Selling a home is stressful work. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands and are proficient in the real estate world, you will likely need the help of a real estate agent. When you hire an agent, you enter into a business agreement. Just like anything else in life, though, this arrangement can become more of a pain than a benefit. What do you do if you need to fire your real estate agent? Here are the simple steps to follow.
Review Your Contract First
Some real estate contracts do not allow you to fire your real estate agent. If you are able to, it will cost you a fortune. This protects the agent, because after all, he is in business to make money. If the contract did not protect him, any seller could easily dispose of his services for no reason. This is why you need to read the contract carefully. Make sure you understand what you agree to and how long you agree to work with the agent. In order to protect your own interests, there should be ways out of the contract if the agent does not do his job as stated. Having your lawyer look over the contract will help to ensure your rights are protected.
Consider Your Actions
Once you decide the arrangement is not working, you need to take official steps to fire the agent. You cannot just tell him you do not want to work with him anymore. Remember, you signed a contract and you have to abide by it. Before you cut the cord with the agent, try to work things out with some of the following steps:
- Talk to the office rather than the agent himself. If he works for a large company, talk to the manager to see what can be done. Maybe there is something they can do to rectify the situation. In some cases, companies can provide you with a different agent from the same company.
- Try to communicate with the agent. Call him or visit him in person and discuss the issues. Sometimes agents do not realize they are not meeting their end of the bargain. This happens often during peak selling seasons. Real estate agents can just get overwhelmed and not realize they are overlooking a specific responsibility.
If you cannot rectify the situation, put your desire to end the relationship in writing. You can make it an official written letter you place in the mail or an email. Whatever you think will be the most effective way to get the attention of the agent. Once you send the request to end the relationship, the agent must respond. If he does not respond despite your repeated attempts at communicating, you may need to hire an attorney to get the process going.
Consider the Costs
Remember that contract you signed when you started working with the real estate agent? It probably outlined the fees the agent can collect if you end the relationship early. This is why you need to carefully review the document to see the repercussions of a relationship gone bad. Real estate agents often spend money and time marketing and showing your home. The agent will want reimbursement for this work if he will not be the one who ultimately sells your home. Without the commission at the property’s closing, the agent is without pay despite the work he put into the process. Some agents only charge a small fraction of the original commission they would receive while others charge a significant amount. Carefully review this item on the contract before choosing an agent.
Do not Breach the Contract
Make sure you never breach the contract, though. Even if the real estate professional breached on his end of the deal, you should not follow suit. Instead, follow the rules and ask for a way out of the contract in an official manner. If you are unsure about how to proceed, consult your attorney. The last thing you want is the agent or the broker who employs him coming after you in court because of the fees you owe and never paid. If you breach the contract, you could be proven as the one at fault, which could result in serious financial damages on your end.
If you want to fire a real estate agent, do so carefully. Even before you hire one, though, understand the contract you sign. It is always best to include your attorney in on the process. Buying and selling homes is very expensive business. Without proper protection, you could find yourself in deep water. This does not mean you have to keep an agent who does not perform. It does mean, however, that you need to make sure you carefully evaluate the situation to ensure that your rights are protected.