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Cancelling My Listing

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Dear Phyllis,

I am contemplating cancelling my listing. My house has been on the market for three months. I have had countless open houses but my Realtor has been cryptic in providing feedback. She only told me how many came, if they were neighbors or buyers coming from the internet or signs. She mentioned that people didn’t stay long. But I specifically requested that she provide me with details. Even though my home is a fixer some positive feedback would be appreciated. I can’t believe none of the buyers liked anything about my house.

I have had three offers on three different occasions. The first one was ridiculously low. The second and third time both offers were low. I accepted the second offer and opened escrow but the buyer’s deposit never made it there. This happened on the third offer as well. After rounds of counter offers, I don’t understand why both buyers walked away. Initially, my Realtor® was nice enough but now she is abrupt. I have spent a lot of money repairing my home.

Our communication has broken down. Sometimes several days pass without even a phone call. Everything I do and say seems to offend her. I need a certain amount of money in order to retire to Arizona. How do I go about cancelling my listing. I spoke to her and all she offered was to transfer to another agent within her company, does this seem fair?

Thank You,

Dear GB,

I think you have several issues but primarily you are understandably unhappy that your home has not sold and want to go about cancelling your listing.

1) The fact that you have had “countless” open houses indicates that your Realtor® is trying. As far as more specific feedback, it is difficult for any Realtor® to spend their time at the open house quizzing buyers. Open houses are busy and if a buyer is not interested wouldn’t you prefer the Realtor® to focus on buyers who may be? Additionally, there are always security issues to be concerned with at open houses.

2) Your agent has done a poor job, but not in the areas you believe. Properly pricing your home and preparing it for sale are key to a positive experience and a quick sale at the highest possible price.

3) Three low offers may be an indication that your “fixer” is priced too high for the condition of the home. I don’t know for sure if this is the case based on what little you shared, but it’s a fact that the buyer determines the selling price not the seller or their Realtor®.

4) Fixers are often purchased by investors who unfortunately sometimes make several offers on different properties and then decide on which they will proceed. This is upsetting, unethical and very unfair but it is a fact of this market.

5) It’s hard for me to comment on what’s reasonable communication. If your agent is holding the home open on the weekend, providing feedback and then setting up more open houses, that seems like communication.

Ask your agent to update the Market Assessment of your home. Take a look at your competition, and the homes which have gone into escrow while you have been on the market. Unfortunately, buyers don’t care how much you need for your home. If a buyer can get more home for the money, yours will continue to stagnate.

You have a Listing Agreement which is a binding contract with your Realtor® for a specified duration. If you want to break (cancel) the contract, you may need to consult with her broker or a real estate attorney. I can’t advise as to what’s fair, but from what little I know, I think your agent is being reasonable.

Call Phyllis @ 818 790-7325 or email her at [email protected] with your real estate questions.

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