When you hire a realtor to help sell your property, you expect and hope things will go smoothly. But what if that’s not the case? If something’s not working out with your Realtor, are you allowed to let them go?
When to Fire a Realtor
Before we dive into contracts and the like, it’s good to know the instances where firing a Realtor makes sense. Firing a Realtor is sometimes tricky — you want to have really good reasons to let yours go.
Poor Marketing & Photography
A Realtor needs impeccable marketing skills. If the photos of your home aren’t enough to make you want to live there, your house isn’t getting the traction it needs.
Did you find out your Realtor has put money in trust into their personal account? Has your Realtor shown open discrimination towards you or others? Either of these are fireable offenses. Read up on the code of ethics to see if your Realtor is upholding their responsibilities as they should.
Lack of Knowledge
If your Realtor says they’re an expert in your neighborhood but evidence points to the contrary, this is good to take note of. An example is if a Realtor says your house will sell in ___ days/weeks and things go on for much longer, or if they seem to lack the knowledge they claim.
Does your Realtor consistently show up late? Are they unpleasant and/or apathetic? Are they massively uncommunicative? First off, we’re sorry that’s the case, but secondly, document any instances of unprofessionalism that show a pattern. This is good to bring up when you try to terminate the contract.
Realtor Contracts: What You Need to Know
Letting go of a Realtor is not as simple as switching to a different landscaping company or hairstylist. Sellers sign contracts with Realtors which legally bind them to work together.
However, there are some instances where you won’t have to work with them, unsatisfied, for months on end:
Most Realtor contracts have a protection period. These clauses give the Realtor a set amount of time to sell your home. If your home doesn’t sell by the end of the protection period, you should be able to back out of your contract without issue.
Whether your contract is for three, six, twelve, or another number of months, it might be in your best interest to just let the contract expire before trying to hire someone else.
Sometimes you can get out of a contract by agreeing to pay termination fees. Remember, however, that you will likely have to pay another Realtor and spend even more time trying to sell your house. Termination fees are a financial loss, but might be worth it if you’re severely displeased with your Realtor.
If your contract expiration is a ways out and you’ve felt unhappy for awhile (and expressed this to your agent, talk to your agent about an amicable release. They might not go for it, but it’s worth a shot — particularly if this isn’t the first time they’re hearing about your dissatisfaction.
Something else to keep in mind: Are you severely frustrated by your Realtor? If so, consider contacting your Realtor’s broker — they could push for an amicable contract release. At the very least, they’ll probably allow you to pick a different agent in their company.
You’re No Longer With Your Realtor, What Next?
You have a couple options at this point. You can sell FSBO, but this will easily add work onto your plate. You can take on a new Realtor, but your wounds might feel too fresh — and keep in mind that a listing under your old Realtor’s name/a contract that’s not properly terminated means that Realtor will take commission when your house sells. You’ll owe the commission even if you sell the house to yourself or a family member.
The other option is working with RealtyHive. We can find you an agent (and even get cash back through Cashifyd) or help you list on your own. Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered — our time-limited events are a proven selling method to help you out.