How to Get Out of a Buyer’s Agent Agreement?
From this article, you will learn how to get out of a buyer’s agent agreement. We at Real Estate Bees asked professional realtors to give our readers expert advice on:
- how to get out of a realtor contract for buying a house if you are the buyer
- how to facilitate termination of an agreement with a homebuyer if you are the selling agent.
Let’s start with answering this question for homebuyers.
How to Get Out of a Buyer’s Agent Agreement as a Homebuyer?
Cole Metcalf, Keller Williams Realty Capital Partners Worthington
There are several ways to terminate a buyer’s agent agreement. As a buyer, you can terminate on grounds of poor service and reasonable care not being given, broken confidentiality, or fiduciary responsibilities not being met, as well as a few others.
As you can see, the terminating reasoning is the easy part. So how do you go about actually terminating an agreement? Here are my tips:
Tip #1. Ask your agent for a termination through a documented channel, ie. email or text is best. Then keep in mind that the agreement is between you as a buyer and the representing brokerage, as well the broker’s appointed agent (the buyer’s agent).
This means that if you want a smooth termination, I recommend copying the operating broker of the entire brokerage on that request. The operating broker is the one who has final say on a lot of those decisions and can help facilitate things faster and more smoothly. Think of them as the “store manager.”
Tip #2. Be aware that a ‘protection period’ may be in place, and there is not a whole lot that can be done other than attorney involvement at that point.
A protection period is a small part of the agreement that states that even after you successfully terminate the agreement, any property that you purchase with any other agent that was previously shown or introduced to you by the first agent is subject to compensation.
A good scenario I see a lot is that agent #1 showed you a property, that property went into contract and you moved on, then you later terminated the agreement with agent #1 and started working with agent #2.
Then that property you liked came back on market for whatever reason and you want to buy it with agent #2. However, if you had a protection period written into that original buyer’s agreement and you are still within that specified timeframe, then agent #1 is entitled to that commission, not agent #2.
Again, attorney involvement may be the only way out of this one so keep that in mind. Some agents (like myself) rarely incorporate protection periods and make them null and void for our buyers, but a lot of agents have differing opinions.
Those are my two biggest tips but the best thing to do is have the buyer’s agent explain the entirety of the agreement paragraph by paragraph upfront, before you start the searching process.
If they cannot do so, it’s either because they don’t know it very well themselves or they don’t care, in either case do yourself a favor and move on to another agent who can.
Where to Find a Better Realtor?
After terminating a contract with your current agent, you will likely need to hire a better one. To help home buyers choose one of the best local realtors with the highest standard of service, we at Real Estate Bees created a national directory of top-rated real estate agents.
Choose your location and browse through the list of the most honest and professional agents who will help you buy your dream home.
How to Get Out of a Buyer’s Agent Agreement as a Realtor?
Brad Borman, Group Realty
The best way to get out of a buyer/broker agreement is to be diligent in your initial meetings with a potential client. The first meeting should be more of a “co-interview”. The potential seller is interviewing the realtor and the realtor is interviewing the potential seller.
I will usually couch it as “when we meet we can see if we both think we’ll work well together while selling the house”. During these initial discussions, both parties will get a feel for each other and in turn, can then make a decision on if both sides want to work with each other.
This “interview” process is very important and will hopefully keep you out of any uncomfortable buyer/broker agreements. Always try to lead with the value that you bring as a realtor/Military Relocation Professional (MRP) and if it just doesn’t feel right, then let that one go and “live to happily sell another day”…
Brandon Thomas, Real Estate Agent at SWC Realty Frederick
It’s simple, in order to be a successful realtor in today’s culture, you have to be flexible with the buyers. I always add in my buyer agreements the following terms: “This agreement can be terminated by either party, at any time, with written communication, including email.”
What to Do with Difficult Clients?
In case you are in a serious dispute with your client, you may want to look at our directory of top-rated real estate attorneys in your area. Choose among the best professionals who will help you get out of the contract with your homebuyer in the easiest possible way.
You may also want to get more expert insight into working with clients from our guide Buyers Agent’s Checklist.
If you too want to contribute your expert advice on a topic of your expertise, feel free to apply to our Expert Contributor Program.