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I've received many of these calls over the years. As long as it's the seller who initiates them, no reason not to speak with them. If they want to cancel a listing agreement I suggest they go speak with their agent's broker and explain why they want a termination and to call me once it's done. But I don't go into chapter and verse on how to do it.
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
I would not want to associate with a client who gets out of an agreement on less than honest terms. So I would encourage them to have a heart to heart with the other agent and show up with a voluntarily cancelled agreement before signing them up.
As Jill said, to keep yourself out of trouble, you have to inform the person of the ethical situation presented and they must either work it out with their agent, or terminate their relationship with the Realtor and contact you only after such termination has been done. You calling the other agent will only cause trouble; for both you and the Seller. Good luck!
Raymond E. Camp
Tough call. I think I would just say that I would be happy to discuss a listing once the seller has cancelled their listing with the other agent. I would try to explain that it is a conflict of interest and ethics for me to help guide them with that process.
Taking the high road is always important.
Stevens Point, WI
The seller has to make the change, and then I would be happy to work with them.
If a seller whose property is listed with another agent initiates a call to you, it is not unethical to talk with them. However, remember that a legal contract is binding and advising someone on how to break a contract would be practicing law. There are very few circumstances that I would notify the other agent.
Canceling the listing is what the home owner has to do themselves. I would stay out of it until the listing is canceled. A
I have received calls like this. I advise them to contact their agent.
We can't talk with sellers who are listed with other agents. If they've terminated their contract, fine, but otherwise, sorry.
We always offer an unconditional release from a listing contract. If a seller isn't pleased with what we are (or are not) doing, then they can fire us. So far, no one has taken us up on that offer.
I refer them to the line in the listing agreement titled "Cancellation and Termination." I would advise the existing contract must be canceled before I can provide assistance. I would then follow that with a referral to another person who could help them understand that process.
Finally, I would challenge this homeowner to discuss their issue with the existing agent and give this agent a chance to correct the issue. If in short order they do not receive satisfaction. proceed with Unconditional cancellation of the contract.
As you know, some franchise brokers, using propriety listing agreements make cancellation incredibly difficult for the homeowner they have trapped. In such instances I will be more proactive.
Since the seller reached out to me I would meet with them; however would be prohibited from telling them how to break an agency relation. Like most situations I would suggest they consult with a real estate attorney.
There is nothing to discuss while they are signed with another agent.
No, I do not interfere with that relationship. I tell them how real estate agents work and that I cannot talk about their home unless they have severed that relationship.
If you want to keep yourself out of trouble, you say that you cannot discuss their listing while it is listed with someone else.
I think it is okay to advise them to discuss with their agent and/or their broker why they are unhappy and see if they can work it out.