I want to sell but want to switch brokers BEFORE my contract expires. Is this possible? If yes, how can I do this?

Asked by RM, New York, NY Wed Nov 14, 2012

I'm working with a realtor that I'm not happy with. He suggested I lower the listing price, which was not my expectation as I explained to him initially. I tried to compromise, but he insists I list for much lower than I had wanted to. I almost feel as if he is deliberately holding off on people seeing my place. At 6%, I'm disgusted by how much I would have to pay this person. What can I do?

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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Nov 14, 2012
I don't know why he would deliberately hold off on people seeing your place; if it can't be seen, it can't be sold.

The reality of the brokerage fee is that you only pay it when you have closed a sale, and that brokerage fee may be split with the broker representing the buyer, so your agent (all agents are not Realtors®) would only be getting paid if they sold your home.

You do not have to compromise, but buyers do not have to see things your way. Perhaps your agent is correct and your home needs to be priced lower to attract offers; perhaps he is wrong and is just not marketing it properly - we don't know.

The chances are that if you contact another broker, they will be open to working with you - and when it doesn't sell with them in a few weeks, they'll be suggesting lowering the listing price, too,.

All the best,
1 vote
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Wed Nov 14, 2012
I would suggest that you first talk with the broker and let the broker know that you are unhappy with the service.
1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
If you are unhappy with your agent, contact his/her broker owner, and or office manager, and express your concerns; you can ask to be unconditionally released from your agreement, or ask to be assigned another agent from within for the duration of the contract. Do review comps, recently sold similar properties in the immediate--see if you are priced as competitively as possible--keep in mind that a home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it; it doesn’t matter what the seller needs or potential buyers can afford to spend. Market conditions do matter as does the immediacy for a transaction to take place.....
1 vote
Howard Margo…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
How long has the apartment been on the market and have there been any price adjustments?
If you apartment has been listed for more then three months and you have not had any offers or second showings then it is most likely over priced. I suggest talking with your agents broker and see if you can come up with a strategy that will get your property sold. If that's not realistic then you can always take the apartment off the market. Most brokerage firms will allow you to cancel the contract if you have legitimate reasons that the job isn't being handled properly.
0 votes
De Vonte Wil…, Agent, East Point, GA
Wed Nov 14, 2012
Hello Rm. I am sorry that you are not having a great Selling experience. It depends on the agreement that you entered into with the Broker. I do not know your situation, but maybe your Agent is suggesting that you re-position your home in the marketplace for your best interest; which is to ultimately help get it sold.

If you are still unhappy, and want a new Agent to represent you altogether, I suggest that you inform the Broker of your problem with the current Realtor. Maybe the Broker can give you another Agent. Additionally, you could ask the Broker to release you from the contract for the reasons you mentioned, however they may decide not to do so.

I hope this answered your question! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by the ways below.

Wishing you all the best,

De Vonte Williamson , LSA
Proudly Serving Long Island
Coldwell Banker Residential
"I Stand Behind Getting You Results!
0 votes
Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
There are possible 'outs' to most contracts, but it will
depend on the timing and your contract. Speak with
your agent or his/her Broker. Most of the time they can
release you, if a client is not happy.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes
Erika Roberts, , New York County, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
It depends on how quickly you want to sell. Do you really want to sell your property? If so, then you must price it to sell. That may mean pricing it slightly on what the market is now. Get some comps of properties that have most recently sold in your immediate area in the last couple of months. Note prices do go down around the holidays a little. You may want to consider taking your property off of the market which would cancel out your current realtor's contract. But check you contract for any penalties for that.

As far as getting out of your current contract and finding another broker, again, examine the contract you signed to see what penalties there may be. If you signed it, you agreed to it.

By the way, as to the sales price, you as the owner always have the final word. Don't let the broker pressure you. At the contract signing, the 6% commission should have been in the contract and no surprise to you now.

By the way, Christopher whose answer is below makes some very good points.

Erika Roberts
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
The answer to this question depends greatly on the language in your listing agreement. You must see what repercussions you will face for early termination, if they will let you. In Westchester we have a clause that states we may recoup any marketing dollars we have spent if the seller decides to terminate early. That is an example of why we wouldn't be able to tell you, we don't know what you've agreed to.

