Home Selling in Cupertino>Question Details

Charles Dablo, Other/Just Looking in Cupertino, CA

i have a 3 month contract with my agent (1 month into the contract), but have not listed the house on the MLS yet (trying to do an exclusive showing)

Asked by Charles Dablo, Cupertino, CA Thu Jan 21, 2010

first. I am not too happy with my agent for various reasons. Can I cancel my contract without any conditions / implications and pick another agent?

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What Mrs J. Dodge said is the truth as per conract law so go talk with the broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 29, 2010
It boils down to what the agreement and expectations are. Those EXCLUSIVE listing to save commission rarely works. If you already have 25 groups walk through with no offer, the feedback is on price, condition. You need to work with your realtors to take corrective actions.
You can not make a 1 bath home more but you can replace an old front door and make the home roomier.
Whatever reasons you need also to understand why there are issues. The agent has other properties to sell and you are one of his/her listings. If there is no traffic then step on advertising.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 3, 2010
Hi Charles,
Strictly speaking you can cancel the real estate listing agreement at any time during its course. It’s your right and prerogative. And I asume you have an "Exclusive Listing Agreement" with the brokerage.

However, for the cancelation to not become a "breach of contract", both you and the broker supervising your agent must sign the cancelation agreement. If signed by you unilaterally and voluntarily, you may be liable for paying the broker the commission. I'm confident that if you bring your issues for discussion with the agent and he broker at the table, you will find common ground and best path forward.

Good luck and let me know if I can help more.

We're ready when you are!

Mihaela Mattes
Century 21 Realty Alliance
1528 South El Camino Real, Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94402
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010

Another thing to consider. If your agent is NOT the Broker, you should probably touch base with the Broker first. If this is the set up, your agent is considered a "Special Agent" who hangs his/her license under the Broker's. Your relationship is really with the Broker, through the agent, so any listing agreement and/or Buyer's Representation Agreement is really with the Broker and not the Agent.

Perhaps the Broker is not aware of the issues you're having with your agent. They might be able to rectify the situation, re-assign it to another agent, take it over themselves, or let you out of the agreement all together.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.thedodgeteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010

I suggest you speak with a contracts attorney who specializes in real estate matters. None of the agents responding here (as far as I can tell) are licensed to give legal advice. Hopefully you will be able to work things out with your agent without having to seek the advice of an attorney.

However, I would first take another look at the contract to clarify your obligations, your agent's obligations and the method of terminating the contract between you both. I would then speak to your agent to go over your concerns. What specifically has your agent done/not done to make you unhappy? Why do you want to get out of the contract? Lastly, why have you opted to exclude your home from the MLS and work by exclusive showings only? This reduces the amount of qualified buyers who see your home potentially lowering your net sales proceeds.

Maybe your agent will walk away if you re-imberse him/her for his/her out of pocket expenses? I guess what I'm trying to write here is that you need to have a frank discussion with your agent. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hi Charles, You have great tips all along this post. Someone forgot to tell you that your inconvenience with this agent may have a benefit. Prices have been creeping a up. See, there is a silver lining! If only a tiny one. You can always remind him of his failure to show good care and..well...maybe hint that there was a MLS violation ...if being nice doesn't get you where you want to be.

I wholly dislike the idea, but some agents just don't get it!

CUPERTINO? really. Don't worry too much. Your agent already broke a rule that we all abide by as identified by Cappy below, right? If the agent hasn't damaged you, financially, delaying the time when you will realize your sale and possess the net proceeds, your Cupertino home will be sold in no time!

