I'm not really comfortable with my current agent, but our listing agreement doesn't expire for another 3 months...am I stuck?

Asked by Sue, Lexington, MA Mon May 13, 2013

Am I allowed to be released from our agreement, or do I have to wait until our agreement expires?
Thanks

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21
Cambria Henry’s answer
Cambria Henry, Agent, Spokane, WA
Wed Jun 12, 2013
I recommend you set up a face-to-face meeting with your agent and his/her managing broker. Discuss your concerns candidly. Be specific with what you are dissatisfied with. In many cases the managing broker will release you from the contract.

The number one complaint consumers make about their Realtor relates to communication. An experienced Real Estate professional will ask you what style of communication suits YOU, the client, best.

Some of our clients want weekly phone calls for updates, some want to meet face-to-face every two weeks, and others only want to talk when their is an offer. No matter the preference, I feel that selling a home is one of the most important financial transactions a seller can make. Their preferences should MATTER to a real estate professional. Careful consideration and time should be spent ensuring that a Sellers' questions and concerns are answered and met..

According to the National Association of Realtors' study of 60,000 home sales, nearly 65% of sellers hired the first Realtor they interviewed! DON'T DO THAT! You should interview a minimum of three Realtors and they should know that you are interviewing others.

Note their communications style. Are they on time to their appointments? Is their presentation informative and professional? Do they take the time to ask about your goals to get a better idea of what you are seeking to accomplish? Often times, the sale of a home is a component of a larger goal (moving for a job, to be closer to family, down-size, upgrade, etc.

If you would like a market valuation and/or some great tips regarding what to look for from a Realtor, go to: http://www.Search-Northwest-Homes.com/market-valuation-request-page/
4 votes
Aaron Impeco…, , Spokane, WA
Tue May 14, 2013
BEST ANSWER
Sue, you can terminate a listing at any time it is called a "Early Termination Agreement" the MLS has a form you fill out, That form is called an "MLS data change form" form # 4139 if he presents you with form 4145 only check the first box that says (WITHOUT CONTINUING OBLIGATIONS) you the listing agent and Broker all have to sign it. You can relist again with out any obligation to the previous listing agent.
**Disclaimer**
I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY, THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE, CONTACT AN ATTORNEY FOR LEGAL ADVISE. ALL INFORMATION IS DEEMED RELIABLE BUT NOT GARANTEED.
0 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Fri May 17, 2013
Sue,

Ask for a release. I personally would release a client if the client is not comfortable. I would not want to hold someone to a contract if he or she was unhappy with the relationship.
1 vote
Charlotte Wo…, Agent, Spokane, WA
Thu May 16, 2013
Sue, I appreciate your persistence. If you should decide to call me at 509-747-SOLD (7653) I would like to provide you with "The Law of Agency" information packet. I will make myself available for a 1:1. I can understand your disappointment when your expectations were not met. I was once described by a local attorney as a "bull dog" for the underdog. I have been an area disability advocate for over 20 years in addition to my real estate experience. I wish you well.
1 vote
Ronda Deakins, Agent, Spokane, WA
Thu May 16, 2013
Sue,

As Real estate agents we wear many hats ( and or dog collars) and are called upon to serve our clients in many ways.
Consultant, marketer, salesman, facilitator, communications expert, counselor, etc whatever is necessary, ethical and legal,
You as the seller create the job discription provide the product (your home) and if the agent wants the job he or she needs to fulfill the job commitment required. When you have your home back into your control it may be necessary to interview several agents to find the right fit. Please feel free to call if you have any questions, my spiked dog collar is in the ring. Thanks, Ronda
1 vote
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Mon May 13, 2013
You're asking this question for Spokane Washington, but your post indicates you're in New Hampshire. Also, none of us have seen your listing agreement, so it would be impossible to answer.

