Home Selling in 60621>Question Details

Willie, Home Seller in 60621

how do you cancel a contract to sell your pproperty if it has been on the market for over 4 months and no contract yet?

Asked by Willie, 60621 Wed Sep 29, 2010

Will cancelling the contract cause the seller a problem?

Help the community by answering this question:


Willie: As you can see from answers, they are all over the board. As to most listing agreements have a 30 day cancellation clause, it is unlikely that you will find that to be common in listing agreements. Utilizing a website like "Yelp" does not get you to your goal and I personally think it can reflect badly on you as well, so caution when publicly complaining if you have not taken other steps . Jeff is right that every listing agreement can be different so read yours over for any termination clauses and/or cause for early termination, termination fees, anything that could effect your decision. John has some valid steps/thoughts about the cancellation of a listing.

The market is tough right now. There are many agents and sellers who have worked very hard to market the property but it is still on the market. Pricing is "king".

Talk to your agent about his/her thoughts are as to what the problem is and what will cure it. Have the agent do a complete market re-evaluation for pricing (it is changing on weekly basis in some areas). If you are truly motivated to sell, work with the pricing first and foremost. You may have to make reductions until you find the point where buyers are interested.

You did not mention the frequency of your showing activity. If you have had not showings, then neither buyers nor agents have any desire to view your property. Remember both can view pictures, location, amenities, and pricing online. (And be sure you have good pictures - at least 6 to 8) If you are getting showings but no offers, you are selling a home - but it is your competitors home. The buyers have found one of them to be a better value - not a good situation! Both of these can be cured...by price. The last category is where every showing has good feedback - you are one of the top choices the buyer is considering. In this case you will likely have an offer within a very reasonable number of showings (in my area 11 to 14, maybe less).

If a home is priced right, it will sell!

Willie, review your contract, review what your agent has done to market...but most of all review your price to make sure you are where you need to be to attract buyers. Wishing you great success with your sale.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
I agree with Ellen. No realtor wants to force a relationship. This business is built upon loyalty, trust and relationship. If for some reason you have had a change of mind write the agent a letter advising him or her that you wish to terminate the contract. Also, I must say that during this current market a 4 month listing with no offer or viewing is not unusual. The things that could be affecting your property not getting a contract may be out of the agent's control. Some factors could be price, condition of property, location or just timing. Please have patience. One thing for sure, if your place is not out there for sale no one will come along. It doesn't cost you anything to have the property listed.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
The "right" answer is it depends on what your listing agreement states. The "real" answer is that no agent is going to force you to stay listed with them if you don't want it. They can't force you to sell, so they'd be wasting their own time and money if they kept you locked into the contract.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 7, 2010
Yes, check your contract and speak with the agent. Personally, I would never hold anyone to something that they did not want. Good luck to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 7, 2010

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010

All of the terms of your listing agreement will dictate your options. You will normally find the language referncing duration of the agreement within the first or second paragraph on page 1.

Legally, your agent would have had to stipulate a "termination date". This could be any duration of time, for example 6 months or 12 months from the date you signed the agreement. Within that same paragraph, you may find something to the effect of a the right of "Seller's cancellation prior to the Termination Date" and then language describing the terms of the cancellation. I am not aware of the termination policy of the Broker you employed, but our office policy for terminating Listing Agreements is at anytime with 30 DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE.

Hope that helps.

John Gall
Managing Broker
Realty Executives SourceOne
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
How long was your contract for? A lot of companies do 6-12 month agreements now. And if you want to get out early, they charge a cancellation fee, or they want part commission if it sells with another brokerage. If your unhappy, go to the managing broker and explain your case. You could get lucky and they may cancel it for you. Next time, go with a company that doesnt charge you to cancel early or locks you into a long term contract.

Matt Laricy
Americorp Real Estate
Brokers Associate, e-PRO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
This largely depends on the listing agreement you signed.

In any case, the Managing Broker of the firm must sign a written cancellation. A signature from your agent, if they are not also the managing broker, will not be enforceable. Listing agreements are typically made with the brokerage and not the agent.

Removing the property from the market is typically not an issue. If you no longer wish to sell, it shouldn't be a problem, nobody wants to kick you out of your home. If you want to still sell the property, but no longer want to work with the broker and the agent, this can be more complicated.

Best of Luck

Wayne Beals
Web Reference: http://WWW.WAYNEBEALS.COM
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
You can just ask your agent to cancel it, but you need to put it in writing. In theory, they do not have to do it until the listing expires, but why would they want to irritate you and potentially lose your business the next time you want to try again. Some firms charge a fee for early cancellation. They want to lock you in to 6-12 months because they know the market is slow. You need to read the fine print before you sign any Listing Agreement.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
Hi there, Willie!

If you take a look at the written contract you have with the agent and broker listing your home, the length of the agreement should be specifically enumerated. That being said, if you decide that you would like to cancel the agreement before the expiration of the listing agreement, you should tell your agent/broker (and do it in writing). It is not uncommon for an agent to agree to cancel/end the relationship before the agreed-upon termination date.

