Firing a real estate agent

3 Replies

After listening to Mindy’s podcast on selling your house, i would like to know how I go about ending a listing agreement with my current real estate agent, as amicably as possible. He wasn’t my first choice, but a “convenient” situation caused me to select him. He does have a lot of background knowledge and info about this market, but he seems to be very lackadaisical in my opinion on generating interest and reaching potential buyers. Nowhere near the level of hustle and bustle I would prefer to see so our house can attract a new owner. Please advise. 

What type of house are you selling? What is the listing price?

For an average single family home, there isn't a ton of difference in what an agent can reasonable do to actively find you buyers. Most real buyers are actively looking so they will find the house as long as it is well presented with good pictures, descriptions, and other information. For this kind of listing, what you are paying an agent for is leg work to manage showings and representation. Someone who can advise you on issues that arise during inspections, title searches, etc. Agents are not used care salesmen. In fact I personally don't even like the term "salesperson" for a real estate agent because it gives the wrong impression.

If you are selling a higher priced or a unique property. I would agree with you that there is more marketing effort needed to find a buyer that may not be local or actively searching. So, you would be wise to find someone with a plan for how to present your property and reach potential buyers in that case.

I do think that most agents will let you out of a listing agreement if you talk to them and ask. You can interview new agents even before doing this though so you can keep things moving along. An agent can't make you sell your home and from an agents perspective its better to end things amicable rather than get a reputation for being petty. The only exception to that would be if they had gone out of pocket to buy expensive advertising for your property. That might give them heartache.

You will have to wait until the agreement you signed with his broker expires.

He may have systems in place that work really well even though they might contradict your suggestions.

Kind of sounds like you two got off on the wrong foot. He may have felt like you were telling him how to do his job.

I agree with @Kevin Sobilo about simply having a candid, amicable conversation with your listing agent to see if you can mutually agree to end your agency relationship. Be prepared to pay for any marketing expenses incurred during the process, and be sure to let him know that you're happy to cover any out-of-pocket expenses. 

I would assume that most other agents would mutually agree to end the agreement, especially if the client is not happy with the service. Saves you both from any negative feelings or fallout if the two of you just "waited it out."