my real estate agent has not been marketing our place well. If I listed it somewhere and sold it on my own is

Asked by Rickey22, Chicago, IL Tue Aug 18, 2009

that legal/legit?

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Jennifer Ames, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
Dear Rickey,

If you are still under contract with your agent and you sell your home yourself, you are still obligated to pay them the full commission as spelled out in your listing agreement. It would be better to sit down with your agent, share your concerns about marketing, and see if they can do a better job.

If there is still no improvement, you should call your agent’s managing broker and them know you are not satisfied with their efforts. Be sure to cite specific reasons beyond the fact that your home has not sold. The broker may work with the agent to try to improve their efforts or perhaps assign a more experienced agent to work with you as your designated agent.

If all else fails, you can ask to be released from your agreement prior to its expiration. Most (but not all) companies will accommodate that request if you have made a good faith effort to work out your issues and not been successful. However, you may be asked to reimburse them for out of pocket costs.

Once you are no longer under contact with your current firm, you are free to list your home "by owner" or to hire another real estate brokerage firm to sell your home.

Best of luck,

1 vote
Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
Sure you can do it, but you still might be required to pay the Broker. Read your Listing Agreement!!! There are 2 types of Agreements in Illinois.....Exclusive Right To Sell and Exclusive Agency. The latter can allow you to sell on your own without paying a fee, but you need to READ it and possibly check with your attorney.
You can also just ask the agent to cancel the listing and if they refuse, make it 'difficult' to show until it expires. Most agents/firms do not want irritated clients and will cancel, but not all the time.

1 vote
Harry Maisel, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Sun Aug 23, 2009

What types of marketing has your real estate agent been doing since he has taken on the listing? If the realtor has put together a compete marketing schedule from the beginning you and the realtor would be on the same page as to what was to be expected.

You and your realtor should sit down and discuss the objectives at hand, the current market/ comps and the marketing schedule. If it isn't working out for you and the realtor, then you should asked to be excused from the contract.

Since you are in an active contract, you are obligated to the terms of the contract so listing on your own while in a contract is really not a good idea.

I hope this helps.


0 votes
John A. Kalo…, , Naples, FL
Sat Aug 22, 2009
If u want out , u better be sure u r out. U could still b liable for a commission. Talk 2 the broker and tell him your complaints before u do anything on your own.
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Rickey22, Home Seller, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
I have sold my previous place in the past in 3 weeks, so I know what im doing, just have a baby now so its tough. Our agent has only been w/us a week and already a slew of "mistakes" etc have happened. This is why I ask...
0 votes
Scott Newman, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
I think you need to first take a good long look at the comparable data and decide where you truthfully fall in that range of prices. If you're not in the top 1/4 price wise and in the top 1/4 in terms of how well the unit shows you won't even have a chance of selling.

If your agent made promises they're not keeping then you have every right to complain, but every agent markets differently and issues like how the property will be given exposure should have been worked out in writing prior to paperwork being signed.

If you're unhappy with your agent you have every right to fire who you have and hire someone else. Keep your eyes peeled and look for agents marketing in places you think they should be- that's a good place to start.

In terms of marketing the property yourself, you're likely out of your element and do not have the time, systems, and marketing in place to succesfully do the job. Their is a reason a good Realtor commands the commission we charge and a good agent is worth every penny of that money in more ways than I can count.

Scott Newman
Newman Realty
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Aug 18, 2009
My suggestion would be to interview two or three Realtors and have them evaluate your situation and make proposals.

Go ahead and try it on your own, you might get lucky and be able to sell without professional representation.

However, due to the current economic and market conditions the odds are that to sell you'll need professional representation. If you opt to go with plan B, then you'll have a Realtor in the wings, ready to go.

If you look at the link below, homes are selling. But from the looks of it only about half. So to make sure that your home sells, it will have to appear to offer the most value to buyers, otherwise they'll just buy another property.

Buyers are represented by an agent about 90% of the time, so by selling without professional representation you are probably working with about 10% of the buyers. Does that sound like a strategy to get the highest price?

Also, do you think that the Realtors know market prices and values? My buyers actually are very market savy too, so we do not waste each other's time looking at property that is over priced.

The fact that other properties like yours have been selling while yours did not begs the question - why?
As the Realtors you interview that question and you will learn alot.

Good luck.
0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
If you are still under a contract with your agent, then that is not ok. You would still have to pay them a commission. I think your best bet is to talk to your agent about it. Express your concern to them. Maybe you have your place drastically overpriced, maybe they are just lazy, who knows. The only real way to try and make better of this situation is to talk it out. If you cant come to a good result, you will just have to wait out the remainder or your agreement and go a different route. I hope you guys work it out and sell your place for a great price. Good luck!

Matt Laricy
Americorp Real Estate
Brokers Associate, e-PRO
0 votes
Margaret Ama…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
Rickey, you say it has not been marketed well. In what way?
I can tell you that no marketing will bring a buyer to sign if the price is not attractive. I see you are from Chicago and if I am right you are still in a deflating market there as well. That means with all the competition around your property it has to stand out and be ahead in pricing meaning lower than the rest of other properties similar to yours.

when that is the case, other brokers will bring their buyers because it is a good deal. Good Luck!
0 votes
Kipp Blackbu…, , Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
The only advantage to selling it on your own would be to offer it at a reduced price...a price lower than it would be provided you were paying a full commission. Having said that, take in to consideration that you lack the knowledge, experience and resources of your agent. This is true with respect to not only marketing/showing the property but more importantly fielding offers and negotiating. This is a tough market for brokers & sellers, and even tougher for FSBO sellers. Take the time to discuss with your broker. Maybe he/she knows the price is simply too high and this saps thier motivation. Hopefully you'll get to the bottom of it and find success!
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Russell Mahrt, , Philadelphia, PA
Tue Aug 18, 2009
If you signed a contract with your agent, you will have to abide by the compensation language in the contract. Most contracts stipulate that if you sell your home in any fashion, your will be required to compensate your agent. This being said, I suggest that you be up front and honest with your agent and tell him/her that you aren't happy with his/her work. Most agents don't want an uphappy seller and will let you out of any contract that may exist. This will allow you to find a new agent and you can then make an arrangement with the new agent that would allow you to also market your house. If you are able to sell it on your own, you can pay the agent a small amount for his/her time and effort or the agent can sell it for a full commission. It's a win-win for everyone. Good luck.
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Stacy Karel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 18, 2009
Nope- you have signed a listing agreement for a stated duration that spells out your agent's rights and responsibilities in the sale of your home. Talk to your agent about what they are doing... and keep in mind... it is slow out there- Ask your agent to show you the market times of comparable listings. If you are not happy- ask to be released from the agreement and find another agent.
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