Main Content

Home » Is a referral fee required to cancel a listing?

Is a referral fee required to cancel a listing?

Is a referral fee required to cancel a listing?
askphyllis real estate question, real estate q and A

Dear Phyllis,

My aunt listed her Arizona condo with a Realtor who is very active in her neighborhood. I am sure you understand how difficult it is for her to keep her home in showing condition all of the time. Anyway after three months it didn’t sell and she took it off the market for Christmas; she has another three months remaining on her contract. Her Realtor told her that she can’t list with another Realtor until the listing deadline has passed. However if the new Realtor pays the former one a referral fee she would agree. This doesn’t seem right to me and I am hoping you can give me some advice to share with my aunt as to how she can cancel a listing?

Thanks in advance!


Dear Melody,

I sympathize with your aunt’s situation. I understand how difficult it is living in your home without the freedom to actually live in it, knowing that a showing can take place just about any time. Fortunately in our neighborhood, we are in a very heated seller’s market, and most of our homes are selling in just a couple of weeks.

You noted that your aunt signed a six month listing. According to the listing contract, she cannot list with another Realtor until the listing has expired. When I list a home I have a variety of out of pocket expenses, including professional photography, advertising, property brochures, etc. Perhaps this is why your aunt’s real estate agent is asking for a referral fee (to cover some of her out of pocket expenses).

How do I cancel a listing

Your aunt could wait to relist the condo after the date the listing expires. At that point, her Realtor has no claim to the listing. Technically the listing does not belong to the real estate agent but to the brokerage. For instance my listings belong to Coldwell Banker, not to me. She could meet with the existing Realtor’s office manager and obtain a new agent with the same company (the manager can sort out a referral fee if any).

If she decides to meet with the office manager, have them determine why your aunt’s condo didn’t sell. This seems to be the bigger issue than cancelling the listing.

It’s nice of you to help your aunt, best of luck to you both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *