Q: I read your reply to one reader who asked about breaking a contract with a Realtor and you suggested she get with the brokering agency and ask for a new agent.

Well, in my case, my Realtor owns the agency. So how would I go about breaking my contract with her as my Realtor and the brokering agent? Is there some type of form I could get offline and does there have to be a reason for my terminating the contract, such as poor service?

A: You’re in a tougher situation, but it’s not impossible to cancel the deal even if the broker representing you owns the company. What I would do is simply sit down and say that this relationship isn’t working out for you. Outline your reasons in a calm voice, and ask to break the agreement.

If the broker doesn’t agree to this, you can take your listing agreement to a real estate attorney and discuss what options you have based on the language in the contract. If your listing agreement is only for 90 days, the longest you’d have to wait it out is three months. If you signed a longer listing agreement (I advise to never sign a listing agreement longer than 90 days–you can always roll it over and renew), the attorney may be able to explain to the broker that the company is wasting its time by hanging onto you as a client.

One added note, in this market some people feel like their brokers aren’t doing what they should for them because houses are taking a long time to sell. In some cases, people feel that if their homes haven’t sold, it must be their broker’s fault.

You need to make sure that your grievance against your broker is legitimate and something other than your broker simply hasn’t been able to sell your home. Your brokers should, at a minimum, market the home, list the home in a multiple listing service and place a sign in front of your home to advertise that your home is for sale.

In addition, some brokers will hold open houses to show off the home to the public, broker open houses to show off your home to other brokers, and even place adds in newspapers and online websites to try to sell your home.

Make sure you understand how the broker agreed to market your home, and what she has done to live up to those promises before you decide to terminate the agreement. If you still feel that the service you’ve received is sub-par and the broker has not done the marketing you were promised, you can move ahead with termination.

Please consult with a real estate attorney for further details.

NOTE: Ilyce R. Glink’s latest ebooks are "Credit Scoring Secrets" and "How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent," which are available at her new, all-video website, www.expertrealestatetips.net. If you have questions, you can call her radio show toll-free (800-972-8255) any Sunday, from 11a-1p EST. You can also write to Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022 or contact her through her website, www.thinkglink.com ©2008 by Ilyce R. Glink. Distributed by Tribune Media Services.