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.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.

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.

13 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.

  4. Ok, so we are wanting to fire our realtor . She refuses to send us the form . I found the form on website , but I’m little nervous about using it because of the top of the form it states ” use of this form by persons who are not members of the Texas Association Of Realtors is not authorized. Can I use this form? What happens if I send it to the broker and he want sign it? what do I do ?

    • DJ:
      Not to worry about the disclaimer on the form. Your agent and her broker are members. So they will meet the requirements. More than likely it’s the same contract they’ll use. If your agent isn’t the agency’s broker, you may get better results asking her broker to assign you to another agent in their office. By assigning you to another agent under that same broker, you’re only firing the agent. The broker will not lose you as a client. Your agent’s broker may be more willing to reassign you rather than lose your business all together. Stand your ground and don’t let her push you around.

      I don’t know the history about your situation, but have you tried to work out your differences with the agent? Did you tell her what you didn’t like about the way you’re being treated and the level of service you expect? You should also have this same conversation with her broker.

      Good luck and be firm, but at the same time, be open minded for alternative solutions and don’t forget to talk with her broker.

  5. Hello,
    I hired a realtor to sell a property of an empty lot. Every since my husband and I signed our contract, he has been avoiding us and does not return our calls. He said our lot would be listed in the MLS that night we signed our contract, but it never did. It’s been almost a week and the property is still not listed. I have left emails, voice mails, and text him and nothing! I frustrated with this man and I would just like to cancel my contract with him, but how can I do that when he doesn’t respond?
    Please advice,

  6. we hire a agent who said he will sell house fast but he propose to drop $10.000 from original price.we did.after that he tell us drop price 2 more times and finally he got a offer $20.000 less then a price of the house was listed.we tell him ok however we left for vacation for a week and in this time he put agreement for us and also he include 3% convention loan fee for a buyer which could cost us extra $5700 with out even asking us.we refuse to pick up this money so he said well then deal is off.can we fired him? he was dishonest .he never mention this before.we live in pa.thx you very much

    • Rachel:
      Of course you can fire him, but should you? Listing high and lowering the price was a tactic you agreed to. He did that and finally found the housing market price sweet spot for your house and an offer came. You didn’t like the offer. The buyer’s agent and the buyer are the ones that asked for the loan fee, not your agent. If you don’t like the offer, you should have your agent counter the offer with something you like better. Negotiations, concessions and compromises from both parties are all part of the process. From your post, I don’t see him acting dishonestly. However, it’s clear that you lowered your price more than you’d like, and don’t like the idea of having to pay additional closing costs on top of the price discounts you’ve already suffered. While that’s a normal, understandable, and natural response, it’s not going to get your house sold. Now go counter that offer.

  7. We recently sold our home and are using the same agent to buy our next home. We were extremely dissatisfied with the way that the agent handled the selling of our home and we now do not want her representing us in the purchase of our new home. We did sign a Residential Buyer Representation Agreement but she did nothing to facilitate the buying of our new home. We found the home on our own and as we are going through our same builder as our previous home everything was pretty much in place when we brought her on. I brought her on because I thought we had to have an agent but I have been informed that we really don’t. At this point is there anything I can do or am I stuck paying this agent a commission for merely existing?

    • DJ:
      It all depends on the contract. What part did she play in the negotiation, etc. What does the contract say? Does it have any provisions regarding your finding a house on your own? Did she put her name on any of the contracts naming her as your agent representative? All these things play a part in whether you owe a commission.

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