Not all relationships work out well, both personally and professionally. This includes that between you and your real estate agent. If you do end the relationship, do so professionally and as quickly as possible. Read on for some hints on how to tell a real estate agent you chose someone else.
How to tell your real estate agent you chose someone else
The best way to tell your real estate agent that you no longer want to work with them is in a polite but very direct way. If you have already made up your mind or even hired another agent already, do not give the agent you are firing a chance to weasel their way back in. Tell them you no longer need their services and that you are going in another direction with your home purchase or sale.
Here are some additional things to consider when parting ways with a real estate agent that you no longer wish to work with.
Are they even working for you?
Sometimes real estate agents get too busy and take on too many clients. In these cases some people will get less attention and become simply another commission. If your agent isn’t even doing anything to help you in your goals, then what’s the point of keeping them around?
If you are just beginning to work with the real estate agent, and they haven’t spent time and energy on the project yet, it is easier to end the relationship. If they have been working on your sale for a number of weeks or even a few months, though, then it is much harder to break the relationship.
When to change real estate agents
If your agent behaves in a way that is counter-productive to the sale of your house, then may become necessary to break the relationship. If, however, you simply choose to go with someone else, then it may not be so easy to end things. However, if the agent does anything to jeopardize the sale or acts unethically, then you should possibly end the relationship immediately.
The more formal the relationship between you and your agent, the more difficult it will be to move to someone else.
Consider a trial period
If you are unsure about individual agents, you can choose two or three people to work with. Just the first few days or weeks will give you the opportunity to get an idea of which agent will suit you.
Set the parameters clearly
Explain to the agents from the beginning that you are working on a form of a trial period to find the correct fit for you and your sale. You should also disclose that you are looking at other agents too.
Set the time period
Set a specific time limit for the trial period and make sure that you make a decision about what agent to work with at the end of this time.
Ending the relationship
At the end of the defined period, politely explain to the agent/s you won’t go with that you have chosen to work with another agent.
Watch out for buyer’s agreements
Real estate agents work on a commission basis, so they won’t get any income from your sale until the house is sold. This means they are likely to spend at least a number of hours working with no immediate return. They may also face the situation where the sale doesn’t go through or is taken from them. Again, this means time spent with no income.
To retain some form of certainty in their relationship with you, your real estate may require you to sign a buyer’s agreement or exclusivity contract. This specifies that the agent in question has sole rights to act on your behalf in the sale of your house.
It is valid for a period of between three and six months. This isn’t something you have to sign when listing a property, many agents do not require this.
Breaking the relationship without a buyer’s agreement
If you have no buyer’s agreement with your real estate agent, then you are not legally bound to work with them. However, there are questions of moral and reasonable expectations, specifically as you know the agent spends all the time working for nothing until the sale goes through.
In this case, you may consider giving your agent a chance to change their interactions and retain the listing of your house. Agree with them that they must demonstrate that they have addressed your concerns by a certain date.
Perhaps it is the individual agent you are dissatisfied with, not the agency. In this case, do not approach the agent themselves before addressing your concerns to the managing agent. You may want to keep working with the agency and request the managing agent to assign someone else to you.
If it is necessary to end the relationship fairly immediately, then you should do so formally and politely. Sending an email is the best way to do this. Make sure you copy the managing agent on the mail.
What about exclusivity contracts?
The exclusivity contract that you sign with your real estate agent is a legally binding document, so you should be sure about your agent before you sign it. Having done so, you are locked into the relationship for the duration of the contract. Hopefully, during this period, the agent will be working hard on your behalf to secure the sale.
When it’s necessary to break the relationship
Your first choice is to approach the agent directly and specify their actions that have dissatisfied you enough to want to stop working with them. Hopefully, you will be able to discuss the issues and agree to terminate the contract. If this does not work, you can approach the managing agent and try to get the contract stopped.
However, if your agent demands to stick to the time period of the contract, and you still want to fire them, you will need to get legal help. In this case, you should weigh up the relative costs and amount of stress breaking the contract will entail. It may be more useful to keep the relationship with the agent until the contract is up.
Set the conditions out clearly
When you establish the conditions of the relationship with your real estate agent, you should be very clear upfront. Make sure that both of you agree on what is expected of and by both of you. Discuss all of this before putting anything in writing. Make sure that you include cancellation policies too.
Moving on from your real estate agent
If you aren’t happy with your real estate agent then you may ultimately decide to end the relationship, in which case you need to be professional and direct with them.
Make sure you communicate clearly with the agent and follow through on your decision. Selling your home is deeply personal, and you do need to work with the correct person.