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Glenn, Other/Just Looking in Central Business Dis...

Can you cancel an NJ MLS listing agreement to take your house off the market without penalty?

Asked by Glenn, Central Business District, Newark, NJ Thu Jul 3, 2008

I have a friend who listed his home exclusively with a broker in central New Jersey. It was a 6-month listing. 5 months have gone by and he now wants to take his house off the market until prices rebound. Can he cancel his listing agreement without penalty? There is nothing in the MLS listing agreement that says anything at all about cancellation.

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If a seller changes their mind and determines they do not want to sell, they can instruct their agent to withdraw their listing from the MLS. The terms of the listing contract remain in effect, but the property is no longer marketed, and buyers are advised the property is no longer offered for sale. If the seller enters into a sales contract with a buyer during the listing and/or protection period, the terms of the listing agreement would be enforceable. In the event an unconditional withdrawal is issued, there are no obligations. Most withdrawals are conditioned upon the terms of the original listing agreement.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Hi Glenn, yes you can take a property off the market without penalty either via a "Withdrawl" or "Termination". In both cases the property no longer shows up as "Active" in the MLS and so when searches are conducted on the MLS or other search sites it feeds, the listing will not show up. In the scenario you describe, I think a Withdrawl will serve you best and as previously stated, if a contract of sale is entered into before the original listing expiry, then the terms of the listing agreement apply, in other words it is conditional upon those terms. An unconditional withdrawl is harder to come by but is what you need if your intention is to list with a different firm/agent prior to the expiry of the original listing agreement. The issue arises if you do that, and are not unconditionally released from the first agreement. Then if you succeed in selling, you may find yourself paying commission twice.

I've used a termination in a situation where a life change eliminated the need/ability to sell.

Have your friend talk to their agent. With only one month to go in the listing period, either letting the clock wind down or a withdrawl will likely do the trick. And then we can all hope that prices rebound as he hopes they will.

Good luck to your friend.

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
Sure you can. Talk to your agent and then the broker, a withdrawal would be the way to go.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
Yes, a listing can be terminated. All the answers below are full of good information.With 1 month left on the listing, your friend may want to have it Withdrawn Temporarily from the MLS, then when it expires it will no longer be listed. This will avoid any showings in the period of time left in the listing. The listing agent can handle this.
Web Reference: http://sharonkozinn.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
As Deborah said there are two types of withdrawls. If you are not planning to sell the home now a conditional withdrawal will serve you well.
When you re list I recommend that that you ask questions about withdrawals. If something comes up that hinders you ability to show the property, or if your plans change, or if your agent isn't doing their job you want to know what your options are. These options can change from agency to agency.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
Sherry - the question was asked Thu Jul 3, 2008.

A little bit late to te party! Ahh.. details.. who pays attention? eh?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 29, 2013
Hi, yes, was answered long ago. Is there a way for a user to end the thread so that won't happen?
Flag Mon Apr 29, 2013
You most certainly can, just keep in mind you cannot list with another agent until the original listing date has expired.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 29, 2013
Yes your friend should be able to take his house off the market without a penalty.No one can force you to sell your home just because you signed a listing agreement. People change their minds all of the time. Just tell him to contact his agent or the office manager and he will have to sign a withdrawal form to make it official.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
yes you can - the short version....there are 2 ways to do that - one in a conditional withdrawal - which means you can not re-list it withanother agent until the original listing date expires - or an unconditional withdrawal wich means you are free to go list with another agent. There is more to it but if all you want to do is take it off th market and not sell most agents understand in the market and will do a withdrawal without a problem and there should be no penalty (unless an agreement was made for a penalty)
Dani Padovano
609-709-7311 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 5, 2012
Yes you can cancel your contract ay anytime during its term.
But...I have to ask
You only have 1 month left on a 6 month listing why not let it runs it term who knows maybe you'll get lucky and in the last month of that listing you'll get an offer you can't refuse. unless............(I'll leave that thought right there)

Good Luck
Maggie Quinn
Crossroards Realty
Jackson/Millstone Office
Cell 732-299-1502
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 1, 2011
I see two avenues for your friend
1) marketing a listing is a big investment. It seems to me that five months and no sale signals more issues that just "I am waiting for the market to improve). In most cases listings that sell in the first 30 days sell at closest to list price. So at five months, something is amiss.
2) If the problem really was that your friend is unhappy with the REaltor (as if WE control the market) then I think a meeting with the Realtor is in order (actually both cases).

Unless there is a serious issue with performance, a nice thing to do would be to provide the Realtor with three referrals of people that need help. Also, a frank discussion about your friend's goals and needs.

Most people have no idea what goes into selling a listing. The fact is that ANY property will sell at the right price. A good REaltor can max out your net, however unrealistic expectations are not going to help.

To put it another way, we are not paid until escrow closes. What would YOU think is fair. Spending a few thousand dollars on marketing listing, and time , and effort, must have value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
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