Buying or selling a house demands both financial and emotional investment. As a buyer, you have to invest your time and resources hunting for a house that meets your expectations and as a seller, you need to invest a lot of energy in cracking the right deal for your house. In both these situations, it is a realtor or a real estate agent that can help you ease out the entire process.
From finding a potential buyer for your house or helping you purchase one to taking care of all the legal formalities, a realtor can help you in every step of the process. But there could still be a few instances when things aren’t working out with your agent and that’s when you might be wondering how to fire your realtor. If that’s the case with you, just read along for a few tips to make the process simpler and less dramatic.
When Should You Fire Your Realtor
At times, even after you’ve done some research from your end to finalize on a real estate agent, there could be instances when your real estate transaction isn’t going as planned. Ideally, you should first try to discuss the concerns openly with your realtor before taking any action further. But if you’re confused as to when exactly you should be firing your realtor, we’ll simplify it for you. Here are a few clear instances or reasons to fire a realtor:
This one’s a clear reason why your transaction isn’t going as planned. If you aren’t receiving timely updates from your realtor or if they aren’t able to solve your queries even after repeated attempts from your end, there are high chances of the realtor being a poor communicator. You can suggest the realtor to have an open conversation with you, but if they aren’t willing to do so on multiple occasions, you might have to start looking for a new realtor for better prospects.
Lack Good Marketing And Negotiating Skills
An experienced real estate agent will have good knowledge of the market and will be able to help you evaluate the deal from all aspects. As a buyer, you expect your agent to have good contacts in the neighborhood and have the necessary negotiating skills to crack the best deal. And as a seller too, you would want your realtor to have the right set of marketing skills to be able to sell your house as efficiently as possible. If your realtor is not tech-friendly or is incompetent in dealing with your expectations, you might want to consider firing them.
Incompetent And Unethical Behavior
In case you weren’t aware, there is a Realtor’s Code of Ethics that needs to be followed by all estate agents. Any realtor who fails to abide by the terms listed in the Code of Ethics or is habitual of any unethical practices like intermediary abuse or commingling the client’s money with their own can face serious consequences including getting their license suspended. If you notice any of these behaviors in your realtor, it’s time for you to fire them and look for a new one.
Apart from these major issues, you may also choose to fire your realtor because of incompatibility issues or a personality clash. Your realtor may simply be incompetent or unable to match your expectations even after trying out different methods and that’s when it’s best that you part ways.
How To Fire Your Realtor
At times, a few realtors could work out an amicable solution to end or break the deal with you, while a few others may bind you with a legal contract. Let us look at these situations in detail and how you could fire your realtor in different circumstances. For further clarity, we’ll look at the process both from a buyer’s as well as a seller’s perspective.
From A Buyer’s Perspective
Whether you’re buying a house for the first time or the fifth time, you’re most likely to feel excited with every purchase you make. A real estate agent that you appoint to help you out with this process has to be qualified and experienced enough to help you get a house as close to your expectations as possible. Along with scheduling showings for potential homes and negotiating the prices, the agent should also help you find comparable sales and figure out the loan approval process if needed.
However, if your agent is not able to guide you with these tasks, you might want to change your choice of realtor. Now, in a lot of cases, many buyer’s agents will not bind you with a formal, legal contract. This means you aren’t legally obliged to the agent and you can move out whenever you feel the need.
That said, we do suggest communicating with your agent clearly and terminating the contract in a professional manner. This is also important because the real estate circles could be a close-knit community and your reputation is most likely to be discussed when you’re looking for a new agent.
If you’ve already signed a contract with your agent, the process of firing your realtor may not be as easy as eating pie. You can first try talking to your realtor who might agree to amicably end the deal. Reach out to the supervisor as well to discuss your issues and find amicable solutions.
If this option doesn’t work out for you, the next step would be to carefully read through the terms of the contract. You can then wait until the contract and protection period is over or pay the financial penalties as listed in the contract. Make sure to get a written document that specifies that your dealing has been terminated.
Also See: Moving Paperwork
From A Seller’s Perspective
While buying a new house is an exciting chapter for many, selling a house could very well be like an emotional rollercoaster ride, especially if you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in that house. In this stressful and mixed emotions period, you would generally be looking for an experienced realtor who can help you get through the selling process at the earliest. But if you’ve hired the wrong realtor, switching to a new one is what might be on your mind.
Generally, a seller’s agent will require you to sign a written contract that could be legally binding. This makes it even more important for you to tread carefully when firing your realtor. Ideally, you should try to carefully go through the contract before signing it to understand all the clauses that mention the protection period as well as the penalties for early termination of the contract.
You can try talking to the agent and the supervisor and work out a solution that is acceptable to both parties. If your realtor agrees to let you off the contract, then you can write a contract termination letter that specifies that you’ll have officially decided to part ways and the dealing stands canceled thereafter.
The contracts offered by the seller’s agent are often Exclusive Right to Sell contracts that make the client liable to pay the commission to the listing agent irrespective of how the house is sold. This means even if you have found a buyer on your own, you might still have to pay the commission fee to your realtor.
If your agent isn’t keen on working out a solution for you then you can approach the brokerage agency and request for a different agent to be assigned to you. In most cases, brokerage agencies do let you cancel the listing or find another representative as they don’t want to hamper their reputation in the community. However, if none of the solutions are working out for you and your realtor isn’t ready to let go of the contract as well, you may have to approach a real estate lawyer for legal assistance with the termination process.
Is It Okay To Switch Realtors?
If you aren’t comfortable with your realtor’s style of working or if you aren’t satisfied with their feedback, you may choose to switch realtors. However, this may not be a possible option if you’ve already signed a buyer’s broker agreement. This is a legally binding contract that your realtor may ask you to sign before they start showing you homes. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it is best to learn about the cancelation policies of your realtor before planning to switch to another one.
How Do You Deal With A Bad Realtor?
Poor communication, lack of experience and leadership, and poor negotiating skills are all signs of a bad or inexperienced realtor. In case you notice any of these signs in your realtor, do voice your opinions and let them know of your concerns. Some realtors may pay heed to your suggestions and try to work accordingly.
However, if you still aren’t satisfied with their services, you may choose to switch realtors if you aren’t legally bound by a contract. Breaking a contract often comes with conditions that vary between agents, but in general, you might have to pay for the marketing and advertising costs incurred till that period. Depending on your situation, you may choose to continue with your present realtor or look for a new one.
Can You Change Realtors After Making An Offer?
Yes, you might be able to change realtors even after making an offer, provided such a clause has been mentioned in your agreement or contract. If you’ve signed a legal agreement, it is best that you go through the terms and conditions clearly specified in your contract and then make a decision about going further.
Firing your realtor is a possible option but we suggest keeping it as your last resort. Ideally, try interviewing the realtor before you sign a deal with them and practice clear communication from the very beginning. If you aren’t sure of going ahead with the agent, let them know that you’re undecided and would not want to sign a contract right away. In the end, try to be polite and professional when firing your realtor and be aware of the terms in the contract, if you’ve signed any.