How can I fire my realtor?

Asked by Joanne Keegan, Hazlet, NJ Tue Oct 7, 2008

I have been listed with a realtor for 3 months now and he has never had an open house. When we signed the contract he told us he would be have open houses and also that he would be taking new pictures every couple of weeks and changing the ads he has,( he runs his own ads besides the one by his firm) because people like to see new & different pictures all the time he said. He sounded like a great realtor, WELL he has'nt done anything he said he would. how can I get rid of him????????

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Oct 8, 2008
As the end of October approaches, you'll find you can pick up a good Donald Trump hairpiece at your local Walgreens. Allright, allright... it's really a BAD Donald Trump hairpiece.

Find one, put it on, and practice in front of the mirror a few times, ("you're fired!... you're fired!... you're fired... there... you're ready!).

Fire away.
1 vote
Jerry Cibuls…, Agent, Southold, NY
Thu Nov 4, 2010
Stop into the office and see your agent and his broker and discuss your concerns. If you are still uncomfortable then ask for a release from your listing contract.
0 votes
David Jaffe, Agent, Arlington Heights, IL
Thu Nov 4, 2010
Personally, I like Alan's answer.... Look at your listing agreement and determine how you can terminate the listings. If you are locked in for a longer than 3-month period, contact the Managing Broker of the Office and bring your concerns directly to him/her. You may find a quicker way out of the listing agreement.

Before making a quick decision, sit down with your Agent and discuss how disappointed you are with his performance. You may find, a kick in the pants, will get him to step up and actively market your property as he originally promised.

Best of luck,
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Nov 4, 2010
Yikes, this question was asked in '08 - I surely hope Joanne has resolved her issue by now!
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Carol Cei, Agent, Maple Glen, PA
Thu Nov 4, 2010
Hello, Joanne,

Unfortunately, unless your real estate professional made these things a part of your listing contract, you are stuck. You can try calling the broker and maybe you will have some luck, but probably not.

When listing a home for sale, it is very important to get a written marketing plan with a cancellation clause. That way, if you don't get what is promised, you can cancel. Right now, all they have to do is what is outlined in the basic listing agreement.

If you would like a copy of Qustions to Ask your Real Estate Professional, please let me know. Next time, be sure to have an interview process. Good luck with all!

Carol Cei
ReMax Action Realty
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The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Nov 4, 2010
If the Realtor works for a company, talk to the principle broker (whoever is the boss of the Realtor).
That is the first step, if you can't work it out with the Realtor themselves.
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Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Thu Nov 4, 2010
Please keep in mind that not all agents are created equally. Having said that it sounds like you are a victim of what I consider to be--over promising to get the listing. Not sure why agents do this and what makes them think they can get away with not delivering what was promised when they are awarded the listing. Read your contract--there is usually a clause related to nonperformance. If the agent isn't willing to release you then speak with the agent's broker. AND before hiring a new agent, take your time to interview at least 3 from different agencies and ALWAYS ask to speak to an agents past clients to prevent yourself from making the same mistake again.
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Amber Noble…, Agent, Morganville, NJ
Thu Dec 18, 2008
Hello Joanne:

I read the message you wrote below, as well as the blog you posted last week.

I am so sorry to hear about the drama and frustration you've been experiencing.

I will tell you that ALL Realtors are not the same, so please don't be discouraged by your most recent experience.

As professionals, we are licensed by the state of New Jersey, and governed by our local real estate boards (mine being the Monmouth County Association of Realtors), as well as the National Association of Realtors. These organizations protect the rights of consumers and create standards for all Realtors to follow. Always know that you have resources to utilize ever you ever feel you're being treated unethically.

I hope that you will take the time over the next couple of weeks to relax, and enjoy remainder of the year with your loved ones. You're almost at the "home-stretch" Joanne! Pretty soon you'll be a "free" woman :)

I am always here if you ever need additional questions answered. My contact info is listed below.

All the best,

Realtor-Associate / Multi-Million Dollar Producer
Weichert, Realtors (Marlboro office)
455 Route 9 South
Manalapan, NJ 07726
917-723-5645 - cell
732-536-4400, ext 199 - office

"Thank you for the referrals of your family, friends and colleagues. They are the highest compliments you could ever pay me."
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Kaleb Kunz, , 84321
Fri Oct 10, 2008
I would first talk with the agents broker and explain the situation to him....listing are actually held by the broker, not the agent. The broker could do a number of things, assign another agent in the brokerage, get the current agent to get his act together or simply release you from the contract.
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Carol Cei, Agent, Maple Glen, PA
Fri Oct 10, 2008
You are probably at his mercy. If he gave you a performance guarantee, then you have a leg to stand on...if not, you are stuck with him. Sorry!

