A listing agreement is an instrument to protect both the sellers rights and the agent's rights. If either the seller or agent isn't living up to the promises made before the agreement they both have the right to cancel anytime (most people don't realize this). As an agent I would much rather have an unhappy client cancel the agreement with my blessings than to have an unhappy client who feels trapped in an agreement and may tell his/her friends of their woes.
That being said (and i've heard of this happening countless times) some agents may tell you that you are bound by the agreement and cannot cancel. In that instance call their broker directly and explain. A good broker will release you. And, if they happen to be the broker contact the Bureau of Real Estate and report the person.... more
It seems to me the market is slow right now and slowing as we speak, since everybody expects that the Federal Reserve will taper the current 85 billion dollars a month bond purchases that it is doing by creating money out of thin air, that will inevitable exacerbate the increase in interest rates for a 10 year Treasury bill, interest that the mortgages usually track. That will make mortgages even more expensive than they are today. The last increases in interest for a 30 yr fixed loan has been over 100 basis points, that has priced down a lot of people that can afford less house than before, so if your house is priced in the lower portion it may have benefited, but if it was above the median, there will be fewer buyers. The expectation is that any interest rate increase will create a larger discount rate to discount the future cash flows that the property could generate and that is its intrinsic value, since there would be a better investment to make other than buying, it will also make more attractive financially speaking to rent than to buy. At the same time the % of young adults that live at home is at a 45 years high and growing, and as analysts point out, it is well below the upper bound observed in other societies that have undergone this transformation ahead of the USA, like Italy where it is 61%.The main reason is the unaffordabillity of housing to start a family. The trend in those societies is for multigenerational housing where each generation lives in a different floor of the house. Something our housing is not prepared for in the USA. In summary, with rates going up and people being priced down with little hope of interest rates going further down (discount rates by the Fed at near zero and monetization at 85 Billion $ per month (http://technopark02.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/feds-permanent-open-market-operations-pomo-schedule/) ), and household formation at a 45 year low ( and going down), I see little room for prices to go anywhere but down.
Of course that is under the assumption that will not experience a hyperinflationary event that destabilizes the economy, if that were to happen, then all bets are off. So watch out, since you are not a financier, do not sell anything real state without having a firm contract in place to buy something else. it has happened in other countries where people procrastinated put the money on a CD before buying another home, or speculated prices will go further down and a black swan event happened and after a few months they could buy anythiing with the money they had put away.
Very long explanation, but since finishing my MBA I finally understand how prices of real state work and feel a lot of empathy for your question. I now know that it is the wrong question, since the time you are asking for looks in the mirror at past events and that doesn't matter at all, you need to look at future events and the behavior of interest rates is what is going to determine the value of your home, of course assuming all other factors remain equal, but I know that you know all of those critical real state facts.... more