Profile picture for Robyn The Realtor

Getting Fired?

I have a seller that wants to terminate her listing agreement with my brokerage.
We had 77 showings in 80 days, and negotiated 2 offers which the seller just stopped answering email and they failed.  Now she wants to terminate her listing "because she found someone that knows more about real estate than I do to give her advice".   Would you allow her to terminate the listing?  or would you ask that you be compensated.  She also refused to sign for the buyer to get back their earnest money - so she is battling the title company.  Truth - I think she found someone to sell to herself and wants to not pay my commission.  What would you do? 
  • September 13 2013 - Far North
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Answers (17)

Profile picture for Janet Huerta Davila
WOW, regardless of the paperwork she signed. She lacks "her word", that is bad business on her part. I hope it works out for you. I would ask her to compensate x amount for the time & expenses you incurred in the marketing & release her from it. 
  • November 04 2013
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Robyn, it's a tough situation.  If you want my honest opinion - I agree with you, she probably doesn't want to pay your commission.  If she already tanked 2 deals due to failure to perform, I'd remind her she signed a legally binding contract, and then I'd enforce it.

Don't let her go, you did a fantastic job getting 77 showings in 80 days, that's seriously impressive in almost any demographic.  You deserve to get paid when and if she (or anyone else, depending on your listing) found a ready, willing and able buyer.
  • September 26 2013
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Profile picture for mlacroix09
Sisters...one reason doctors and lawyers still earn their fees is because their clients/patients receive, at least in part, some benefit of their bargain; whereas realtors engage in an agreement whereby the agent agrees to sell or find a suitable home for the client and therefore the parties have not completed the conditions precedent to enforce the fee. Although certain minority jurisdictions may still hold that a realtor is entitled to the compensation even if the home is not sold or a new home procured, the trend is the opposite.

Nevertheless, most jurisdictions allow the realtor to receive his/her fee if the actions of the client are the cause for the non-sale or non-purchase. Even more, if a realtor is the procuring cause of the sale and can prove same, even if the realtor is fired, he/she still has recourse.

There are many ways to protect your interests as a realtor; making a poor analogy is not one.
  • September 21 2013
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Robyn,


Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. It sucks especially with all of the activity contracts etc. But save yourself some grey hairs and move on. That's what I would do. Karma! LOL.


Trey
  • September 20 2013
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Hi Robyn, I believe you should first talk with your Broker and then I would recommend letting her go. There is all kinds of things SHE could do to make life miserable for you. It is just not worth it. I have found that many Buyers and Sellers are just not loyal and will drop you for a minute about anything. It is really important in the beginning to build a lasting relationship if you can. Good luck.
  • September 20 2013
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Profile picture for Robyn The Realtor
What wonderful support and advice from all of you.  I am touched that we care enough about each other to listen, help, and be supportive.

This morning is when I must do some sort of either termination or not.
I have to admit, I am waffling.  After listening to Oprah's life class last evening, I wonder if my ego is talking louder than my heart.  I am seriously considering just letting it go.  I believe that when you "take out the trash" wonderful things come in their place.  At least I would never have to deal with them again!  That alone is a blessing......

Again, thanks so much to all of you!
Robyn The Realtor in Dallas
  • September 16 2013
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team
True Sisters; however, our field doesn't require a higher education as do the other professionals that you mention. If we change the standards in our industry to be more strict and require even a Bachelor's degree (let alone a Ph.D) as in these professions, we'd probably get more respect. Also, you sign a "contract" with these professionals in which you commit to payment. If that's what a Realtor wants, then it needs to be added to the listing contract and/or the buyers agent rep agreement AND that Realtor would have to be willing to enforce it. As professionals, we are long way from any of this because everything is real estate is negotiable, so someone will always undercut you to get the client.
  • September 15 2013
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In reading comments some agents stand their ground - others say cut and run.

Cell phone companies do a better job at educating their clients than we do.  If you cancel your contract early - you owe a fee.  Should cell phone providers be considered a more professional industry than real estate?  Is that fee enforceable and collectable?  You betcha it is.

We like to describe ourselves as professionals to be respected the same as other professionals like attorneys and doctors.  Change lawyers you owe the first one for their services.  Change doctors you still owe the prior one for services rendered.

Change Realtors and the former one is SOL.

  • September 15 2013
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Eject !

Actually, as a broker, I put in a clause in my listings that they can cancel at any time for any reason at no cost to them. Keeping that in mind, when I run into problems sellers, I part ways... Its not worth my time - as Mike mentioned - in frivolous lawsuits...
  • September 14 2013
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Profile picture for Mike Figura
I would run away and be happy that she did not engage you in a frivolous lawsuit :)
  • September 14 2013
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I have one of those right now.  I paid for a cleaning service, professional photographer, display ad for her open house, continual newspaper advertising, premier placement on the internet.  We had a ton of showings.

One where the buyer came in from Texas specifically to see her house, she cancelled the appointment. The buyer bought something else.

Right after the cancelled showing she tells me that now that the kids are back in school she wants to take the house off the market after only 90 days. 

I can see allowing a cancellation if there was some life changing event.  Illness - death.  School is not life changing.

In my state the buyer and the Broker must sign the cancellation agreement.
  • September 14 2013
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team
You are awesome, Sunnyview! I agree with you, but unfortunately, when we do stand our ground, the backlash and threats to our reputation are sometimes too great. Asking for compensation has to be carefully considered. Also, if it isn't in the listing contract that there are reimbursable fees if the seller terminates the listing, then collecting on them may be an issue. Sure, you can hold a listing hostage, but again, that option needs to be carefully considered. Most of the time, it is not worth the energy to deal with people like this. That's why we have karma! :)
  • September 14 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
No. Tell her politely to stuff it. You obviously did your agreed listing job with 77 showings in 80 days. If she wants out, she should pay and not be allowed to go with her new RE guru string free.

Contractual obligations run both ways. You did your job, now it's her turn. Besides you can't build good will with a greedy nutbag so you might as well get paid for the work you put in. Stand your ground and let her know that you will expect your full 2-3% for a release.
  • September 14 2013
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Profile picture for The LaPeer Team
I agree with Bruce. Try to find out why she is terminating. You may not like the answer, but at least you know where you can improve next time if needed. You could also ask her this other agent is. She may/may not tell you, but if she's telling you the truth, you will find out soon enough. What is it that they have that you don't or what are they offering her that you're not. Figure out the motivation behind the decision. 

I wouldn't hang onto the listing because she's not going to show it and it will just linger. Do you really want to work with someone who doesn't want to work with you?

Also, you could give her the names of the people who viewed the home during the listing period. If you wrote it in to the contract, you should have a protection period.

If all else fails, move on. It's energy lost and a lesson learned. 
  • September 14 2013
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Make sure the title company has a copy of your listing agreement.
  • September 13 2013
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$1500 to terminate the listing and compensate you for your time.  Otherwise it sits in the MLS and I do nothing.  Sorry, it's been one of those days - and it looks like you've had one too! 
  • September 13 2013
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Do you want that listing?

I'd probably try to figure out what she want's and what her frustration is.

I don't think you're going to get compensation from them.

You either stick it out with the listing you have and try to get her on board or let them go...and go after a better one.
  • September 13 2013
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