How to Change Real Estate Agents When Your House Isn’t Selling

Selling a home and changing real estate agents for sellers is a stressful experience for any homeowner. And it feels even worse if the listing isn’t moving. 

While it’s easy to single out the realtor as the key issue, it might be worth your while finding out the average selling time for a house in your neighborhood, first. 

Additionally, you can also ensure that you’ve listed the house at a reasonable asking price, that the home’s appearance is up to standard, and the state of the real estate market in your area.  

Before you pick up the phone to switch real estate agents, you need to consider doing a quick checklist to make sure that you’re taking the correct steps. 

Checklist before changing realtors 

  1. Communication issues
    With anything in life, communication is the key to a successful project. And it’s by far the most common complaint when it comes to bad experiences with real estate agents. This can be due to them not answering phone calls, texts, and emails, for instance.
  2. Unappealing listing
    In the digital age, it’s never been easier to advertise your house. However, if your agent isn’t taking advantage of the times, not using great photos of the house, and not investing in paid-media options, they will limit your listing’s reach.
  3. Poor appointment etiquette 
    Your real estate agent should be someone who is good at time management and is punctual. If they are missing viewings and meetings, this is a major red flag.
  4. General poor attitude
    If your agent has a poor attitude and is rude to potential buyers, partners, and you, then it’s worth considering switching real estate agents.
  5. Not familiar with the market
    An agent, who is familiar with the market, will have connections to potential buyers and insights into the local neighborhood. This experience can mean the difference between moving the property or sitting on it for longer.
  6. Dishonesty
    Having a dishonest realtor who’s not sharing information is a major problem. And, if you can prove they have withheld information, this can be a violation of the contract.

If you’ve checked any of these points, we’d still strongly suggest having a meeting with the realtors to hammer out the problems in the relationship. 

But if you already know it is time to switch real estate agents, then you need to investigate the contract you signed. 

Contract basics  

Now that you’re sure that you’re ready to end the relationship, there are few investigative steps you should follow. After all, you’ve signed an agreement with your real estate agent. 

You will need to review your contract with your realtor and examine the language used in the agreement. 

You may be exempt from some of these agreements due to what state laws dictate. There are three terms you need to become acquainted with when reviewing your agreement. According to the National Association of Realtors:

Exclusive right-to-sell listing

The real estate agent or listing broker acts as a legally recognized non-agency representative of the seller(s). You, the seller(s), agree to pay a commission to the listing broker, regardless of whether the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker, the seller(s), or anyone else. 

But since you’re reading this article, no one has made any offers on your house.   

Exclusive agency listing

You are in a contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent and is the legally recognized non-agency representative of you, the seller. 

But this time, you agree to pay a commission to the realtor if the property sells through the efforts of any real estate broker. If you sell the home yourself, then you are not obligated to pay a commission.

Open listing

In this situation, you’ve made a contractual agreement that the realtor acts as the agent, but you’ve also invited other agents to assist in selling the home. 

This means whoever sells the house gets the commission. 

If you are dealing with a single agent, you’ve most likely selected the exclusive agency listing. But it is important that you read over and ensure you understand the document, as it is legally binding. 

When reviewing the agreement, always check if there’s an end of agreement clause. If your contract has expired then you can simply terminate the relationship. But if you’re still locked into the agreement, make sure to establish how the commission is issued. 

General Commission Structure

Your real estate agent is still due to their commission if they fulfill the terms of the contract. Even if the terms are simply providing pricing advice, helping set up marketing assets, assisting renovations, or reaching out to potential buyers. 

These variations in the definition of completed work are why realtors have long contracts. Exclusive-right-to-sell contacts normally come with additional clauses.

There are four types of commissions:  

  1. Finds a buyer: This is when your agent has found a buyer who has agreed to your price and terms. 
  2. Buyer pays the full price: In this situation, you agreed that your agent’s role is to find a buyer to offer the full price, if you don’t accept for any reason your agent might be due their commission. 
  3. House sells: If the house is sold, even without the agent’s help, they are due the commission. 
  4. Carryover: This clause comes into effect if a previously interested party introduced by the agent, comes back and purchases the house within the agreed period in the contract. 

As with any contractual agreement, if you can prove that the agent has made it null and void, then you can use this reason to terminate the contract. But this does invite extra admin, as they could take legal action against you. 

Now that we’ve covered the contractual basics let’s start the procedural steps.  

Switching realtors and changing realtors etiquette

Once you’ve reviewed the contract, you will now be able to answer two important questions: 

  1. “Am I liable to pay a cancellation clause?” 
  2. “Am I liable to pay a fine?” 

If the answer is yes to either of these, make sure to assess what you owe. 

Act quickly

As the saying goes, “Time is money.” Making sure that you inform your realtor as early as possible that you’re moving away from their services may help smooth over any hard feelings. And in most instances, maintaining a good relationship with them can mean they waive away any contractual fees. 

Put it in writing

This isn’t required, and there are no set formats but it does help outline processes around ending the relationship. Keep it professional and short. 

Sign the letter

Make sure that all parties sign the letter. This is a good record for legal purposes that the relationship has ended. If there is an issue with the broker signing the document, you can get another managing personnel to sign it.  

It should be a rule for all procedures, but make sure not to burn any bridges. Make sure you’re courteous and establish that the relationship is over. 

As a seller, you may be asking yourself, “Does changing realtors help sell a house?” 

To which we’d answer, “Depends.” 

But if you’ve just inherited a house and need to just sell your house fast, we’d suggest an alternative. 

Selling your home without an agent 

By now, we understand that you may not want to get involved with another estate agent. After all, you’ve just wasted months waiting for someone to get their act together so you can move on with your life. 

Also, getting involved with an agent means you will complicate one of the most stressful experiences a homeowner can endure.

Not having an agent means no mountains of paperwork, no stream of potential buyers walking through your home with their own distinct range of problems, and as we’ve discussed, no contractual agreements. It also means you may not need to put time and money into repairing your house for sale if you went with a home buying company as an alternative. 

But what does the alternative look like?

Another alternative: 365 Property Buyers

At 365 Property Buyers, we buy houses for cash. This means you can now completely avoid the hassle of real estate agents (paying commission fees), paying for repairs around the property, and skip months of uncertainty

365 Property Buyers offers: 

  • To purchase homes “as is”, so no need to fix your house up before selling to us
  • Unlike real estate agents, we don’t charge a commission
  • We’ve been purchasing homes in cash for 18 years. 
  • There’s no waiting period, we’re able to move as quickly as you do. 
  • As a reputable company, we don’t low-ball our clients, you can expect a competitive fair cash offer on your home. 

It’s honestly as easy as giving us a call on 501-369-0365 or filling out our easy-to-use form below, and we’ll give you a fair cash offer within minutes. 

Afterward, we’ll meet with you in person to talk details about the offer. We pay within days of you accepting our offer. No waiting, no realtors, and no extra effort on your part.

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