How can I get out of my contract for the listing of my house? I have a unique situation...

Asked by Hed, Grand Rapids, MN Wed Aug 13, 2008

My house has been on the market for 120 days with not one person looking at it. My realtor has put 4 ads in the paper in 3 months as well as 2 non-local ads in regional papers. She has not set foot in our house since the day it went on the market and has done no further work that I can see. Her ads are great but things aren't working. Now to the unique part. I took a new job 3 hours away and have been living with my folks until the house sells. My company has a nice relocation policy where they are actually planning on taking my house off my hands. To finalize the move, my realtor was required to sign a listing exclusion form which gives my reloc. company the right to pull the listing from her if she doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. The realtor and broker refuses to sign it as she feels that it opens the door for the relocation company to move it to one of their listing agents, so now I'm stuck and unable to take advantage of the relo prog. What can I do?

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Aug 13, 2008
Perhaps, if your current agent understands that you will make certain that your home is "not available" for any showings (bad time, children napping, home with the flu), and that you will not be considering any offers that are a penny less than "full price"...

...they might decide to release you from your contract.
4 votes
James Joseph, , 06281
Wed Aug 13, 2008
What a mess.
Try to find a local attorney that is influential in the real estate industry. One that is perhaps familiar with the owners of thr RE office. Perhaps the price of a phone call might work.
All the best,
James Joseph
2 votes
Valerie McDo…, Agent, McDonough, GA
Thu Aug 14, 2008
In response to Jennifer's answer, the exclusionary clause is part of most employers' relocation package. Most companies that deal with relocation will be very , very familiar with the process.
1 vote
Jennifer Kir…, Agent, Minneapolis, MN
Wed Aug 13, 2008
A question I have is whether the document your relocation company is asking your agent to sign is violating her agency relationship all ready established with you. Sounds like they are soliciting a lisiting.

I find it odd that no one has looked at the home...usually this means the home is overpriced. Have you had any price reductions in the active three months?
1 vote
Valerie McDo…, Agent, McDonough, GA
Wed Aug 13, 2008
I am sorry that you house has not sold in this time frame. Relocation transactions are more commonin many area than people may realize.

I telll my clinets that one of my main jobs is to get the word out to buyers & agents. I use several means to do so.
I hope your agent has shared with you most of what he/she has done, but you probably do not know all that has benn done for you.

The market is difficult to say the least. & Frustrating to most everyone. I would do some research with your current agent before making a change. Get a really, really good picture of what is going on in your area.

Talk to the relocation counsultant & make sure you know hhow their program works. Relocation packages can be very, very helpful, but the offers for buyout can be real eye openrs to sellers.
They will probably have you talk with several agents & have tehm do in-depth research & they may have some appraisers come out as well & do their research. Their advice on pricing to you will be based on that research & around here has been much lower than sellers have expected.

I would ask your agent to do another market analysis & to sit down with you and review the information.
How many houses have sold in your maket area in the last 6 months - & in the last 3 months?
Where does your house sit in comparision? What is sellling in your area?

You need to look at the absorption rate in your area in your price range to have a good picture of what is going on there.
Ask you agent to supply you with the # of houses on the market in you market area & the number sold in the last 6 months & the last 3 months.
Figure out the # of sales per month -- divide that into the # of houses on the market & then you will know the absoprtion rate which is the number of months supply that is on the market. it can be a hard number to look at.

I do some Relocation. We always have signed the exclusiionary clauses for relocation companies, but then we have a large relo department. Could you not have your relocation counselor call the head of the relocation department at your agent's company? Or the broker if there is not a separate relocation staff. Have the counselor see what they can work out.

There probably is a charge to withdraw the listing from the MLS system. Perhaps if the listing were transferred, they would not have to pay that charge.

Or as already suggested, you could simply wait until the listing expires. I wouldn't think it would last too terribly much longer if you have already been on the market for 120 days.
1 vote
Kevin, Home Buyer, Minnesota
Wed Aug 13, 2008
6 ads and 3 months is more than adequate. What more "work" would you like your agent to do? Mow you lawn? Offer to pay for her time, ad fees, and listing costs - then she'll likely be happy to walk away from an ungrateful seller.
1 vote
Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Wed Aug 13, 2008

You won't like the answer but I will give it anyway. The only thing that you can do is to try and talk your realtor into releasing you from the contract. You might offer to pay for the ads and the time that they have put in thus far and apologize for having to part ways. While you might not feel it is in any way your fault, please understand that the agent has spent time and money on you and if you list with the relo company they will get neither back, and your humility (even if false) might go a long way to patch up a strained relationship.

The market as a whole is slow and while you may not see everything that your listing agent is doing many things that you don't know about. Good luck to you.

Cameron Piper
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1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Aug 13, 2008
If your Realtor and the broker won't sign the listing exclusion form, then (I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice) your choices would seem to be: (1) wait until the listing expires, or (2) hire a lawyer and have the lawyer try to get your out of your listing agreement.

You might also talk to the relocation company, present the situation to them, and ask for their advice or suggestions. They've probably run into this situation before, so they may be able to offer some good guidance.

Meanwhile, ask your agent to run another CMA on the property. If you're absolutely stuck with her, you might as well try to make the best of the situation.

Good luck.
1 vote
Jimmy Jensen, Agent, maple grove, MN
Wed Oct 8, 2008
Before you get too excited about the relocation buyout- better find out what the amount is that they will offer you. Typically, the seller is surprised how low this price is. Your agent sounds like she is marketing the home, but you probably need to lower the price to get it to sell - you should have had 3 price reductions in 120 days if it is not selling -you may actually walk away in a better position in reducing the price than by what the relo company will offer you - they will order 2 appraisals then offer you what they think is a good price. Some companies will offer you at least what you paid for it. In my experience, the relo company will work together with the agent, and will only pull the listing if they end up buying the house from the seller.
0 votes
Susan Hoffla…, Agent, Shoreview, MN
Wed Aug 13, 2008
Did you know about this exclusion prior to signing with this agent? If so, why didn't you get that signed before letting this agent take the listing? Just thinking outside the box here.
0 votes
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