i resigned a contract with a realitor. is there a time frame to cance without penality?

Asked by Cmosco, Wappingers Falls, NY Wed Mar 24, 2010

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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Apr 8, 2010
JB, State laws vary and I'm not an attorney, but in most cases purchase and sale contracts on residential properties have multiple escape clauses from them during the early phases. Inspection addenda, Title contingency, etc.
A buyers agency agreement may not have this built in but I can't imagine an agent trying to hold someone against their will unless they worked and earned a commission.
For example, you meet an agent on Monday and sign a buyers agency agreement. They do some preliminary work for you but you haven't seen a home with them yet nor have you signed a purchase and sale agreement. You decide not to use that agent and give them notice. Chances are they try to repair the relationship but then move on.
In another arrangement you sign the buyer’s agency, they show you a number of homes, you like one and write an offer. An unscrupulous listing agent says, drop your agent and I'll get you a better deal on the house. This would be unethical and a violation of the contract.
As in all cases, know what you sign before you sign it and if you are not sure, have an attorney review the document with you first.
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Jb, , Dutchess County, NY
Thu Apr 8, 2010
What about 'buyer's remorse", "right to cancel" or whatever formal wording for the legal right to cancel a contract or purchase within "three days"? I realize this option is too late for the person asking the question, but just wondering for future sellers/owners if they have the right to change their mind within three days of listing and/or relisting their property for sale with a broker, without any possible penalty? Thanks.
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Carol Culkin, Agent, Leawood, KS
Thu Mar 25, 2010
There should be a section of the listing agreement which spells out your legal obligations. It may not reference a $ amount and may be at the discretion of the broker.
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Stephanie Pa…, Agent, Putnam, CT
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Was your "resigning" an extension of an existing listing contract? If so the paper you signed will have an expiration date that you have committed to. There is an Unconditional Withdrawal Form that you can ask your agent for, but both you and the broker must agree to the withdrawal. Have you tried talking to your agent about what you expected when you signed the listing papers? If you're not comfortable doing than, I suggest you call the real estate company's office manager, who may be able to assign another agent in the same office to work with you. The withdrawal is a last resort. By the way, have you asked your agent what YOU might be able to do to make your home look more attractive to buyers?

We are still in a real estate market with more sellers than buyers. The average price of residential sales in our Mid-Hudson MLS dropped from $321,216 the end of January to $297,415 the end of February. So your asking price must be competitive with the many other listings that are selling today. It really is true that market value is based on what a buyer is willing and able to pay, which may or may not have much correlation with what you are asking. Frustrating, I know, but good luck.
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Tammy Benkwi…, Agent, Somers, NY
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Read your listing agreement. There may indeed be a clause that seeks a penalty in the event you cancel, maybe not. But you need to read it and find out.

Before you ask to have the listing canceled, please consider speaking with your agent and/or your agents' manager.

This is a very frustrating market for most sellers. You didn't say why you want to cancel, so I don't want to make assumptions. But there is a large number of competing properties for sale which will only increase in the coming weeks as the weather continues to get warmer.

If your intent is still to sell the property, follow your agents advice to make sure it is priced competitively, shows well, and is easliy accessible to be presented to potential buyers.

Best of luck!
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Regina D'Aff…, Agent, LaGrangeville, NY
Wed Mar 24, 2010
There is no penalty. If you are not happy and can support that you are not getting the service you were promised than you can ask for an unconditional withdrawal. If you feel you need another price opinion on your home and want to find out what other services are out there let me know.
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St. Lawrence…, Agent, Stamford, CT
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Unlike home improvement contracts, there is not. That said, if you are having second thoughts or if there are issues to be resolved, it is best to call and speak to the Broker in Charge, not the agent who listed the home with you because it is actually the broker that must resolve the problem or release you from the contract.

Remember that nothing can get resolved if it is not discussed.

Good Luck
Web Reference:  http://www.slpnyct.com
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Jeffrey Eraca, Agent, Poughkeepsie, NY
Wed Mar 24, 2010
You just need to contact the agents broker and ask for an unconditional withdrawal. if there is anything more I can do please let me know

Jeff Eraca
Keller Williams Realty Team
Web Reference:  http://www.eracarealty.com
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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
What does the contract say? What type of contract is it? Why are you changing your mind?
Any contract can be ammended by mutual consent of both parties. If you signed a buyers agency contract, and you no longer want to use the agent, discuss your reasoning with them and see if they will give you a written release.
If you signed a purchase and sale contract for a specific property, you need to see what contingenices were built into the agreement that you may use to cancel it. An inspection contingency is a common example, but without seeing what you signed no one can tell you with any degree of certainty.
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