One other option to cancelling (if that is an option), or an alternative if you cannot cancel, would be to call the firm's broker (assuming you're asking about Washington or NH has the same type of structure), explain your concerns and ask to be assigned to a new agent.
1 vote
Tammi Thomas, Agent, Colville, WA
Wed Jun 5, 2013
I think it is always good to try resolve the issue before moving on...have a frank conversation with that agents Managing Broker and see if there is an in-house solution. However, if it isn't handled promptly and in a way that you are comfortable, ask for a release and move on!
0 votes
Janet Robel, Broker, Spokane, WA
Fri May 17, 2013
Dear Sue,

Please view the client recommendations on my profile page. I have many happy customers who would be willing to provide a reference on my behalf, and I would very glad to speak with you in person to discuss how we can get your home sold quickly at the best price.

In addition, I have a very selective client who is looking for just the right home, so if you would email the address of your home to me I'd like to take a look at the listing and see if it would be a fit for him.

I don't offer gimmicks, just excellent customer service and expert advice.

Best regards,
Janet
0 votes
Hello Janet,
What I really need is someone who is a SALES agent, not just a "marketing" agent...To me, marketing is only part of the job. The other 3/4 is attempting to turn any negatives a potential buyer might have into postivies...IE, if a buyer doesn't like the carpet...my agent shouldn't just accept that as a "no" from the buyer's agent, they should say, "Hey I'll talk to my clinet, you talk to yours and let's see how we can make this deal worK" The agent I have now doesn't want to "challenge" the buyer's agent and even attempt to make a deal work, they don't seem to want to appear "pushy" (except, oddly enough, to me. This agent has no problem being "assertive" towards me ) .
Anyhow, thanks for your interest.
What price range is your client looking in ? Thanks
Flag Fri May 17, 2013
Aaron Impeco…, , Spokane, WA
Thu May 16, 2013
Sue,
As any big dog would say "you can run with the best or go down like the rest!" I run with the best in the Spokane Area here at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson we convay almost 1/3rd of the entire market. I have the ambition you speak of. If you want the to sell your home and not just market it, then contact me, as you see from my pervious answer I gave you, I'm not gonna give you a run around answer kinda crap, I am strait to the point with my sellers and ask that they do the same in return, and if I feel as if the sellers are over priced for the market and unwilling to reduce the price after so many showings and no offer, then I will be the first one to tell you to find another agent, I get paid for my results not for my yard sign hanging in your yard. I will be your trusted real estate advisor, Email or call me.... aaron@cbspokane.net or 509-216-6258
0 votes
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Thu May 16, 2013
I wouldn't call that the difference between sales and marketing. I would call that the difference between being active and being inactive or even lazy. Getting feedback is important, but that contact will seldom get a buyer to buy, unless perhaps a question is answered in a way that wasn't expected.
0 votes
Thank you Kary, but I disagree about contacting the buyer's agent will seldom get a buyer to buy.
I believe that getting rid of a potential buyers issues MAY result in a sale.
For example, I heard back from my agent (5 days after the showing) that a potential buyer didn't like the paint in a couple of the rooms. My agent basically said "Ok, guess this house isn't for you".....I was LIVID.
I could have had those rooms painted in a day.
My agent should have suggested that they would contact the seller and see what could be done and then called me. That was a $300 fix !
Of course, after 5 days, the buyers had already put an offer on another house and the seller had accepted their offer.
I NEED AN AGENT WHO WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER !
But thank you for your reply !
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
Thank you Kary, but I disagree about contacting the buyer's agent will seldom get a buyer to buy.
I believe that getting rid of a potential buyers issues MAY result in a sale.
For example, I heard back from my agent (5 days after the showing) that a potential buyer didn't like the paint in a couple of the rooms. My agent basically said "Ok, guess this house isn't for you".....I was LIVID.
I could have had those rooms painted in a day.
My agent should have suggested that they would contact the seller and see what could be done and then called me. That was a $300 fix !
Of course, after 5 days, the buyers had already put an offer on another house and the seller had accepted their offer.
I NEED AN AGENT WHO WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER !
But thank you for your reply !
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
