Home Buying in San Diego>Question Details

John Suarez, Home Buyer in Oceanside, CA

We recently decided to find a new realtor and asked ours for a buyer agent contract cancellation. The realtor

Asked by John Suarez, Oceanside, CA Thu Jun 19, 2008

said she understood and referred us to another realtor in her company (both a part of the same web based realty) and said that she had torn up our previous buyer agent agreement. We did not feel comfortable enough with this and asked her for a written contract cancellation. She has said twice now that we don't need to worry about it and that she would of course want us to be comfortable with whichever agent we used (as in, don't worry I am happy to freely cancel the agreement) but still does not seem to want to provide a written cancellation. Is a written cancellation the normal procedure (is there a standard form) or are we asking for something that is usually not necessary? Unfortunately we can't find our copy of the buyer agent agreement so I cannot tell if there is a space for a cancellation signature. Should we press her on the matter and if necessary take it up to her district manager?

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Hi John,

I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your representative.

My first, best advice would be to try to find the contract you signed initially to see when it expires. The standard timeframe for California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) contracts is one year from the date of
signing unless it is modified at the time of signing.

There is indeed a Cancellation of Listing form available (C.A.R .Form COL) which can be modified if you check the "other" box and fill in the blanks to cancel your representation agreement.

In lieu of using that document which your agent could/should be able to provide to you, you could write a letter to the agent representing you and to the broker that they work for if they are not one in the same (the broker is the person who is the licensed broker of record for the office your agent works with not the company itself.) State clearly that you wish to cancel any agreements you may have in place with them and that you have asked for a written cancellation but not received it. Sign it, date it and send it registered, return receipt via the USPS.

If it were me I would want something in writing from the agent I was no longer going to work with. Remember though that the contract you signed is really between you and the broker that the agent works for even if you have never met them. The agent is the agent of the broker and with their broker's permission is permitted to represent a client but can't do so without having a broker's license of their own.

Please also remember that I am not a Lawyer but this is what I would do if I were in this situation. I hope this helps and that you find a representative that pleases you and speeds you on your way to homeownership.

Take care and have wonderful day,

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, IVPG (909) 837-8922
Web Reference: http://Route66Living.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Hi John,

If you signed "buyer Broker agreement" form than you need to cancel it in writing. Also check the date and how long more you were obligated to work with her. If she referred you to another agent she is probably getting referral fee from the other agent. I agree with others that you should contact her broker in charge. Because all the contracts belongs to the broker. good luck and email or call me if you have additional questions.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
I think we may be confusing "listing agreement" with what the poster appears to be asking about which is a "buyer's agent" agreement.

And in the case of an exclusive buyer's agreement, the agreement IS the agent's (not the agencies) and the agent is free to void that agreement without the express written permission of the agency.

That being said, I would still want to get something in writing from this agent. It sounds as though she's being very agreeable to release you, not wanting to bind you to her, if you'd rather be elsewhere. However, since she appears to be hesitant to write up a cancellation agreement, I'd recommend putting something in writing yourself (ie: Elvis & Coldwell Banker agree to an unconditional release for John & Susan Suarez from their Exclusive Buyer's Agreement, dated May, 2008, and they are free to find other representation. No commission will be due on any homes they may find with another agent).

Once you have it written, bring it to her and ask her to sign it. If she declines (for some reason), take it to her managing broker and ask them to sign it.

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
John, good morning...

It's the year 2008, unfortunately you need something in writing - a written cancellation.

The first issue here .. agents don't tear-up agreements, they work for an agency, a broker, broker/manager - it's their agreement, not the agents. ..

These offices are usually very small "water cooler societies" ... so you really don't know whats going on and what information has been given out, and what agents are telling any truths at all...

Just make this very simple on yourself ... list all of your grievances with dates and times .. call the manager for a "todays" appointment .. quickly go over it with him/her and get your cancellation "in writing"...

Personally, I would look for another agency...

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Hi John,

I would agree with Tisza you want something in writing. Obviously your gut is telling you that and you should go with this feeling. I would be contact with their broker and have them give you something in writing before you proceed with anybody in their office. You did state it is a web based company. By requesting this it will give you better understanding on how good this real estate company operates. If the broker does not respond I would be wary of working with this office.
Like Tisza said you are really working with the broker, the agent are licensed to represent the broker.

I hope this helps you get some peace of mind.
Catherine Barden
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
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