If marketed properly, priced correctly and presented perfectly It will take like ..a weekend!

just ask nicely

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
I just want to add that your agent has a duty to perform under the listing agreement, just as you have a duty to perform (making your home available for showings, maintaining insurance, and to sell the house when a buyer is located, etc.). If you breach the contract, you are liable for the agent's commission. Likewise, if your agent fails to perform adequately he/she is in breach of the contract and you should and do have the right to cancel the listing agreement. It is unethical in my view to hold your listing hostage by refusing to cancel the contract in the face of a failure to perform to reasonable standards. Assuming you can point to specific facts that demonstrate your agent and broker are not performing as promised and the broker refuses to cancel the contract, file a complaint with the Department of Real Estate, which you can do on-line.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hello Mr. Dablo,

As everyone has stated, you should voice your dissatisfaction with the agent. More importantly, you should have a conversation with the broker. The broker will want to know if he/she has an agent that is performing poorly and will likely take the necessary steps to keep a client happy; including terminating the relationship with the agent.

Also, most common listing agreements mandate that a listing be posted on the MLS within a few days of the execution of the listing agreement. A property can be excluded from the MLS but there must be an addendum stating how long the home is to be excluded from the MLS.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.TimelineRES.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Have you read your copy of the contract? Both Gerard and Anna gave you good advice I would follow it, also you need to talk to your next agent and tell him/her what you expect from your agent before you sign the listing agreement. There are some VERY good agents right here on trulia who know your area cold. Contact a few of them and see if you can't get that service you were looking for, I bet you can! :)
DRE# 01397256
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010

It really depends on the agent. As an example, if you were listed with us but were very unhappy with our services, etc., we would let you out of the contract. That’s our personal policy – we realize that working with an unhappy client is no good for anyone. Many local agents realize this and do exactly the same thing.

There are other agents, however, who do not view things the same way and may want to hold you to the contract until it expires. The best thing is to talk to talk to your existing agent, explain you concerns and ask that the contract be terminated. If they agree, then ask for a Cancellation of Contract form and sign it – make sure they cancel completely with no caveats of any kind. If they are unwilling to cancel, then you are more than likely stuck. You can, however, make it impossible for anyone to show the property and you also have the ability to turn down any offers that may come in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hi Charles,
If you have valid reasons, which you may/may not want to share with your agent as to why you are not happy with them, then yes, you can cancel your Listing Agreement with them at any time. Would it be feasible for you to speak with your agent and work things out....or is it too far gone and there is no going back?
Make sure you are released with no compensation to your current agent, so you can work with the next one with a clear contract.
After the "Cancellation of Contract" is signed by you and him/her, you can definately go ahead and pick another agent.

I live and work in Cupertino, know my City inside out! and would be happy to meet and chat with you AFTER you have resolved your contract with your current agent. Please do check out my website, and let me know if I can help you. Be well and safe, regards,
Nina Daruwalla
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Hi Charles, Usually if you are unhappy with your agent, I would discuss canceling the listing agreement with him/her. If the agent is resistant to canceling the listing agreement. Then you may want to speak with his broker about rescinding the contract.

If the broker is unwilling, it depends on the contract, the CAR listing agreement tends to be binding, while the PRDS gives the client the opportunity to cancel the contract. The next step would be mediation and arbitration, which would be binding. Hopefully you do not have to resort to mediation. Good Luck on Home Selling. If you have any other questions or concerns you can always contact a Real Estate Attorney.

Warmest regards,

Eric & Janelle

Top 1% Intero Real Estate
Silicon Valley Specialists
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Charles -

Different agents/brokers have deal differently with this type of situation. Some are willing to let you move on after a simple conversation regarding your dissatisfaction. Maybe the feeling is mutual. Either way, request a formal cancellation in writing and make sure if it is an agent, there broker has signed as well.

It is best to sit down with the agent and explain why you are not happy with their current services. Let them know exactly what needs to change for you to continue the relationship. It may be simple issue of communication.

Web Reference: http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
You may wish to speak to the broker owner of the agency as far as an unconditional withdrawal is concerned--he/she is usually the one who decides.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Best advice is to ask your agent. Many "contracts" have language that stipulates how notice must be given to be released.

More often though, it is best to tell your agent you are not happy and asked to be released. You may be surprised at the result. A good agent will change their practices to satisfy whatever is making you unhappy - or simply sign a release.

No agent wants an unhappy customer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
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