Seller's agent won't let us fire her. If we try selling our home FSBO before end of contract period, does contract/commission still apply?

Asked by Alicia, Windsor, CT Thu Dec 13, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


John McKerrow, Agent, Naples, FL
Thu Dec 13, 2012
Personaly, I would never try to keep a buyer or seller that wanted out of our agreement for any reason. You should, however, have a local attorney look at your listing agreement to answer your question.
2 votes
Mary Beth Nu…, Agent, Manchester, CT
Mon Jul 15, 2013
Communication is Key. You might wan to consider calling the Broker and talking to him/her. If my buyer and or seller weren't happy with my services. I would not hold the client to the Exclusive. However I haven't never had that problem and don't intended to my client are to important to me.
0 votes
caribguy1000, Home Buyer, East Hartford, CT
Fri Apr 19, 2013
I'm actually a buyer looking for a property in the 06118 zip code.
0 votes
@Caribguy 135000 3 Bedroom and move in condition? There are 64 homes for sale in East Hartford and Manchester between 100k and 135k. Give me a call and we can set up a showing to see a few!
Flag Sat Apr 20, 2013
This house has 4 bedrooms and an in-law suite, 2 car garage, and a huge yard. The apartment does not have the stove or frig anymore. The house is move-in ready, but the 2 full bathrooms are outdated. Nothing is wrong, the tile work is fine, there is just not granite counter tops or jacuzzi bath tub. Even so, one could fix up one bathroom at a time, and not be inconvenienced. $135,000.00 is way below what this house is worth. Gleaming hardwood floors though out the entire house, and tons of closets and built in's. Lots of character and the location is near Glastonbury. My bottom price is $170,000.00, down from $199,000.00. My realtors contract runs out the end of the month. She had the taxes listed @ well over $6,000.00 a year until I checked the ZILLOW site and caught it. They are $5,095.00. The house next door is $4,895,00 and it sold already. The people said they did not even look at this home due to the TAXES. So she blew it big time. I should be able to dump her now~
Flag Fri Apr 19, 2013
I'm looking for a one family in the East Hartford, Manchester area. Three bedrooms, at least one and a half baths priced up to $135,000. move in condition
Flag Fri Apr 19, 2013
Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Fri Dec 14, 2012
Unless they release you from the listing agreement you will still owe the commission. You may also owe commission even after the listing expires if there is a protection period in the contact which is very common in FL but I don't know about what is in the CT agreements. You need to review your listing agreement very carefully.

Also, trying to sell FSBO is not as easy as it sounds and usually results in either selling for less than a REALTOR® sold it for you. If you aren't happy with your current listing agent I recommend you wait until the listing expires if they won't release you and then hire a new listing agent to represent you.
0 votes
Marcia Shaug…, Agent, West Hartford, CT
Fri Dec 14, 2012
If you have lost confidence in your listing agent, you should speak with her office manager. Trying to do a FSBO is not necessarily the best route for you. You can also speak with another Realtor to discuss your concerns. Other Realtors cannot contact you during listing period, but you can contact them. Realtors are professionals and can give professional guidance-- most of us work very hard for our clients for a successful transaction. This is a tough market and tough time of year to be selling a home.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Dec 13, 2012
This may surprise you, Alicia, but many times buyers have knocked on the door of a listed property and suggested to the seller, "Hey, let's cut out the brokerage and we can both save some money."

To protect ourselves, we insist that if a buyer shows up while we have the property listed, we are entitled to a commission.

In your case, there's probably something different going on, but in any case - if you try selling your house before the end of the contract AND the post-contract window of exclusivity, you will owe a commission.

All the best,
0 votes
Luke Galvin, Agent, Rocky Hill, CT
Thu Dec 13, 2012
Alica - the answer is yes, unless the Listing Brokerage chooses to release you from the contract. If you are released from the contract in writing, signed by all parties, then you can proceed readily. If the Listing Brokerage does not release you from the contract, then if you sell your home during the contracted period you would be obligated by the terms of the contract.

Luke Galvin
Asset Manager, Realtor, SFR
Suburban Homes & Condos, LTD
1845 Silas Deane Highway
Rocky Hill, CT, 06067
Cell: (860) 970-5925
Fax: (860) 760-6107
"Celebrating our 27th Year"
Family Owned-Operated Real Estate Company Since 1985
0 votes
Do you handle E. HFD.? In 29 days, the contract expires with the realtor I have, and this time, I am hiring a male.
Flag Tue Apr 2, 2013
Seth Winklem…, Agent, Bristol, CT
Thu Dec 13, 2012
Could you explain why you want to fire her?
0 votes
my realtor put a sign up after begging her for 2 weeks. I asked for a realtor open house and she said it was unnecessary. I asked her for an open house and she said you dont get buyers from open house but I insisted. She had a open house, arrived late. Two weeks later another open house per my request and she sent someone very young 30 minutes late. The last open house she sent a different young couple who knew nothing about our home or property lines. When someone was interested and asked about the property lines she had not idea and had to ask me for a map. After 2 months, no one knew my property lines. They did not get the buyer looking telephone number. They have wasted 2 months, Are they at fault to insist they cancel the contract? Can I complain to BBB and what real estate board?
Flag Mon Jul 31, 2017
Lisa Orme, Agent, Windsor, CT
Thu Dec 13, 2012
As mentioned in some of the other answers, the most important thing is, what exactly does your contract obligate you to, and what does it obligate the broker to? Many people do not realize that legally speaking, the AGENT does not have the ability to cancel a contract or release a seller from the listing. You are contractually working with the BROKER. The agent is only a broker representative who has authority to ENTER agreements, but not to dissolve them.

