Profile picture for GetSusan2Florida

Breached contract agreement???

On an earlier topic, I had stated that I did not have a signed cancellation contract w/a former RE.  One of the commentors suggested that I get one.  After talking with a RE and an attory, I sent the form agent a letter and email to confirm the termination of the agreement (August 30).  The agent responded that I had breached the contract because I had listed the house on Craig's list.  I had done this two weeks ago, but this is the first that the agent had acknowledge this.  I have received no buyers or even calls from the posting.  Since I have yet to sell the house, and the original agreement ends today just what does it mean "breach" the agreement? 

 

I had had so many issues w/the RE, that I had put my concerns to him in writing.  He did not acknowledge the issues, nor did he attempt to correct them.  His response was did I want to take the house off the market.  I said yes; but I wanted him to waive the early termination of contract fee.  He said no problem to everything but put nothing in writing.  He took the house off the MLS, removed the sign and lockbox.  He did not even return a call from a couple who had tried to contact him before the listing was removed.  Has anyone had a similar experience?

  • August 30 2008 - US
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Answers (17)

Did your contract include language that specifically prohibited you from conducting marketing?

  • August 30 2008
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Profile picture for GetSusan2Florida

I also want to add that after the house was withdrawn, I received several telephone calls from other agents wanting to list my house.  W/all of this, I felt I had the right to sell my house and have proceeded to do so via FSBO.  Right now my real concern is what does the agent think he has a claim to?  The house has yet to be sold.  He did not do his job.  I am ready to go for his juggler.  So do I start w/the VA board of realtors?  His broker?  Or just go back to my attorney. 

 

I'm so mad, I can hardly type!!

  • August 30 2008
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Profile picture for GetSusan2Florida

The contract is titled "Exclusive Right to sell listing Agreement."  I have been reading about what additional work other people are doing to sell their homes (Including listing on Craig's list) even when they have an agent.  So what is the difference, since I have not received any responses to my listing?

  • August 30 2008
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If you followed all of the proper requirements stated in the contract for its termination then the agent will have the burden to try to show that you breached the agreement.  That is why I asked about marketing being specifically covered in the contract.  Your attorney should have sufficient information to write the guy a letter (with CC to his broker) and demand the signed release.  That would be my next step.

  • August 30 2008
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And - I would ensure that the release states that it is effective as of the early termination date that you requested and he supposedly agreed to.

  • August 30 2008
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Profile picture for GetSusan2Florida

The agreement only states that the "Broker shall market the Property, at Broker's discreation, including without limitation, use of the Propery address...."  As so as I calm down, I will again read the agreement, but it does not appear to state that I cannot market the house.

  • August 30 2008
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In that case, it does not sound as if he has a valid complaint - especially since you did not find a buyer, or even a contact, that you failed to pass along to him during his contract term.

  • August 30 2008
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Profile picture for GetSusan2Florida

Thank you so much for your insight.  At least I feel I can have a nice holiday weekend and move forward w/my weekend "marketing" for the house.

 

The last house I sold w/a RE went so smoothly I can hardly remember the event.  But this guy is such a sleeze.  He overprices the house (he is doing this w/other homes in my community); gets the listing; and then 2 weeks later pressures the homeowner to lower the price.  This to me is "chasing the market" and I do not see this as a good marketing strategy.  Valuable time is lost and the price of the home becomes questionable.  Anyway, thanks again and I hope you have a safe, happy Labor Day weekend.

  • August 30 2008
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I hope your attorney is able to straigten the guy out ASAP and get you that release.  In the meantime, have a nice holiday weekend and best wishes in selling.

  • August 30 2008
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Profile picture for Mike_oxafloppin

K,  since the seller is not getting response from the agent/ broker...  would it it be wise if the seller was to send a certified letter to the broker with a notice of cancellation with a grace period if the broker wishes  to respond or contest ?

  • August 30 2008
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Yep, Spec - Susan's attorney should know how to handle that.  A letter, with a copy to the broker, delivered via certified mail with a deadline for execution.  Based on what is described here, it is really more of a protective measure, and not "technically" necessary given that the contract terms are now expired.  However, it is definitely prudent to get a signed release given the agent's comments about breach.

 

My experience is that RE agents tend to respond fairly quickly when they receive legal letterhead.

  • August 30 2008
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Profile picture for cookie6

IS THERE ANY WAY TO DO A BACK GROUND CHECK ON A REALATOR BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM?

  • August 30 2008
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Your listing agreement expired on the 30th. You only owe a commission to your agent/broker if, as a FSBO you sell the house to a buyer who was shown your house by the agent or agent of the broker during the extension period. If however you enter into another listing agreement with another agent/broker you do not.

 

You may or may not have been in breach during the time that you were still contractually obligated and advertised as a FSBO. This would only have been a problem if you had actually sold during that time when you thought you were FSBO but legally were not. However, this is irrelevant now that the agreement has expired. This all presumes there is not some other funny language in the agreement. Send a certified letter to the broker or better yet, go visit personally and be done with it.

 

Finally by removing the sign, lockbox and MLS listing you agent acknowledged the early termination and technically may have breached the agreement by "not" marketing at all.

 

Don't worry about it, move on.

 

BTW, you are in VA and wanting to get to FL? If so, me too.

  • September 01 2008
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Profile picture for chasmader

Cookie6:

 

You should always do a back ground check on a Realtor before hiring that person.  Ask for a list of homes sold, then contact some of the owners and ask how the process went.  You may also want to check out your state's dept of Real Estate web site to see if there has been any disciplinary action against an agent you are considering.

  • September 02 2008
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr

The good news is that the shrinking market should force a lot of these types out. Hang in there.

  • November 22 2008
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I would just move on to work on accomplishing your goals.  If there are any lingering issues, the first step would be to contact the agent's broker.  There are no damages and it sounds like now the listing has expired anyway.  I would also suggest that just because you had a bad experience with this agent, to not give up on the process of using a professional realtor.  Ask around in your neighborhood for a referral, a recommendation.  There are some great agents out there who excel in marketing and adverstising.  Studies have shown that FSBOS generally will see 15 to 20 percent less than when a professional realtor is involved if they sell at all...

 

It is a tough market out there, so it is important to have all the resoucres possible including professional advice and guidance to help accomplish your goal.

 

Good luck with the sale !

 

  • November 23 2008
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sounds like you said the contract was up today? and you did not take a contract to sell while it was with the brokerage (fyi the contract is with the brokerage not the agent) so instead of spending money on attornies (this blog board loves lawyers...who is flipping all these $250.00 hr ideas?) move on and contact a realtor that you feel good about not one that just gives you a juciey high price for your lisiting. ... I don't know exactly what you contact reads in you state... but here a seller can do any marketing they want... it does not mean they can 'not pay the commission' but I always look at the listing as a mini marrigage.... we have to work as a team and do what it takes to get the house sold... the seller has responsibilities and the agent has reasponsibilities.... unfortunatly selling a home is not like selling toner ... a home is very subjective... that is why 5 buyers will value in 5 directions and 5 apparisers will have 5 different values attached to the same home... but all should be in a simular refrence... within a scope... good luck... if you need a reference I have national networking ... be glad to do some interviewing for you.. :-)

  • November 24 2008
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