Ending listing agent contract

Looking for some recommendations here. I know, see a lawyer… but I want to just have some idea what my risk and ethical obligation is.

The situation, I listed a house with a real estate agent. The contract we signed was valid through the end of November. For various reasons we have mutually (verbally) agreed to discontinue the contract and withdraw the property from the MLS.
The property was withdrawn early this week and the sign removed from the property.

Today I was contacted by someone requesting a showing, very interested in the property.

  1. They found the property from the entry in the MLS. They got my phone # by calling my old agent when they saw the listing was withdrawn. If this turns into a sale, what do I ethically owe the listing agent?

  2. Is there a contract that is used to “break” an old contract? I don’t trust him to be knowledgable enough to get his hands on any appropriate paperwork. If this possible sale doesn’t go through, I may put the property FSBO, in which case I don’t want to risk the agent telling me I owe him something if I sell FSBO before the terms of the original contract were up.

Like I said, it’s ended by mutual agreement, no one is angry, and the probability is that he would never cause me a problem, but I don’t like being at risk.

TJ Girl

listing agreements are contracts between broker(agent) and seller. in most states an addendum to the listing agreement can change conditions of contract. with that said, if you put nothing in writing, you in effect have a current listing agreement. call your agent and ask for that addendum, signed by both you and the BROKER, not just agent that listed your home. if the agent is giving your number out they may be ready to just be out of the picture. if someone called on a property i previously had listed, i would only offer up that the property, to the best of my knowledge is no longer being offered for sale, your agent on the other hand feels differently.

Thanks Wendy.

I’ll ask him about the addendum.

He actually told me he felt he didn’t have the ability/resources/desire to actively market my property and recommended I find a new agent, so maybe that’s why he’s still willing to give out my information to potential buyers.

My feeling from talking to him lately is that he is not that interested in being an agent at all anymore. Maybe just burned out or frustrated.

The other thing to consider here is if the buyer was alerted of your property by finding it in mls, they may well be represented by a buyer’s agent. That said, they may have an obligation to compensate their agent, and since your home was listed, unless it is released by addendum of listing agreement;you, through your agent may be obligated to compensate that agent. This would definitley not be in your best interest, unless you receive representation through your original Broker. You can bypass your agent and be represented by the broker he works for if he so desires to remove himself. It should never be this complicated, but often is, when someone enters into the field of real estate and is not fully ready or wanting to represent the best interest of someone else.

Thanks again Wendy,
I know that this one possible buyer is represented by a buyer’s agent, because she is the one I talked to. He is flying in from out of state for 2 days to look at a handful of properties, mine being the only one on their list that has moving water on the property, which is what he’s really looking for.

My plan was to just use an attorney to represent me if they made an offer, rather than a real estate agent.

I used the listing agent as a buyer’s agent 2 years ago when I bought the property, and didn’t have any problems with him then, which is why I went back to him. But lately he’s been spending more time at his cabin with no cell phone coverage - and not willing to give out the landline # there.

Anyway, the buyer just put off his trip here for another week, so I guess nothing will happen for a while, anyway.