Thank you Kary, but I disagree about contacting the buyer's agent will seldom get a buyer to buy.
I believe that getting rid of a potential buyers issues MAY result in a sale.
For example, I heard back from my agent (5 days after the showing) that a potential buyer didn't like the paint in a couple of the rooms. My agent basically said "Ok, guess this house isn't for you".....I was LIVID.
I could have had those rooms painted in a day.
My agent should have suggested that they would contact the seller and see what could be done and then called me. That was a $300 fix !
Of course, after 5 days, the buyers had already put an offer on another house and the seller had accepted their offer.
I NEED AN AGENT WHO WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER !
But thank you for your reply !
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
Thank you Kary, but I disagree about contacting the buyer's agent will seldom get a buyer to buy.
I believe that getting rid of a potential buyers issues MAY result in a sale.
For example, I heard back from my agent (5 days after the showing) that a potential buyer didn't like the paint in a couple of the rooms. My agent basically said "Ok, guess this house isn't for you".....I was LIVID.
I could have had those rooms painted in a day.
My agent should have suggested that they would contact the seller and see what could be done and then called me. That was a $300 fix !
Of course, after 5 days, the buyers had already put an offer on another house and the seller had accepted their offer.
I NEED AN AGENT WHO WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER !
But thank you for your reply !
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
Thank you Kary, but I disagree about contacting the buyer's agent will seldom get a buyer to buy.
I believe that getting rid of a potential buyers issues MAY result in a sale.
For example, I heard back from my agent (5 days after the showing) that a potential buyer didn't like the paint in a couple of the rooms. My agent basically said "Ok, guess this house isn't for you".....I was LIVID.
I could have had those rooms painted in a day.
My agent should have suggested that they would contact the seller and see what could be done and then called me. That was a $300 fix !
Of course, after 5 days, the buyers had already put an offer on another house and the seller had accepted their offer.
I NEED AN AGENT WHO WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER !
But thank you for your reply !
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
Sue, Home Buyer, Lexington, MA
Thu May 16, 2013
Update for Original Poster :
I've spoken with the agent and I believe we see the profession of real estate and the role of a sales agent differently. My realtor sees the rather as being that of a "marketer" , and that is all, I see marketing as only HALF the job, the other half is to SALE the house. For example,follow up calls to the buyer's agents after the house has been shown and finding out if their are any possible solutions to their buyer's objections to the house, etc.
I just need a much more aggressive agent, I need someone who's not going to take no for an answer and make a sale happen.
Think there are any Realtors up to the job?
I need a pit bull, not a kitten in today's competitive market.
Lastly, the house is almost in perfect condition, not a chipped baseboard, lawn mowed twice a week, weeded regularly, kitchen and baths perfect and the house has been staged by a professional.
Thanks everyone for all the great answers and I hope I can find my real estate "pit bull" !
if anyone is interested...please feel free to throw your hat...rather your "spiked dog collar" (lol) into the ring and give me your best sales pitch ...it's a fairly large commission :-)
0 votes
Charlotte Wo…, Agent, Spokane, WA
Wed May 15, 2013
Sorry you don't feel your agent is a match. For the benefit of selling your home...you might ask yourself if you have done your part to make your home sell. Are you cooperating with your agent's recommendations? You might consider turning your home into a "product" if you haven't already done so. How a family lives in a home and how you prepare a home for sale are not the same. Staging a home includes but is not limited to the following examples: no dish towels hanging on the stove, keeping the sink clean, trash and clutter discretely hidden or strategically placed in limited areas, almost empty counter tops, no papers and magnets on the frig, etc. Did you do any painting? Is the lawn mowed regularly? Has the property been "staged?" It is to the seller's benefit to continue making small improvements all the way through to closing. Your home is now competing against other homes to be the chosen one. Is your home easily accessible for showings? Are your pets hindering the sale? If you are cooperating on a daily basis and doing your part to sell your home you might ask your agent, "What are we working on this week to sell the home?" If your agent isn't doing their part to communicate, market, or take actions to sell your home then pursue a "release" sooner than later.
0 votes
