Under license law, you cannot directly hire an individual real estate agent to sell your home. You must execute an exclusive listing agreement with the agent’s broker (i.e., Century 21), not the agent. This agreement gives the broker the exclusive opportunity, at the exclusion of all other brokers, to market your home for a certain period of time.

To protect your choice of the specific agent that you want to work with, the listing agreement and license law allows you to name this agent as your "designated agent."

Until you cancel the listing agreement, another broker cannot list your home.

There are two likely reasons why you might want to cancel your listing agreement with your current broker.

1. You are happy with your agent but he or she has moved to a new broker. This agent thus can no longer represent you after the agent moves to a different broker. The only way that this agent can continue to represent you is if you terminate your current listing agreement with the broker and execute a new listing agreement with your agent’s new broker.

2. You are unhappy with your agent.

 

Following the simple steps below, you can terminate your listing agreement under either of these situations.

 

1. Your Agent Moves To A New Broker

When your agent goes to a new broker – leaving the broker with whom you have executed an exclusive listing agreement – this agent can no longer represent you.

You, however, prefer your agent and want to follow him or her to the new broker. To accomplish this, you must terminate your current listing agreement and execute a new listing agreement with your agent’s new broker.

Your agent cannot advise you how to cancel your listing so do not be offended if your agent tells you that he or she cannot give you advice with respect to your current listing agreement with the agent’s old broker.. For information on what your agent can and cannot do when moving to a new broker – see the information in the sidebar.

Most exclusive listing agreements give consumers the ability to terminate after 180 days with 30 days notice or provide for a set term with the agreement automatically expiring at the end of the term. Most real estate brokers, however, do not enforce these provisions when an agent leaves and allow clients to immediately terminate their listings upon request.

Unfortunately, certain brokers have recently begun bucking this long-time industry custom and practice and are refusing to release clients’ listings.

You, however, do not have to have a stranger market your home. You want to immediately continue with the agent that you have been working with at his or her new brokerage.

What do you do? To continue working with your agent of choice, there are several simple steps that you should follow.

First, review your exclusive listing agreement to determine any requirements and/or restrictions on termination.

Second, fax or e-mail a letter to the managing broker of the brokerage office where your agent used to work stating that you are immediately terminating your exclusive listing agreement and demanding that the broker agree in writing that the listing is now terminated.


Third, if you do not receive written notice from the broker agreeing to immediately terminate your listing, telephone the managing broker to request that the broker immediately terminate the listing agreement. If the broker does not agree, politely explain that you will let others in your social circle know about your bad experience if the broker refuses to cancel and that you will send letters to the local press of your poor treatment.

Fourth, most brokers will agree to release your listing after the above steps. Once this is done, you can then sign a new listing agreement with the broker for whom your agent is now working.

 

IF THE ABOVE FAILS to persuade the broker to immediately release your listing, then the broker is being unreasonable and you should call 847-207-3561.

 

2. You Are Unhappy With Your Agent

•  Read the listing agreement and determine which clauses your agent has breached. For example, if your agent repeatedly does not return phone calls and fails to follow your directions; you may have a valid reason to get out of the listing contract.

•  Fax or e-mail the managing broker at your agent’s office a letter specifically stating that you are terminating the listing agreement, identify the reasons you are dissatisfied with the service, and request written confirmation of the termination.

•  If you do not receive a written termination notice from the broker, telephone the managing broker at the broker’s office to request that the broker terminate the listing agreement. If the broker does not agree, politely explain that you will let others in your social circle know about your bad experiences if they refuse to cancel the listing agreement and that you will send letters to the local press.

Most brokers will agree to cancel your listing agreement after the above steps. Once this is done, you can then sign a new listing agreement with another broker.

 

IF THE ABOVE FAILS to persuade the broker to immediately cancel your listing, then the broker is being unreasonable and you should immediately call 847-207-3651.

 

 
 
  Are You A Real Estate Agent Looking To Move To A New Broker?  
 

Moving Your License To A New Broker

To ensure compliance with real estate license law during your transition to a new broker ("New Broker") from your prior broker ("Old Broker"), you should keep the following guidelines in mind.

What You Can Do.

•  Before leaving your Old Broker, you may tell your current clients, who are under contract with your Old Broker, that you are leaving to join a New Broker. You should, however, only do this for clients who have listed you as their "designated agent" in their listing agreement with the Old Broker.

  • You are permitted to make this disclosure while still at the Old Broker because license law and the law of agency requires you to keep your clients informed of information that affects their interests. To simply disappear and never inform your clients, who have named you as their designated agent, is not in the best interest of the clients.

•  If asked by your clients why you are moving to the New Broker, you should state only generally that you "feel the New Broker is a better fit for you personally." You should be very careful to only tell your clients that you are moving because it’s a "better fit personally" and nothing else. If pressed for more information, tell your clients that you are prohibited by license law from giving them any more details.

•  If your clients ask if you can continue representing them at the New Broker, you should tell them that you cannot do so because your New Broker cannot execute a listing agreement with your current clients while they are still under contract with your Old Broker.

•  Your New Broker may not initiate any communication with your current clients while they are under contract with your Old Broker. Your clients, however, may initiate communication with the New Broker and/or you while they are still under contract with the Old Broker.

•  If clients ask for assistance in terminating an exclusive listing agreement with your Old Broker, you should tell them that they should review their listing agreement with the Old Broker. You should also tell them that they may consult with their attorney or go to cancelmylisting.com

•  Once your clients cancel their listing with the Old Broker, you can speak freely with them about executing a new listing agreement with the New Broker.

What You Cannot Do.

•  You do not want to take any action that could be construed as "inducing" a client to leave the Old Broker to come to the New Broker.

•  The following could be considered "inducing":

  • Disparaging your Old Broker or saying anything bad or negative about the Old Broker;

  • Expressing dissatisfaction with your Old Broker;

  • Inferring that the New Broker is superior to the Old Broker;

  • Telling clients to terminate a listing agreement with the Old Broker – you must let clients make this decision themselves.

•  Do not give clients any advice on how to terminate their listing agreements with the Old Broker.

This is general advice based on license law and agency law. You should review your individual agreement with your Old Broker for other potential restrictions.