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Real Estate 101: Firing a Bad Agent

Oct 30, 2007
A mistake that many people make when working with a real estate agent is the belief that they need to stick with the agent once they have contacted them. While it can be more difficult to get out of a contract with a listing agent that is helping you sell your home, you are under no obligation to work with just one agent when you are looking for a home to purchase. In fact, unless you have hired a buyer's agent to help you find your home, you are perfectly within your rights to contact multiple agents until find one that suits your needs and that you feel comfortable with.

If you have hired the agent to help you sell your home or if you have entered into a buyer's agreement, getting out of your agreement can be a bit trickier. Nonetheless, it is possible.

Signs that You Should Part Ways With Your Real Estate Agent

Sometimes, you simply won't see eye to eye with your real estate agent. If this is the case, you might need to part ways. Aside from small differences in views, you might find that you and your agent simply cannot get on the same page at all. This can be a very frustrating and time-consuming experience - and it is completely unnecessary. More than likely, there is a real estate agent out there that will understand your needs and that will be more than happy to help you find what you are looking for.

If you find that you are raising your voice when talking to your real estate agent, you are probably in a bad situation. If you find yourself calling your agent bad names when you refer to him or her or if you are experiencing negative thoughts about your agent, it is time to start looking for a new agent. Similarly, if you find yourself avoiding your agent's calls or if your agent is not calling you back, you likely have a bad relationship and it would be better for both of you to part ways.

Getting Out of Your Agreements

If you have entered into a contract with your real estate agent, you should try to end the contract based on mutual consent. If the agent refuses to bow out gracefully, you might need to request the help of a lawyer. Ideally, before you ever signed the contract, you should have checked on the agent's policies for canceling the contract. Most reputable real estate agents will allow you to end the contract if you are unhappy with their services.

If you have entered into a listing agreement, you can ask the real estate agent to cancel the listing. If he or she refuses, contact the broker and request a cancellation. If the broker will not cancel the listing, you can at least ask for a different agent. In most cases, however, the broker will allow you to get out of the listing because refusal to do so can scar his or her reputation. If the broker continues to refuse, let him or her know that you will be contacting a real estate lawyer for termination assistance. In many cases, just the threat of a lawyer is enough to get the broker to back down.
About the Author
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Northwest Austin Real Estate Guide, his Austin real estate company's website, & his Austin Condominium Guide.
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