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Can I fire my obnoxious seller?

By Joel Maxson

Sept. 4, 2017 – Question: I'm a sales associate at the end of my rope. Sellers, a husband and wife, have been driving me crazy over the past few weeks with their tag-team routine of unreasonable demands. Just this morning the husband accused me of having no idea what their house is really worth. Not more than 10 minutes later, the wife called to demand a new round of marketing photographs because she felt the current ones are too bright.

We haven't received an offer yet, since we're at the early stages of the listing, and I've had enough of their shenanigans! We signed the Florida Realtors Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement for transaction broker relationship, revised in June of 2017 (ERS-17tb).

Can I just fire them and walk away from the listing?

Answer: No. The Florida Realtors Exclusive Right of Sale listing agreements do not contain a cancellation clause. They provide that the broker has the exclusive right to sell the property beginning on one date and ending on another.

Assuming the seller isn't in default of one or more of seller's obligations described in the listing agreement, there's not an option for the broker to "fire" the seller.

However, paragraph 13, titled Miscellaneous, does contain language that could help you out of your predicament. True to its name, this section addresses a miscellaneous collection of issues with a brief sentence or two dedicated to each one. The second sentence provides that "Broker may assign this Agreement to another listing office."

Assuming your broker doesn't want to ask a different associate in your office to try and salvage the listing, your broker may want to consider assigning the listing to another listing office. An assignment is a document that enables company A to hand off its rights and obligations under the listing agreement to company B, which accepts those rights and obligations.

Of course, if the sellers prefer to select their own brokerage company to pick up where you left off rather than use the one you and your broker selected, you're welcome to enter into a Modification to Listing Agreement. This form can do a number of different things, depending on which boxes are checked, including termination of the listing agreement.

Joel Maxson is Director of Member Legal Services

© 2017 Florida Realtors®


Related Topics: Florida Realtors Legal News