|We changed our minds about selling.
Julie Garton-Good, GRI
Q:We signed a listing with a real estate practitioner even though the
price was lower than we expected. After he left our home, we figured out that we
wouldn't get enough out to even pay our expenses. So we called him four hours
later (on Sunday evening) to withdraw the listing.
He told us that he had already started processing the
listing so we would have to wait until the listing ran out (which would be in 12
months). I know that we signed a contract, but
the salesperson couldn't have spent that much on it in four hours. I think this
is unfair and wonder if there's anything we can do? We've decided now not to
sell at all.
A:Although you did sign a one-year listing contract, the reality is that
the agent will be hard pressed to successfully market a property with you as
unwilling sellers. Even if the listing was being processed, it could be stopped.
By signing the listing, you contracted with the salesperson
to perform a personal service for you -- to sell your home. While the
salesperson does not want to release you to sell through another broker or by
yourself, there may be a way to strike a happy bargain.
Call the salesperson and tell him that you were shocked when
you found out that you wouldn't net anything out of the sale. Also state that
you felt it was his job as a professional to inform you of the low proceeds
before you listed the house. Knowing this, you've decided not to sell at all.
Inform him that you will not list with anyone else, but that it would be wasting
your time (and his) to market the property under the circumstances.
If he still refuses to release you from the listing, call
his broker and explain the situation to him. (Be sure to state that the agent
did not share all of the necessary facts with you before taking the listing.)
If the broker fails to release you, a call from an attorney
may help. Have the attorney notify the broker that you are withdrawing the
listing. The attorney may maintain that it is impossible for you to perform
since you have insufficient equity in the property, and that the broker should
have informed you of such.