An agent has two options, work with the seller and their price if they think its market appropriate, or don't take the listing in the first place. I don't take grossly over priced listings because I'm in this business to make a living. I spend my personal dollars to market the property and know how the grossly over priced listing story ends....If the listing is a few thousand high that's not the end of the world but know, the market will speak to you within the first month its listed. You will be able to tell by the activity and broker response how you are priced. The second part to this equation is an effective marketing plan. Try talking to the agent and see if you can work towards a solution, if not approach the principle broker.

Good luck!

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes
Krystyna Rac…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
I am sorry about your troubles. It would be rather unusual for a real estate agent to deliberately hold off buyers, considering that agent only gets paid when a sale takes place. Real estate agent's main goal is usually to have very good relationship with the seller. Has this agent given you the comps (information on how other similar apartments are priced in the building/area, how much similar apartments have sold for recently)? It is hard for us here to draw any conclusion about this situation without knowing what property we are talking about. Anyway, you seem not to have any trust in this agent and this is not good. Maybe it is not even the pricing, sometimes relationships do not work out because of personalities or miscommunications. Whatever it is, your agent cannot force you to list your apartment for a lower price, if you do not want to do it. Furthermore, if he/she wants you to lower (or raise) the price, he/she should give you very good reasons for that and again, list of comps. Your agent should not insist, your agent should simply suggest or recommend price adjustment-. People have different business styles, if your agent's style is too forceful/too pushy, he/she might not be a good match for a seller who wants to work with a respectful and kind type of agent. This is your property and only you decide how much you want to sell it for. If you feel uncomfortable working with this agent, I would also suggest that you contact this agent's principal broker or manager and discuss your concerns. Sometimes, the solution can be very easy, quick and simple and will solve all problems. This agent's company should want to resolve everything to your satisfaction. They might also assign another, more suitable agent to handle your property. Some companies might even release you from the agreement, it depends on a company. There might be also other options for you- Good luck,
Krystyna Rachtan
Licensed RE Broker
New York Home RE Services, Inc.
(212) 991-8072
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
If you are done in your head with your current broker, there is not a whole lot to be done. My question is when does the listing contract expire? only thing to do is call your broker's office, talk to their principal broker, state your issues and ask to be let out of the agreement. Of course that may not do anything either.

Someone below mentioned asking for current comps that would show a reason to lower the price. You don't have to drop the price but the Elephant in the room could be saying, you might have the property priced a bit high which would deter people from looking anyway. Sellers frequently think their property should sell at a premium. Good luck.
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
The first thing I would do is ask the Realtor to present you with written comps that validate his change of asking price request.

I do not want to jump to the Realtor's defense without knowing all the facts, but it is not unusual for a seller to price their property based on need or want. It is the Realtor's obligation to prove the current market value to you and educate you on the process.

I am against Realtors taking overpriced listings to begin with. It is our obligation to educate the consumers.
0 votes
Armen Meschi…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
Hi RM,

As a seller YOU control the price, not the broker. The broker can show you facts and make recommendations but it's ultimately your call.

RE: Termination policy
You can only terminate your contract after establishing that the listing broker is not fulfilling the servicing terms of the agreement you have with him/her. Furthermore your contract is not with a SINGLE individual but with a REAL ESTATE company, and you must address all your concerns with the head broker of the firm and give them a chance to rectify the situation and possibly assign you a new agent. And if you can establish that no proper marketing and servicing is being done for your listing you can request termination on those grounds.

RE: Price drop
Even though price drops sometimes help drive new traffic to your property it's not the ultimate solution. You must make certain that a price drop is not a compensation for lack of marketing of your property and you must make certain that by the reduction you will enter a new search criteria.

RE: 6% compensation
The amount of compensation is irrelevant in this case, many of my clients often said they would pay more if they knew the result would be quick and satisfactory. In this case if applied appropriately the 6% commission can act as a powerful tool to attract buyer agents to the property which will help move the property faster.

In my experience lack of traffic is always a reflection of bad marketing and servicing nothing more. Lack of offer AFTER a volume of QUALIFIED showings is then a reflection on price. Most people have the right gut instinct that something isn't right, and your instinct must be right as well. So start as high up in that brokerage as possible and go forward from there.

Armen J. Meschian
Associate Broker at Exit Realty Landmark
0 votes
Carlos, , 10009
Wed Nov 14, 2012
Good afternoon,

The only thing to do is wait for your Contract to expire. At this time the more exposure your Home has the better chances of you selling.
0 votes
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