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How do you fire a real estate agent?

by | Jan 18, 2022 | Real Estate Practice

The real estate agent you hired talked a good game. However, their performance has been sorely lacking.

Maybe they don’t communicate very well, or maybe their ego is so big they just won’t listen to your needs and concerns. Maybe they’re simply unfamiliar with the market and unequipped to handle your transaction. Maybe you question their ethics or competence. Whatever the reason, you have a growing sense of incompatibility, and you’re ready to move on.

Firing your realtor can be risky

The first thing you should do is talk to your realtor and explain (politely) why you’re unhappy and don’t think your agreement is working out. If you’re lucky, they’ll agree to cancel your contract early, penalty-free.

When you want out of your contract and your real estate agent wants to keep you in it, things can get tricky. If you handle this situation the wrong way, you could owe a hefty termination fee, at best. If you’re selling, your contract may have a protection period that prevents you from selling the house without them unless you pay their commission.

At that point, here are your options:

  • Talk to the agent’s manager. Unless your agent is entirely independent, they report to someone – and their boss may be more reasonable. They want to protect their company’s reputation, so they may at least be willing to switch you to a different agent.
  • Wait out your contract. This can be inconvenient, but it can be a viable solution if you’re in a position where you can You can simply decline showings and offers until any contract and protection period expires.

If you think your real estate agent’s actions are unreasonable, unethical or even illegal, this situation may be more than you can or should deal with on your own. You may need to take legal action in order to protect your interests.