Should You Change Listing Agents?


When you hire an agent to help you sell your house, you expect that person to understand your needs and preferences, communicate clearly and often, and work with you to sell your house quickly for as much money as possible. While most agents meet those expectations, sometimes things don’t work out. If you find yourself in that situation, you may decide to switch to a different agent.

Signs That You May be Better Off With Another Agent

If you need to sell your house, communicating with your agent is critically important. Your agent should respond to your calls, texts or emails within a reasonable period and in a professional manner. If you reach out and have to wait an excessive amount of time to get a response, if your agent doesn’t listen to you or take your concerns seriously, or if you suspect that the agent is dishonest, those are signs of a poor fit. 

Conditions in the housing market vary from one area to another and change over time. Still, you should get a reasonable number of potential buyers who are interested in your house. If you don’t, that could mean that your agent isn’t doing an excellent job of marketing the property or that the list price is too high. It may also mean that your agent isn’t familiar with the area where your house is located and doesn’t understand the needs of potential buyers who are looking for homes there. 

Have a Frank Discussion

If you have concerns, raise them with the agent. Be clear and direct about what’s bothering you and allow the agent to address the matter. There may be a misunderstanding that can be resolved with a simple conversation. If your agent doesn’t take the issue seriously or gets angry or defensive, it may be time to move on.

Understand Your Legal Rights and Constraints

Review the listing agreement that you signed when you hired the agent. It should have an expiration date. If that date is close, you may decide to wait until it expires and then look for a different agent. 

Your contract may have a cancellation clause that will allow you to cut ties before the expiration date. If not, you may be able to work with your agent to negotiate a way to dissolve the agreement. 

It’s essential to understand the laws in your state. If you switch agents, you may be required to pay a fee to your original agent. If your first agent showed the house to someone who later decides to buy it, you might be required to pay a commission to the first agent, even if that person is no longer representing you at the time of the sale.

When ending your relationship with a real estate agent, thank that individual for the work done on your behalf. The agent may be able to recommend someone else who will be a better match.

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