Susan...you're sweet. Your apology accepted, just an oversight. And I think you are more than right that a GOOD agent and respectful, ethical agent would have surely had this conversation right away with the buyer. And you are also correct that we have to not assume that this did or did not happen. Right on! and I gave you a thumbs up for being a stand up woman on that.
Kevin, we don't actually know what happened. But going with what Susan said, let me state that although you feel better about your 2nd agent you picked out, if they did not sit down with you and IMMEDIATELY have you sign a Agency Relationships Disclosure (that is the LAW!!) and then sit down and discuss your wants/needs/story WITH you, then I am afraid I and the others would agree here that you are not dealing with a "good" or ethical or honorable agent to begin with. That, by the way, is not up for debate. That is a fact and the law.
After I sent this to you, I just actually had this same thing happen to me. Yes, I can fit in a new buyer right now. But this guy called and was complaining about his agent, who was not returning calls, never gave him the agency disclosure, never signed a buyer rep agreement, etc. The first thing I did with him was ask him - or any buyer or seller that calls me - is this: "Mr. Smith, before we discuss anything about your situation I need to ask you a very simple question and this is because I am ethical and follow the law: have you signed a contract for legal representation as a buyer or seller with any other agent?"
Kevin....this is our DUTY. We swore an oath when we started. PERIOD. No agent should be out showing houses to a buyer, or doing a CMA on a house.....only to find out that the buyer or seller already has a contract. This is a simple question up front. And quite frankly, if your agent did not give you that disclosure and as you that question the first time you talked or had substantive contact....I would run like the wind anyway. This is black and white stuff for us as real estate professionals, Kevin. There is no room for gray area on this stuff. and if anyone wants to tell you different, they are lying. Either you have a contract with an agent (buyer or seller), or you don't. that is pretty simple. And for me or anyone else here to meet with you or begin either the buying or selling process without even ASKING this....would truly be sad.
Now, I feel the need to comment on what Mr. James wrote in below here before Susan. Mr. James, with all due respect, I am astonished at the comment, especially since you said you are a broker. I think it is sad that you jump immediately to the "rescue" of the buyer, refuse to look at the law and the facts in this case (some of which Kevin has not yet shared with us). You advised a buyer, who apparently has a legally binding contract to send an email to his former realtor and ask the realtor to cancel the contract? Donald James...that is ILLEGAL in this state. And you must know that.
You stated that "most realtors will send you a copy of the cancellation immediately, with their apologies"? Really? Where on earth did you get that information. Then you mentioned that they should "copy the agent's broker on this as well". Again, this must go through the broker if it is to happen. The agent is not the principle on this legally binding statutory contract, the BROKER is the principle.
And then for some crazy reason, then you told them to contact the MAR to file a complaint. Really? Why? In Kevin's very own words....the first agent did nothing wrong whatsoever!!! What is the complaint, Donald? I think we over here would all like to hear that. The only complaint Kevin could make here would have to - if he spoke 100% truthfully (and this is based, Kevin, on everything we here understand to be real, true and genuine based on your testimony so far) - would be as follows: "Dear MAR, I would like to file a complaint. About 6 months ago I signed a legally binding contract with Broker X, agreeing to work exclusively with them to help me find a home. I agreed to a 1 year contract. I lost my job right away and put this on hold. Now that I found another job, I happened to find another eager agent that wanted to help me. I guess I liked him better because of xxxxx. Well, I just found out that my other agent remembered the contract. I asked him to cancel it and he won't. Yes, I agreed to commit for one year. No, the "new" agent did not give me nor sign an agency relationships disclosure. No the new guy did not even ask me if I had signed any other agreements. And yes, I am trying to get out of my commitment to Broker X. And my complaint is that they won't let me out of the contract that I signed and swore to uphold. Oh, and yes, they have upheld their end of the deal and are still willing to work with me."
Where do you think this will go with MAR? They will tell you the same things I have.