If he has a conscience he might let you out but you will have to negotiate it.
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Heather Dacc…, , Monmouth County, NJ
Wed Oct 8, 2008
Hi Joanne,
As other agents have said, the best course of action is to speak with the Broker/Manager in the office and try to resolve this issue. The only way to cancel your current listing and sign on with a new agent is to obtain an unconditional withdrawal. This way you void the current listing and are free to work with someone else.

I'm sorry you are having this experience!

Heather Daccurso, Sales Associate
Weichert Realtors
Office: 732-577-0440
Cell: 732-580-5309
0 votes
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Wed Oct 8, 2008
As my fellow REALTORS stated, some do promise more than they deliver just to get the listing. You should speak to the agent and his/her broker and find out why what was promised was not delivered.

In NJ, there are two ways to get out of a listing agreement. One is a conditional withdrawal. That means the home is no longer marketed and it is noted as withdrawn on the Multiple Listing Service. But with a conditional withdrawal you can not relist the home with another broker until the current listing agreement expires.

An unconditional withdrawal voids the listing agreement, and places no restrictions on re listing. However, if the home is sold to someone who first viewed the property when listed with the initial company, that company must be paid.

If you decide to re list, get a marketing plan in writing and an EZ Exit guarantee. That will allow both you and you agent to void the listing agreement if either of you fail to live up to the promises made at the time of the listing.

Good luck!
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Oct 7, 2008
Sorry to hear of your frustration.
The biggest single issue that clients have is dealing with unmet expectations. One of the misunderstandings that sellers have with listing agreements is that the purpose of the agreement is to SELL YOUR HOME. They believe that they are stuck in the contract, even if the Realtor is not SELLING THEIR HOME.

I have helped people in this situation and have some suggestions:
1. We need focus on facts - ask your Realtor, since your home hit the market, how many homes have:
-come on the market
- lowered their prices
- gone into escrow
- sold
- expired.

What you are going to find is that homes have been selling..just not yours. You need to ask them "WHY?'. Then be quiet and let them explain.

2. IN order to sell a home you need showings. The average is 10-12 showings to yield on offer. So I expect 10-12 showings or one offer in the first two weeks, or we make a price adjustment, usually around 5%. How many showings have you had, what was the result of each showing?

3. Homes that sell in the first 30 days sell closest to asking price. In My MLS 99.7%, At 120 days on market that drops to 92.7% of asking.

The buyer that purchases your home sees it the first time with a Realtor 90% of the time. So if Realtors are not showing your home, it's overpriced.

4. So I would listen to their explanation, then you have a decision to make. If quite a few homes have sold, and they are unable to explain why yours did not sell, then I would simply explain that you hired them to sell your home, it is not sold and they don't have any suggestions how to get it sold, and tell them you need to find someone who can not only list your home, but get it sold.

Another alternative would be to give them two weeks to sell it, or you're going to find another Realtor.

I cannot imagine they could disagree with you (assuming other homes are selling). If there is resistance, ask them to arrange an appointment with their broker. That should do it.

Good luck.
If you are going to be interviewing Realtors I can recommend one.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Oct 7, 2008
You have a couple of choices. If you want to try and salvage something i would set up an appointment with him and the office manager/broker of record. Tell them what you feel is wrong an what you want done as well as what they propese to do to ease your fears. If you do not want to go forward you simply need to make the request in writing, good luck with your sale joanne.
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Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Tue Oct 7, 2008

For starters I would set up an appointment to meet with him in person and then directly call him out on it. Address your concerns and hear what he has to say. Depending on how that meeting goes, you can then tell him that you want to withdraw from the listing agreement with no further obligation to him or his broker and get it in writing. I do recommend you contact his broker directly as well to voice your concerns and disservice. Once again, if you are released from your listing agreement with the broker, get it in writing and without further obligation to that broker and agent.

Did he provide you any type of marketing plan or promises he made in writing? I provide my sellers with My Written Commitment of not only what I will do but when and how often I will do it and I am also Quality Service Certified which also holds me accountable for my actions as well. If in the event I do not provide the services and/or marketing outlined, my clients have written proof of the commitments I've made and failed to honor. Thus, their demand to be released from our agreement is with merit.

Good luck and if you relist with another agent, have them provide their commitment to you in writing and with a backout clause that should they breach their promises under their pledge of service, you may terminate the listing agreement.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential New Jersey Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116
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Lucy Korzeli…, Agent, Wall, NJ
Tue Oct 7, 2008
Hi Joanne,
Sorry to hear about your frustration with getting your home sold. This is definitely a market that will test your patience. However, your best bet is first to speak to the broker/manager of the office your agent works for. Explain the promises and the expectations that were given at the time of the listing agreement. See if they can get things back on track for you or assign another agent before a listing withdrawal is requested. Good luck with your situation.
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terryriw53, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Tue Oct 7, 2008
Yes, you can. You should contact the broker that the realtor represents. Discuss the situation with them. If you still cannot resolve the situation, then you have the right to tell that broker that you want to cancel your listing agreement. This is the short answer to your question.
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