Today’s topic could be seen as controversial and some Realtors may not write about it, but I will. No we are NOT at any time supposed to (and I do not) solicit parties whom are currently under contract with another Broker/Realtor; however, I am often contacted by some of those parties since they’re maybe not 100% happy with the current results. Therefore, I wanted to share some insight on the matter since this probably occurs quite a bit out there in the real world.
Not every Realtor is right for every client and certainly not every client is right for every Realtor. Fortunately, I run a successful business where I won’t feel too bad if someone just isn’t the right fit. It doesn’t happen often at all, but once in a while.
First let’s look at the selling side… I am speaking about how it works in Arizona so it could differ in other locations. When someone “lists” their home for sale, they sign a Listing Contract with the Realtor/Brokerage. That Realtor (Real Estate Agent) is the representative for the actual Brokerage, of which the Designated Broker owns the actual listing. For me, I am the Designated Broker so that can certainly streamline the situation if ever necessary.
Those listing contracts have an expiration date so until that date, you’re “under contract” with that broker. If you want to change course before that date, it may be possible, but you’d need to get a written release from the actual Broker to know you’re truly no longer under contract and not potentially owing them a commission still if you sell with someone else. There are two different kinds of releases… a conditional where certain stipulations and exceptions could apply or an unconditional where you’re set free once it’s signed.
These contracts are in place to protect the industry… they serve a great purpose. This way sellers cannot just switch around whenever they feel like it. Us as Realtors spend money right up front to market your home properly without any guarantee of getting reimbursed. That’s why we set a timeframe to get the home sold within. That duration will vary in different market conditions.
Canceling in the MLS isn’t a written release. A broker can turn off the marketing, but still hold the listing contract terms in effect. If you truly have reasons for why you need or want to switch, then usually it won’t be a problem, but there’s a process for it. It’s likely best not to have parties working together when there is tension and resentment present. Contact the broker and discuss the situation. Once you have the release and are comfortable, then you can choose your next direction.
For the buying side, it’s a little different… there are “Buyer-Broker” Agreements, which act the same essentially installing a duration where you’re locked into using that Realtor/Broker for the purpose of buying a home, but most Realtors do not use them. I personally have never used one. That’s a topic for another blog though.
If you have not signed a Buyer-Broker Agreement, then you’re able to choose whom you want to represent you on the purchase. However, if a Realtor shows you a property and you want to buy it, then they normally need to represent you since they’re likely the procuring cause.
I conduct a sit down “Pre-Move Consultation” with every potential buyer up front to ensure we’re on the same page. This way I can tell if they’re likely going to be loyal to me and are a serious buyer. I will be dedicated to my buyers, but expect the same in return. Again, we expend effort, time and dollars with no guarantee of being reimbursed.
If you’ve signed a Buyer-Broker and have a legitimate reason why you should be working with someone else, then contact the broker and take it from there.
Bottom line is to make sure you read the contract and know what you’re signing… so many do not and then can regret it later. That and making sure you hire the right Realtor up front is key too!