Catherine, Home Buyer in Salt Lake City, UT

My husband and I have signed a buyer contract with a real estate agent. We are not happy with the current

Asked by Catherine, Salt Lake City, UT Wed Jul 2, 2008

agent and want to end the contract and use someone else? is it possible? we are the buyers. The ocntract is gonna end in September 2008. When i read the details of it, i find out that even after we end the contract, we are still liable for 6 months. If we buy house during this period of time, we still have to pay them the 3% commission.

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Joe Patton’s answer
Please Communicate you dissatisfaction to your current agent. It may be uncomfortable to do so but remember it will be just as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. It may be the agent is unhappy with things too and the broker will probably want to assign you a new agent to keep you happy or they may let you out of the contract. If the broker does want to try a new agent, make sure to interview the new agent to see if you are compatible. Most real estate offices have many different agents with lots of personalities and one of them should mesh well with your own. Most agents and brokers work off the principle that 1 happy client tells 1 friend about their good experience while 1 unhappy client will tell 10 friends about their bad experience. Most brokerages will not want you as a ticked off ex-client out there telling the world what a bunch of jerks they were so you should be able to negotiate a re-assignment or realease of the contract. If you have any more trouble come back and post it on trulia, the folks that answer questions on this site are really smart and you can get some pretty good free advice. I hope the situation works itself out. Good luck, Joe Patton
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008

I agree with most of what you have to say except the fact the he/she should let you out of the contract simply because you want out. The agent has no ethical or legal obligations to terminate the contract. That stated, the likelihood of earning a commission is low.


You will have to check with your agent directly but in MN the holdover clause that you reference (6 months after contract end) does not apply if you retain the services of another agent.

Cameron Piper
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
You can ask them to cancel your agent contract, if they will not; you could talk to their broker and tell the broker why you want out. A lot of times the broker will release you or assign you to another agent within the firm. Otherwise, you would be liable to pay a commission if you purchase a home until the end of the contract. The 6 month extension period is only valid on homes that this agent showed you during the contract; nothing else. So if you want to wait until the end of the contract, and hire a new agent, don’t let your current agent show you any other homes.

Good luck.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
Catherine, you do not need to work with an agent that you find is unwilling or unanable to meet your needs. You can speak directly with their Broker to explain the source of your dissatisfaction. The Broker should then opffer to reassign you to another agent from that office. If your concerns are more severe, you can ask to be released from the contract, but do ask if there is a cost associated with the release. All terms must be in writing, so if the contract does not state a penalty or cost, there probably isn't one. No Broker wants you to go around telling everyone that you know about your lack of confidence in their agent and perhaps the company, do they? So, Catherine, if this does not answer your question to your complete satisfaction, I am available on my cell phone anytime at 801-298-1234. Good luck with your home search. Most agents are good agents and will want to make certain that your needs are met, if the requirements are reasonable and your budget allows them the opportunity to find something for you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 21, 2008
Ask the agent first to let you out of the contract (for anything that he ahas not shown you). You may find that he isn't happy working with you either and you can mutually agree to end the contract. If you are unhappy with their service, speak with their broker (the broker has the ability to let you out of the contract or assign a new agent to you). if you can get the broker to assign you a new agent, make sure you interview them first and get some references.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
Marvin is exactly correct. Your first step is to discuss with your sales agent directly and tell them you are not satisfied and ask to be released from the contract. Next step is to speak directly to the Broker. Bottom line is this agent works for you and needs to represent/protect you. If you are not satisfied, then he/she should release you from the contract.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
What specifically are you unhappy about? Perhaps if you discussed your concerns with the agent, you could come to terms. Perhaps not. In that case, just tell the agent you no longer want to work with them. Put it in writing so the file can be closed.
You might find that they are relieved. Sometimes people just don't click. Personally, I have fired three buyers so far this year. And if any of my buyers wanted out of our contract, I would let them go. Why would I want to be around someone who doesn't want to work with me?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
Why would someone sign such a restrictive contract with a buyer's agent? Its like taking the first lowball offer on a house. I would prefer to do the research/transaction myself and use the extra 3% as a negotiating tool on the price of the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
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