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Fire your Realtor?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 posted by Tommi Crow

An InfoTube home seller writes:

Dear InfoTube,

We want to fire our real estate agent, but don’t want to lose our existing MLS listing…can we keep it and still fire the agent? Also, we have a contract to buy another home contingent on us selling our home….if we fire our agent, will our contract fall through (as we went through her to draw up the contract)? Thank you!

InfoTube Writes:

Dear Home Seller,

Whether you can “fire” your real estate agent depends upon the terms of your listing agreement and the length of time remaining before your listing expires. That being said, talk to your agent’s broker. Most brokers will release an unsatisified home seller before expiration of the listing or they may offer to assign you a new agent that you find acceptable to work with.

If you list with a new agent from the same brokerage, nothing about your present MLS listing will change except the agent contact information. If you withdraw your listing from the present broker and move your business to a new brokerage, you will sign a new listing agreement with the new company. After the agent verifies the pertinent information about your home, they will place it on the MLS with a new MLS number. This is not detrimental to your sale and can be a benefit to you. The new listing agreement rolls your days on the market back to zero and puts your home back on the “Just Listed” sheet, once again.

What you choose to do with the listing agreement on your current home has no effect upon the contingency contract for the new home. If you end up closing on the new home, the agent who wrote the contingency contract will handle the closing and will be compensated for it. Unless your agent acted in bad faith, or committed fraud or misrepresentation, she or he can not usually be fired or excluded from the contract written for the new home.