Q: I signed a listing contract with a Realtor last Tuesday, only to have her tell me on Thursday that she was changing Realty companies.
Uncomfortable with this final hour switch among a few other things, I requested via email and by phone that she terminate the contract I’d signed with her. She claims she did not submit the contract yet, but how can I be sure that I’m not legally bound to that contract?
I’d like to be certain I have no further commitment to her before signing on with a new agent.
A: When you signed an agreement with a real estate agent, you didn’t sign it with that person, you signed it with the company she works for. If the contract was signed by the company, you may be bound to that company, but when you sign with a larger real estate company, you usually aren’t bound to working with one person.
However, most major real estate companies will let you change real estate agents once a problem arises between you and the agent. Certainly, if your agent no longer is part of the Realty company, the managing broker will assign you someone else or may even ask you who you would prefer to work with at the company.
If the real estate agent did not turn in the contract, you should be able to confirm with the company that she was with that they do not have a record of you, or she should be able and willing to return to you the original you signed. That original should only show your signature if she was truthful.
I would try to get that original contract back from her if possible. Otherwise, you might need to call the manager of the office involved and withdraw any agreement to work with them. For the agreement to become effective, they should have an obligation to return a signed copy to you. If they don’t have one, your withdrawal prior to their execution may be sufficient. It’s possible that your emails and calls were enough to settle the situation, but if it becomes an issue, you’ll need to talk to a real estate attorney in your area for assistance.
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