There are ways to cancel a listing contract, but how it's handled depends on your situation and your listing. It's not exactly fair to penalize your agent and take the listing away if your agent has expended time and money for which they will no longer be paid. However, here are a few reasons to consider:
Reasons to Cancel a Listing:
- Unkept promises: When interviewing agents for the position were you told a laundry list of things that would be done in order to sell your home sold? Yet, none of them have happened and your home sits idle. If you feel you are getting the run around on all those promises you should bring it to your agents' attention. Ask when they'll be doing the things they promised & hold them accountable by asking for a timeline.
- Poor communication: If you prefer daily or weekly updates from your agent & have asked for it, and they have not provided it, that's a good reason to cancel a listing. Have you brought this to your agents attention? If so and they still have not provided the updates you requested you may have grounds for termination.
- Poor marketing: Photos are one of the most important aspects of marketing. An agent can misspell words or use the wrong words and a home will still sell. Mess up the photos and you're pretty much hosed. Look at your photography and marketing that was promised by the agent when initially signing the agreement. If it's not professional grade nor what was promised, you have yet another reason for termination.
- Unethical behavior: Agents rarely set out to be unethical but it can happen. If you feel that your agent is not representing your best interests, it might be time to cancel the listing and look for a new agent.
If you feel one or more of these situations comes close to what you're experiencing then here are the steps to canceling the listing contract.
Steps To Cancel a Listing Contract
Most residential listing agreements are a bilateral contract, meaning the agent must perform and the seller must perform. The first step to cancel a listing contract is to establish the grounds for a cancellation. Review the reasons above to determine if any are applicable to your situation.
Terminating a listing agreement is never a fun experience for anybody. If there is any chance to salvage the agreement and have your agent performing to your stands I highly recommend to start there. If all attempts have failed and you want out of the agreement it normally is a straight forward process.
Most agents & brokers want no ill will with the community or past clients so obtaining a cancellation should be as simple as an email stating your reasons for termination sent directly to the listing agent & broker requesting your contract to be terminated.
If the agent or broker refuses to terminate the listing agreement you may have to wait out the remainder of the contract or request your home to be removed from the market while you wait for your contract to expire. At that time you my elect to list with a different brokerage and listing agent if you choose.
Contacting another agent about listing your home while currently under contract with another.
Most of the time a frustrated home owner will contact a different agent expressing their discontent while there home is currently listed with an agent. This unfortunately puts the agent you are seeking help from in a difficult position. A REALTOR® is bound by a code of ethics that dictate what they can & can not discuss in this try of situation. Save yourself the headache and make sure your contract is terminated / released before requesting them to be your new agent or discussing any details of the matter.