broker does't return our calls
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
It doesn't seem like you two are getting along. Call the Managing Broker ofthe office where she works and express your concerns. That is usually all it takes to get things straightened out
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
All we wanted and want her to do is sell the house. All she wants to do is force us into a short sale. We called the broker several times and she is never in and never returns any of our calls.
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
No. You can not. the agreement is binding and there is no "release" this is why contracts are signed to keep things in place.

Aside from that, the broker owns the listing, not the agent. Go to the Broker and explain your issues. He can assign another agent to the listing -or- he can release you form the listing. (probably will not happen)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
Yes. Pretty much. You singed a document that said I am commiting to you for 6 months.. 1 year.. whatever. It is in writing, and unless there is a "I will release you clause" in the contract. ( which I doubt) You are in the contract. But hety.. eveyone always says .. oh the broker will relsease you.. yada yada.. but I have NEVER seen this happen.
Flag Mon Mar 19, 2012
So you are telling me a realtor can not do their job at your expense and there is nothing you can do about it? She refuses to do open houses, she hasn't advertised as she said she would and her broker does not return our calls. So I "purchased" her goods and she hasn't delivered her product yet legally there is nothing we can do about it?
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
Yes, Although your listing agreement may be for a specific time frame ( six months, etc...) you can still request that the Realtor release you from the agreement. I would prepare a list of complaints and present them to the Realtor. Give him/her a chance to address the complaints in a reasonable time.
After that time sign a release of contract and interview another Realtor.
I offer clients an Easy Exit Guarantee which gives them an opportunity to be released from their contract. No one has ever needed to exercise that option, but most sellers like the idea of not be tied down.
Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 16, 2012
The problem is we already have several times and in January she agreed to release us but now that the 60 days are up she is refusing to. She claims we signed a 1 yr contract and she will let us list with another realtor but she will not give up her commission,even if we sold the house ourselves she claims she still gets her commission. Her broker does not return our calls and we really don't have the money to hire an attorney so I was trying to find out legally if she can be forced to release us from our contract. She keeps insisting we do a short sale but were not behind on our mortgage and we lived there 15 years why would we walk away from equity? I just need some law I can find in New Jersey that I can present to her and tell her she is no longer our realtor but I can't find anything about canceling a contract I'd appreciate any help I can get thank you so much
Flag Fri Mar 16, 2012
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