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You're Fired.

Few words are more confrontational than this phrase. And it's not a super great message to have to deliver, either. But how do you get rid of your real estate agent who just isn't living up to your expectations? It could end up being stickier than you imagined.

How To Get Rid of Your Real Estate Agent

After working with your real estate agent for a while, you may discover you aren't meshing very well. While you could drop them then and there, you might want to hold off on that for a bit. There are a few things you want to do before getting rid of your real estate agent.

Communicate With Your Real Estate Agent

One of the most common complaints against real estate agents is that they just don't communicate well. The lack of communication could be for a number of reasons. They could have nothing to report on the sale of your home and don't know what to say. They might even be swamped with clients and forgot to get back in touch.

Whatever the reason for the lack of communication, it's important to confront them about it. Let them know why you are displeased with their service and give them the opportunity to explain themselves. If you can resolve the issue through communication, it will save you a lot of effort and even money in the long run.

Understand that the issue could also be a misunderstanding or lack of communication on your part as well. Make sure you are clear with your expectations and are communicating well with your agent on your part.

Check Your Real Estate Contract

When you start using your real estate agent, they may have had you sign a contract. If so, you'll want to check the termination clause. Depending on the agent, you may have to pay a termination fee for the services rendered. If your agent is listing your home and has already begun the marketing process, they could have easily spent $1000 on photography and ads alone! Be mindful of your agent's services and make sure you compensate them it, or you could end up paying for it in court later.

If you signed a contract to work with your agent, then it's a good idea to terminate the agreement in writing as well. You could do some negotiating to make sure the deal comes out favorable to both parties and part ways peaceably.

Breaching Contract

If it gets to the point where you need to breach your contract to get rid of your real estate agent, make sure you have a good reason. Breaching contracts could mean paying court fees on top of the real estate fees outlined in your contract.

Some reasons for breaching contract includes:

  • Unethical behavior from the real estate agent
  • Your agent lying to you
  • Your agent intentionally listing your home for a higher price
  • Neglecting to hold up their end of the contract (i.e. not holding open houses when they said they would)

Let the Contract Lapse

Another way to get rid of your agent is to let the contract lapse and not sign a new one. This is the least confrontational way, but could still end up costing you. The contract may state that you must pay for services rendered even if the house doesn't sell. If this is the case, then communicating your issues with your agent from the beginning is the way to go.

No Contract

What if you have no contract but just want to drop your agent? You should probably have a chat with them. It's not going to be the most pleasant thing in the world, but it is more professional than screening their calls. Explain to them why you feel you aren't the best fit, and try to end it amicably. If you appreciate the service they gave you, ask them for a recommendation of an agent that might be a better fit. This way, they'll at least get a small referral fee if you work with the recommended agent.

Getting rid of your real estate agent is not fun for anyone involved. Avoid the process from the get-go by interviewing your real estate agent and asking for reviews prior to working with them. While you can't screen for everything, you will have a better chance of coming out on top with an agent you love.

If you didn't like your first agent, it's not too late to find an agent that fits more with your style. Ask family and friends for recommendations of agents they work with (not just know of). Ask about their experience and listen for the things you are looking for in a real estate agent. Once you find one that fits the bill, run with it! There's no reason that buying or selling your house can't be an enjoyable experience-- for you and your agent!

Need an agent you won't want to get rid of? Use one of Clever's top local agents! Not only do they come highly recommended, they also serve you fully for a discount rate. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.


Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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