Janet Robel, Broker, Spokane, WA
Tue May 14, 2013
It sounds like you've already voiced your concerns to the broker. I'd recommend that you ask to be released from the contract. If the broker refuses, you can make a call to the Spokane Association of Realtors and register a complaint. If that doesn't work, the next step would be to consult an attorney to see what your options are. I doubt the broker would let it get to that point...if you are truly unhappy with the service you have received it would be unproductive for either of you to continue in the agreement and the broker probably realizes that. I'm sorry to hear you are having a bad experience. There are plenty of great Realtors out there who would be happy to have your business.
0 votes
Ronda Deakins, Agent, Spokane, WA
Tue May 14, 2013
Sue,
I understand your frustration, As agents to our clients we are accountable to them to provide the highest level of service and to do so in an ethical manner and professional manner.
If you feel your agent is not giving you respect due you and just can't work with them tell them how you feel. If you have not already done so call your agent and be on record that you have asked them to release your listing. Also the MLS can tell you if that managing broker has a superior broker /owner that you could talk to about your frustration. I hope this helps.
0 votes
Sue, Home Buyer, Lexington, MA
Tue May 14, 2013
Additional information: 5/14/13 - There is no managing broker. This is a small agency and the agent I hired is the Broker. I have spoken with the agent, but honestly, I'm feeling a bit "bullied" and just want out. This agent has never had anything positive to say about the house, but always has several negatives remarks to make. It's actually a lovely home, but it's not a brand new home. Additionally, the house is priced as one of the lowest per sq. ft. in the area, so pricing really isn't the issue.
Thank you for all the responses.
0 votes
You will now have to call the Spokane MLS (Spokane Association of Realtors) and talk to them and they should be able to get you help in releasing the listing. I am sorry for your inconvenience.
Flag Tue May 14, 2013
Janet Robel, Broker, Spokane, WA
Mon May 13, 2013
Communication with your current agent is key. What are your concerns, and have you spoken with your agent specifically about what isn't working for you? Most Realtors are very professional people who are eager to make adjustments in order to make sure clients are happy with their services. If you have already spoken with your agent with little success, a call to the managing broker may be in order. Occasionally buyers and sellers have expectations that aren't in sync with the current market, and sometimes agents fail to listen carefully and respond effectively to their customer's needs. The transfer of real property can be a very high-stress event and you deserve to be heard. Please give your agent the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings, but know that if you are unhappy many contracts contain clauses which will release you from further obligation if the agent has not fulfilled his or her obligations. As always, consult an attorney for any legal advice. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
0 votes
Jirius Isaac, Agent, Kenmore, WA
Mon May 13, 2013
I would just go talk to the managing broker of your broker & share your concerns & see what you can work out. Good luck.
0 votes
Ronda Deakins, Agent, Spokane, WA
Mon May 13, 2013
I have worked as an agent for over 27 years in Spokane and I have never know of a managing broker that would not work with a seller when they request to be released from their listing contract.
To be fair to your agent there should be a compelling reason. You hire your agent through the listing agreement but you can expect them to work for you according to your upfront expectations which should be communicated at the time your agreement is signed. If you feel that they are not fullfilling their end of the agreement then you can fire them of course. Have you spoken to your agent of your concerns? If you do not feel comfortable talking with them, then call their broker. You need to have and should expect a good working relationship with lots of communication with any agent you hire. Good luck to you. Ronda Deakins
0 votes
Sue, Home Buyer, Lexington, MA
Mon May 13, 2013
Follow up to answers: House is in Spokane and it's a LISTING agreement.
0 votes
Vikki Iverson, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Mon May 13, 2013
Your agreement should tell you what you can and cannot do. Most contracts do allow you to fire your Realtor. Once you do though, if your new agent shows you any houses that the previous Realtor showed you, and you choose to buy it, the original Realtor gets commission too for bringing the home to your attention.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon May 13, 2013
Hi, Only you can answer that question. Your agreement should clearly spell out what you can and cannot do, along with any repercussions.

Chris
0 votes
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