How To Fire Your Real Estate Agent or Realtor

Did you know you can fire your real estate agent or Realtor? It’s not like firing an employee, you really don’t need a good excuse other than you want to and as long as both parties agree to all terms and sign the agreement then you’re golden. However, you really should have a good reason for firing your agent. In Texas, you can terminate a listing agreement or buyer’s representation agreement with your agent by using one of two forms. One form terminates buyer representation agreements and the second terminates a listing agreement.

Terminating a Buyer’s Agent

In Texas, you can fire your buyer’s agent by filling out and signing form TAR 1503, Termination of Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement. This form has four basic sections, the first section lists the date when the initial buyer’s representation agreement started. The next section gives the date the agreement terminates once this form is signed. The third section defines any fees owed for services rendered, and the agreement also gives specific situations where you would still owe the broker after the termination, and lists the fees owed should those event occur. And the final section is a release from all obligations.

Terminating a Listing Agent

In Texas, you can fire your listing agent by filling out and signing form TAR 1410, Termination of Listing. This form has the same structure as the TAR 1503 form. In this form, you declare that you have no current negotiations pending or contemplated with anyone for the sale, lease, or exchange of the property. The next section defines any fees owed for services rendered, and the agreement also gives specific situations where you would owe the broker after the termination, and lists the fees owed should those events occur. And the final section is a release from all obligations.

The Best Times To Use These Agreements

You should use these these agreements when you’ve reached the point where the relationship with your agent can’t be salvaged. Do not fire an agent for minor disagreements. It’s not worth the hassle over a misunderstanding. Try to work out disagreements with your agent, and if that doesn’t work then get the broker involved in the mediation. If they won’t work it out then there’s not much left for you to do but fire them. You certainly don’t want to just wait until your contract expires naturally. Be aware that firing your agent will disrupt the selling of your house for a few days or weeks until a new agent has been hired so keep that in mind and first try to work out your problems with your agent.

Another time when you may want to fill out these agreements, but not sign it, is when you hire the agent. Have your agent fill out all the parts, except the dates, sign it and then give it to you. DO NOT SIGN IT, because that would make the termination effective. Instead, store it away for a future signature should the need arise. If your agent has any confidence in his/her abilities then your agent shouldn’t mind signing it as long as you can convince that agent that you don’t have a hairpin trigger finger ready to pull out the document at the least infraction. If your agent does agree to sign it before you enter a contract with that agent, be prepared to see a few fees added to the blanks to cover their expenses if you decide to pull out shortly after they spend a lot of money advertising your house. Seems only fair, since you didn’t give them a chance to make money on what they invested in marketing your house. This strategy lets them know you’re serious about their performance. And it tells them at the start of your relationship. Think of it as an agent pre-nuptial agreement.

I Fired Them, Now What?

Now that you’ve fired your former agent, it’s time to find a new one. Since you want an agent better than your last one, take your time and put some effort into the agent search. AgentHarvest specialized in helping clients find top producing real estate agents that sold houses in your neighborhood so I suggest you start there. Naturally I’m biased but at least I admit it. Also, be sure to read all the Realtor Interview Materials listed on this site.

Where Can I Find These Forms?

Ask your agent to provide you with a current copy.

This entry was posted in Buying a House, Hiring an Agent, Selling Your House by Bill Petrey, Realtor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bill Petrey, Realtor

Bill Petrey, the CEO and Founder of AgentHarvest, has been written about in the Los Angeles Times, Inman News, AOL Real Estate, and Inman Next, among others. He founded AgentHarvest for the sole purpose of making the process of finding a good Realtor better and easier. Bill Petrey is an author and editor of both The AgentHarvest Blog, Real Examples of Really Rotten Realty Blog, and the creator of Really Rotten Realty.

5 thoughts on “How To Fire Your Real Estate Agent or Realtor

  1. These are very helpful tips for keeping control and taking command. I also think that another factor that really help sellers is that the housing market is so slow that they are forced to work harder because the money is so hard to come by. It helps to keep them on their toes and be more accomodating.

  2. I read a post on Active Rain written by a real estate agent fed up with people trying to work out his paycheck by multiplying the price of a house he was selling by 6%. Everyone assumes he must be filthy rich and he said in his post that many agents do the same type of math, lulling themselves into a world of delusion where they believe they’re actually doing okay. He stated (and I agree) that this is a dangerous perception that will lead to bankruptcy.

    • Andrew:
      I definitely agree. What most agents don’t factor in are the total costs of doing business including: office fees, Realtor fees, marketing for self/team, gas, and marketing for all listings. I’m sure there are others but that’s a good start. That figure should be applied to total money received. Agents will find that a large percentage of their profits reimburse them for incurred expenses for overhead and all non-selling listings.

      To give some perspective on your comment, most agencies have an exclusive club reserved for those who sell over $1 Million in home sales per year. This could be one house, or many, but $1 Millon worth of sales gives you no more than $30,000 before your broker takes his/her share. Depending on the broker’s share, you could be the envy of your office because you made over $20,000 or less after broker’s share. Not that impressive.

  3. Am I within my right to terminate a 6 month contract early between myself and my realtor if my realtor is pressuring me to lower the sale price 20% when she set the original price, house has only been listed one month, has only had one viewing (where feedback was positive), and refuses to run an open house?

    • Sandra:
      You are certainly within your right. Was the list price this agent recommended higher than other agents’ recommended prices you interviewed? Did they promise a high price to win the listing, or was this a price you demanded?

      Regarding open houses…. To be fair, open houses rarely benefit the seller. They are more likely to attract curious neighbors and potential buyer clients. Rarely do they result in the sale of a house. Your agent would probably benefit more from an open house than you because open houses don’t attract buyers, they attract buyer clients for the agent. Not having open houses wouldn’t be a big deal for me as a client.

      While you’re within your right to cancel, try talking with your agent first to find out what they’re doing to sell your house. Voice your concerns, and establish expectations with your agent. I don’t know your market, but if you’ve only attracted one viewing, then it’s because your listing is priced too high for either it’s condition, neighborhood, or some other factor. Your agent is right to quickly fix the situation rather than wait. The longer your listing sits, the more stigmatized it becomes. I’d have a serious talk with your agent and find out why they think a 20% drop is necessary and find out how your house compares to houses nearby that are for sale, and see where your price falls in line with those. If your listing offers less, but is priced higher, then it will never sell.

Leave a Reply

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