Home Selling in 27103>Question Details

John,  in North Carolina

Replacing my agent

Asked by John, North Carolina Thu Sep 13, 2007

if i have a contract for 6 months in listing and I want to change my realtor ,... do I have the right to do that? and also about the taxes that been answered for a married couple let say our equity is less than $ 500,000 ,... do we need still to pay capital gain tax? Please answer thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:


As for the capital gains taxes, you must have lived in the house for the last 2 of 5 years. If your profit is not more than 500,000 than no, you do not have to pay any taxes. Please check with your accountant to access your personal situation.

As for the six month contract, you should let your agent know that you are unhappy. If this does not work, than you should go to their broker as Jason suggested.

I always write into my contracts that either party can cancel this agreement at any time in writing. It is not fun working with a person on either side that you find out later is not a good match.

Good luck!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
You can change/cancel your listing agreement. However, I would recommend meeting with the current lising agent's Broker In Charge to discuss the problem/issues. That will usually yield a fair solution.
Good luck selling your home.

As for tax question, best to call an Accountant. Email me at mortgages@triad.rr.com and I will email you some names and numbers of people that will answer the question for free.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
JoJo -

Every situation and every agency relationship varies slightly, so this is difficult to give a simple yes/no answer. My suggestions would be address your concerns with your agent (if you have not already done so) and document the fact that you discussed things. In the event your requests are reasonable and your Realtor® does not follow through then you should approach the broker and discuss things with him/her.
Most situations should be able to be easily resolved by simply talking it through.
Good luck -
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Hi JoJo,

CAPITAL GAINS......It's not about the equity being 500K (for a married couple), it is the profit. A seller could have re-fi'd a property, have less than 500K in equity, but more than 500K in profit. Profit would be calculated by subtracting the purchase price, capital improvements, and certain expenses from the selling price. Talk w/ an accountant for assistance in computing the profit. Your question specifically asked about "equity" and it is important to differentiate equity from profit. The advice provided below explained that the qualified property must have been your primary residence for 2 of the last 5 years.

REPLACING YOUR AGENT....... You have a contract with a listing broker, and unless that contract defines specific terms under which you can unilaterally cancel, you will need mutual agreement. If your agent has not fulfilled his/her obligations, talk with the agent, or escalate it to the Broker in charge. The Broker will probably try to salvage the relationship by closer oversight, direct involvement, or assignment of another agent. If the failures are many, or the relationship is strained, the Broker may agree to release your from the listing. A release would allow you to hire another Broker without any obligation to the original listing Broker. Unilaterally, you do have the right to demand that your current listing Broker cease all advertising, withdraw the listing from MLS, etc. That, however, does not release you from any financial obligations to that Broker upon the sale of your property. If you were to hire another Broker without a release from the initial listing, you could be liable for commissions to both Brokers.

Most Brokers are reasonable and will seek to gain a satisfied customer, or release you from the listing if such action and decision is warranted.

If you find difficulty dealing with the current Broker, the next escalation might be to contact the local association of Realtors and seek their assistance. Hopefully, you will resolve this directly with your current agent and broker to your satisfaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ

First it`s the room measurements, then it`s the taxes. Now were telling the Realtor to hit the bricks.
I think we are having a ruff time in N.C.

Everyone has given you some great advise.

Important things first. No taxes for you less then $500K equity. Happy dance.

Now your agent. You most probably have a six month contract saying that your married.

Just like any divorce. Sit the agent down.
Tell the agent what they have been doing wrong.
If they wont let you out, and you believe that you have the right to fire them. Go talk to their broker.
Tell the Agent first that you will speak with the Broker.

So therefore you should have a very good excuse to fire them.
Good Luck, JOJO
Keep me posted.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
I agree with all the answers and can't add much except to tell you what I tell my clients, that contract you refer to "Keeps honest people honest" and I mean that for both sides of the party.
I sat in a mastermind meeting of real estate brokers today and we discussed this exact scenario. It depends on who you are dealing with in regards to how they will respond. I would always ask and hope the client would give me the opportunity to resolve whatever they were unhappy about but ultimately I'd release them. Beware not all agents feel this way so communicate first. The capital gains question has already been answered well.
Best of luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
generally speaking, no. they have a contract (so do you). Unless they have breached it in some fashion they have a reasonable expectation that you will honor your end of the deal. the contract may be cancelled by mutual consent...no harm in asking.

the $500k exclusion from gain is available to persons who have resided in a property for two of the prior five years and may be elected one time every 24 months
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
You will need to read your contract.. some companies have a clause that will allow a seller to break the contract with XX days notice.. Other companies will not release the seller from the contract until the expiration of the contract. They will put the home on hold if you have decided not to sell but will not cancel the contract. It will depend on the company policy.

As to your question about the capital gain tax.. if you are married you are entitled to a $500,000 ( $250,000 per person)exclusion on the taxable gain of your home providing you have lived in the property for 2 out of the last 5 years as your personal residence ( law differs slightly if the home was an income property you changed to a personal residence).. If the gain is less then $500,000 you can still exclude the gain. You should discuss this with your tax person as there are some things that can affect the tax exclusion.. The law is very clear about certain requirements that you must meet in order to take advantage of the exclusion. .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in Manhattan Beach, CA
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