That being said, . . . . . why do you wish to cancel the agreement?

If the home hasn't sold, it may not be your agent's/broker's fault.

It is quite possible that you may have your property listed at a price that is too high for this market.

Have you revisited comparable property sales with your agent recently, Willie?
Web Reference: http://www.dreamtown.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
Willie as with any contract you can always request in worting that it be canceled, the broker can then decide to fully release you or take it off the market but still be entitled to a commission during teh listing period.

before jumping ship you need to know why isnt your home selling. The 2 main reasons are it could be prioced too high or lack of marketing. have your broker complete a broker price oopinion, you may want to get one from another company as well so you can see what the value of your house is in todays market, it is going to need to be priced at or below market value to attract a buyer in todays economy.

If priced right than you can assume number 2 is the problem and may want to change companies. Just make sure you do everything in wrioting and get signatures before acting

good luck with your sale
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
I agree with Sharon, but I would like to add that this shows to anyone thinking of listing their house how important it is to know what your contract says "before" you list your home. To get a listing, many agents will tell you your home is worth way more than it is because tha'ts what you want to hear. Then the house sits and you wonder why it isn't getting showings or offers. If this is your situation I would try to get out of the contract. This agent doesn't care about you and may just want to sit back, list on on the MLS sights do know work and collect a commision while other agents do all the work. Meanwhile your home sits and you have to keep dropping the price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010

you have received answers that are all over the spectrum right now. A couple fo questions you need to ask yourself before you pursue cancelling the listing agreement are:
1. Has the agent fulfilled their obligations and promises in regards to marketing the home?
2. Is the Realtor been in touch with you throughout the process keeping you updated on the market/
3. Are you getting showings but no offers?

depending on how you answer these questiosn will say a lot of whether you should cancel your listing agreement. In this market ti is not uncommon for homes to be on the market for six months or longer before receiving an offer on them.

if you still want to cancel the lsiting agreemetn I recommend you first talk with the lsiting agent you have right now and express you rconcerns with that perosn. if you do not get the satisfaction you are looking for from them; then contact their Broker In Charge and schedule a meeting with that person to discuss your situation.
Web Reference: http://www.davedicecco.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010
Hi Willie, as prior posters have stated, your listing agreement will specify terms. Many are for 6 months, but not always, brokers certainly press on agents to secure terms that are as long as possible because of the time it is taking for properties to sell. It also "locks in" the seller. In order to terminate the contract without an impact to you the seller you need to secure an unconditional release which can only come if the listing broker agrees to it.

The question I have is "why" do you want to cancel the listing agreement. Is it that your life has taken a new course and you longer want/need to sell your home? Or is it that you are frustrated with the lack of success but still want to sell? It is important if you do end the relationship without the unconditional release, you may well be subject to paying the listing broker commission through the term of the agreement regardless.

At a minimum, voice your concerns with your agent, and insist on a meeting - face to face - to discuss the marketing plan and what needs to be done to improve your chances of success. Pricing right is critical - it always is, but in this market there is no escaping it. The fact that you have had no offers in 4 months confirms that your price needs to be revisited and likely adjusted to appeal to a new buyer group.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 30, 2010

A listing agreement is a contract entered into by two parties. It takes the agreement of both parties to cancel it prior to expiration. Talk to your agent and express your wishes. Maybe the agent will agree since it seems like the agent is wasting time, also. Do you want to take your house off the market or do you want to change agents? If you want to change agents, your current agent may not be as cooperative with your request to cancel if he does not think it is justified. Why have you gotten no offers? Is your house priced right? Is there another reason? How motivated are you to sell or are you “testing the market”?

Maybe you should sit down with your agent’s broker, assuming your agent is not a broker, and discuss your dissatisfaction.

By the way, @Jeff: if you are a Realtor, as opposed to a licensee, you should double check what the Realtor Code of Ethics has to say about interference with an “existing brokerage relationship…” (Article 16).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 29, 2010
Most of the listing agreements have 30 day cancellation clause. Each party can terminate the contract with appropriate notice. Also if you can prove that the agent has neglected your listing you may want to speak with the agent or broker and be able to get out of the agreement. How long is your listing agreement?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 29, 2010
Your contract should speak about its termination. However you could negotiate with your agent to end the contract early. For example, most agents would not want a homeowner to remain locked into a listing agreement if there are no acceptable offers after a reasonable marketing period. The agent should realize that the homeowner could go to a site like Yelp.com and complain about how ineffective the agent is at his or her job. Remember, everything is negotiable.
Web Reference: http://movechicagoland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 29, 2010
Each listing agreement is a little different. It all depends on what you have signed. I'd be happy to sit down with you to review it if you wish.

Jeff Nobleza
Baird & Warner
773 677 5340
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 29, 2010
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