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How can I bow out of a real estate contract?

| May 5, 2018 | Real Estate Transactions |

If you’re trying to sell your home, you probably have it listed with a Maricopa real estate agent. While some homeowners find success selling on their own, the vast resources and client databases realtors have at their disposal make them a better choice.

Usually. Everyone has their stories of nightmare real estate agents. Because these folks initially appear friendly and approachable, people are astonished when they morph into intractable entities who can’t be bothered to return a single phone call. But fear not. If you wound up with a “dud” realtor, it may be possible to dump him or her.

How deals go south

For some, it’s a lack of communication. It helps to set clear ground rules first, e.g., if you prefer to communicate mainly by text, let him or her know this from the outset. That way, you won’t miss important messages that don’t come through when your voicemail is at its limit.

It’s also wise to clearly describe your expectations. If you need a quick sale, be up front about it, even if it means shaving a few thousand off your bottom line. Remember that even the best realtors aren’t mind readers, so clarify your position in writing if necessary.

Even when the above issues don’t arise, sometimes you might have to pull the plug on your contract with a realtor. Here are some tips to make it as painless as possible.

Canceling the contract

Most reputable realtors will agree to release clients on request. If a sale is pending, this might not be possible, however. Politely ask to have the listing canceled. If that does not resolve the matter, you may need to approach the real estate broker to cancel the contract.

Most brokers are keenly aware of the power of word-of-mouth from their clients. They will usually try to appease disgruntled clients by agreeing to cancel. At the least, they will probably offer to match you to another agent.

When polite entreaties fail, it may be time to bring out the big guns. Have your real estate attorney draft a letter to the agent/broker demanding to be set free of the contract.

Source: The Balance, “How to Fire Your Agent or Client,” Elizabeth Weintraub, accessed May 04, 2018

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