While I am not an attorney, as a Broker with 26 years real estate sales experience, I have a very good understanding about the nature of the contract agreements we use.The contract between you and the brokerage is just that...a contract. It has a beginning and end date. If you want to break the contract, and the other party wants to hold you to the contract, then you must have grounds to justify why you want to terminate the contract. Trying to save the money you would have paid for the commission is not considered adequate grounds. Remember, based on a promise to be paid sometime in the future, a real estate broker and/or their agent has given you professional advice, effort, and even an investment of their own time and money in the endeavor of selling your property. If they feel they have fulfilled their obligations under the contract, and they believe you have a saleable property that will enable them to recover a commission for their time, money and expertise they have already invested in your behalf, they are not going to want to release you without cause.

On the other hand, if you believe you have a legitimate reason to terminate the contract because the brokerage has not done what they have agreed to do in the listing contract, then by all means, you should meet with the Broker to discuss your grievance and whether some type of accommodation can be made that you would find acceptable.

Selling your home with a broker is a "team" effort (you and the broker and the agent); and sometimes when a team works together, you have to make some minor adjustments for everything to work as well as you desire.

There are a couple of other considerations that may enter into the resolution of your situation. If you want to discuss them, you may contact me directly at my office. (860-688-1400)
0 votes
It seems that the agents are all nice and friendly, UNTIL you sign them on. Then their TRUE personality comes shining through. Mine was super nice, and then he lied and told me that all FHA loans, the seller pays the closing costs. I drilled him on this because I watch HGTV and all the house selling shows. "Is that not something that we negotiate?...I asked? I am not obligated, I an sure I can part of or even NONE, if I want."
He insisted that ALL FHA loans, the seller pays the closing costs, and it is simply not true. I called my attorney to check and then the realtor was so angry, he text me and told me to "deal with your lawyer then", and he refused to talk to me at all. I would think his disqualifying himself, because I checked out what he said with counsel, would be reason enough for me to be able to switch to someone else. Refusing to communicate with a seller who challenged you on an issue, is ridiculous, unprofessional and just plain rude.
Flag Mon Jul 15, 2013
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Dec 13, 2012
While we all agree that we, as agents, wouldn't want to force someone to work with us, if they'd prefer not to... we agents don't own the listing... the listing agency does, and the agency (not the agent) makes the determination as to whether they'll give you the courtesy of letting you out of that agreement early.

And you signed an "contract" that spelled out the period of time for which you were obligated to that agency.

Yes, if you sell your house FSBO during that period, you will probably still own commission to that agency.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Dec 13, 2012
I understand completely;
She won't let you fire her, and she probably is asking too much on the LISTING PRICE, and it won't sell at that, and she is so unreasonable.
I'm sure you can do a much better job selling it as a FSBO.
Hopefully there isn't much longer to go on the Contract.
0 votes
Ted Kostzews…, Agent, Stratford, CT
Thu Dec 13, 2012
I concur with John about trying to keep a client that doesnt want to be your client. And the part about trying to sell your house yourself without legal ramifications is totally dependent upon how the contract reads. I have seen instances when you might still be liable for the commission, especially if the buyer is someone that had a showing while your agent was working on your behalf. My advice is don't do anything until you speak with the agent's broker. If your dissatisfaction is based on your agent's peerformance, perhaps the broker will let you out of the contract. If not, then for sure have your atttorney get involved.
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Thu Dec 13, 2012
Ok, since we do not have the listing agreement you obviously signed with your current brokerage and listing agent, it is hard to tell what the terms are and what you agreed to commit to....

First of all for as long as you are under contract with a brokerage, you really can NOT sell FSBO, i.e. by owner, i.e. on your own, and in most listing agreements you also cannot sell by owner for a period of
time after the end of the listing agreement. So you need to carefully read your listing agreement!

But here is my recommendation, a listing Agent cannot really force you to work with her, if YOU do not want to, of course you have to have also some reasons why not...

Therefore I suggest to you, to first meet with that Realtor's Managing Broker, i.e. the Manager of that particular Listing office. Sit down and present why you would want out of the listing agreement, and have that manager explain to you what the terms and conditions are, if you stay with the brokerage or if and when you want to cancel the listing agreement - He or she will gladly sit down with you and discuss it with you. And remember although you hired a particular listing agent, who is working with you on your home sale, YOU legally do have a listing agreement Contract with the Brokerage.
And the managing broker of that brokerage office can assign a different agent from the office
to service you. Which could be one solution. If on the other hand you want to sell by owner, not
sure why, but if it is exclusively to save the commission, then you MUST make sure what the
terms in your listing agreement actually are, i.e. what you can and can NOT do, there is usually
a time frame to cancel a listing agreement, and usually a period of time thereafter when you
cannot sell FSBO, but you could sign a new lease agreement with another brokerage.

But since we cannot see your listing agreement with the current brokerage, it is hard to tell here
what your options are.

Hope this helps...

Most Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and your Chicago and Northern Illinois and RElocation Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients at @Properties North Shore
Edith speaks French, German, Spanish & more
Get to know Edith and her Service her website is
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more