How to get out of listing contract

9 Replies

My wife and I recently flipped our first house in Indianapolis. The house has been on the market for over 50 days and had no offers. My wife talked with our agent and she said her new role at her agency did not allow her time to give our house the appropriate attention and she would like to transfer us to her broker. He didn't call until late last night, said he was going to check out the house and call back today. He hasn't called yet. We don't feel like any type of priority to this company and plan on asking him for a mutual agreement to get out of the contract. I'm wondering if there is a easy/legal way to terminate these contracts if he doesn't agree? It looks like a basic 6 month standard listing contract.

Talk to the broker it sounds like you have let the situation go on too long Why is your home not selling? Did your agent suggest price adjustments? design changes? etc. You are in charge of your property and should have been gathering feedback on how to sell your property My feeling most brokers will let you out of a listing agreement especially if an agent drops you as a client There is more going on behind the scenes then your  reporting. agents do not drop clients for no reason There are some great flippers and agents from your market area that can give you answers right here in Bigger Pockets

@Nicholas Hamblen First, read the details on the contract to see if there's an "out" already in there.

If there's not, you might be bound legally.  However, you might remind the broker that you're the kind of guy who leaves reviews and he might not like the kind of reviews that you would leave.

But before that, have a talk with the guy.  Tell him your concerns and tell him that you want a sit-down.  Have him listen to your concerns and ask him whether he wants to fix the problem or release you from the contract.  If the former, ask him to explain in detail what his plan is.  If the latter, you're free to find another agent.

@Account Closed Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I believe there are multiple reasons the house is not selling. We are having trouble getting anyone to schedule a showing to come see the house. We have been ranked high on Zillow in our neighborhood for majority of the time it has been on the market. We get many views, shares, saves, etc. but not a lot of showings. My wife put our listing on a public forum for opinion and majority of people said our pictures were not that great. So my wife talked with the realtor about changing the pictures and description up to try an attract more people to come see the house. I am not sure if this offended her or not, or she truly is just to busy to handle our listing. We live out of state in Michigan and I believe our realtor lives 45-60 minutes from our home. I don't know if that is a factor or her either. We have adjusted the price 2 times, she didn't ask for any design changes just additional staging (which we did). I think we should adjust the price again, at the same time change out the pictures and description. We were planning on doing all of this, when suddenly the realtor told my wife this news. This is our first flip, and we live in our first home, so my wife and I have no experience selling a home. We are not sure our responsibilities as sellers and our realtors responsibility to sell the home. At first we did not want to step on any toes or get in the way. We don't want to stand on the sidelines and hope we find a buyer, we want to think outside the box and find ways to attract more people to see the home. I don't have any issues or ill will towards the realtor or the agency, we just want to find ways to sell the house. I also want to gain knowledge, skills to help out in these situations in the future to be an asset and a partner to someone rather than a client.

@Charlie MacPherson Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. We are going to talk with the broker today. I am hoping we can mutually get out of the contract. Since he took a long time to call us back and didnt call back yesterday after he told us he would. I am thinking its best to part ways. 

@Nicholas Hamblen To some extent it's always price that makes a home not sell.  

If you list it for $1.00, it will sell in seconds.  If you list it at $50,000,000, it won't sell at all.  Somewhere in between is the price that will cause it to sell reasonably fast, without leaving money on the table.

To get to the right price, your agent should have shared comparable sold properties with you.  These should be homes that have sold within 6 months and 0.5 miles.  If there's not enough data, slowly push out the radius and the time frame.

The sold homes should be similar in design.  Capes comp pretty well with colonials.  A bungalow with a cottage or small ranch.  Splits with a raised ranch, etc.  They should also be pretty close in square feet of living area, lot size, beds, baths, garage and updates.  Those are all the most important factors.

I'd ask the broker to see the comps if you haven't already. If there are no comps, ask him to explain how he arrived at the list price. Also ask him to look at MLS with you looking on and find the average days on market for similar sold homes.

If the broker is spot-on with his answers and you really are priced right, I'd probably give him a short period to fix whatever is wrong.  Something like 14 days to improve the photos, revise the list price, hold two open house events over two weekends.  See if you're getting increased activity or offers, then re-evaluate.

@Nicholas Hamblen how many showings have you had? Have you received any feedback from these showings? Do you know the market in that area and price range? It might be tough being so far away trying to pick a new agent/agency. Have you ever spoken to the broker? I would hear him/her out and go from there.

Most quality brokers would just give you a release upon request Only way they would not is if they spent significant money on marketing.. which at those price points I doubt.. and even if they did then you just offer to cover their direct expenses.. however it sounds like a put on MLS and duck type of listing.. My wife always tells clients if she is not doing a good enough job just pick up the phone and we will cancel no matter what.... no one wants to work on a transaction were your principals are not happy with you. at least we don't.. in the old days I never even got signed listing agreements but then again I was my own broker and I never put anything in MLS … I just double ended everything I worked on.. and I told my sellers if they don't like my performance don't pay me... that happened one time.. my brothers X girl friend had my fee removed from the hud.. no biggee..

@Nicholas Hamblen Sorry to hear of your situation. I agree with Jay above, reach out to the broker. A Quality broker and firm will allow you to terminate the agreement. It sounds as if you agent/brokerage doesn't have much invested in it anyways. Best of luck to you!

I am happy to say the broker mutually agreed to let us out of the contract. It was hard to come to this point because we personally like our agent. We found out she got a day job which was taking away time from her real estate business. We have found a new possible agent through Redfin and she is going to the house and hopefully give us an honest evaluation of the property. We are newbies and have a lot to learn, this whole process so far has been a great learning experience.