CAN I CANCEL MY LISTING ANYTIME?
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
By Ali Kaya
One area of your listing agreement is often a source of confusion for some sellers. This particular section discusses your cancellation of your listing agreement. I always suggest my clients read thoroughly through the listing agreement for your own peace of mind even though we leave a copy of the signed agreement anyways.
There are multiple ways a listing can become terminated, some purposefully and others not. You can cancel your listing, terminate it (there is a difference), sell your home, the agent can become unlicensed, or it can expire. All of these possibilities are different than one another so it really depends on your personal situation. When you sell your home, the listing agreement becomes terminated as the conditions of the agreement have been met and are completed. If an agent becomes unlicensed, the listing automatically goes into a brokerage listing, where there is currently no designated agent and you can call the brokerage and either cancel or terminate or continue with a new agent. When you expire, it means that the home has not sold within the duration of the listing agreement and the contract is therefore expired. However the two options that give you the right to end your agreement are the cancel and termination options.
Let's go more in depth.
Let's start with a reminder. Since the listing agreement is a legal contract between multiple parties, you need permission from all parties involved to end it. Now don't worry, 99% of Realtors and brokerages are quite easy to deal with when you want to cancel. At the end of the day, we want you to feel comfortable working together. However please remember, all parties must agree to the termination of the listing agreement.
Let's begin with what a cancelled listing is. The full term is called cancel protected. Meaning the listing is still in a 'protected' state. This is when the agent has spent a considerable amount of time, energy, and money on the listing and would like it to be protected for a period of time. This protection period means 60 days upon signed notice of the cancellation or whenever the listing agreement is set to expire, whichever is the sooner date. This gives the agent a bit of assurance that if a buyer were to present themselves throughout that time it would still be their sale. It also means you cannot sell or re list with another agent until that expiration or 60 days is up. Once it is expired or the 60 days has completed, you are free to re list with another agent or do as you wish!
The second type is called terminated. This is when the listing agent grants a termination of the listing agreement without any limitations to the cancellation. You are free and clear of the responsibilities of the agreement and no longer have to be listed. You are also free to sell with another agent or simply do as you wish. A termination sometimes happens when there is a price reduction on the home as separate forms must be filled out or prior to expiration to negate an expiration notice on the MLS. However please note, while 99% of Realtors could be okay with terminating a listing, it is ultimately an agreement that must be mutually severed between the parties. (The seller and the brokerage)
While the short answer on if you can terminate your listing at any time is yes, it really requires some thought and conversation with your agent and their office. Who you work with matters, and I suggest finding an agent that values hard work, providing value, honesty, and results for you and your home so such a conversation never has to take place. However sometimes life happens, and having a Realtor that you're comfortable with goes a long way in your discussions together. At the end of the day, we work for you and your home and to make your listing experience as best as possible.
Thank you very much for reading today's article and I sincerely hope you received value and insight out of it. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in the Greater Vancouver or Fraser Valley areas you can contact me anytime. I'd love to grab a coffee with you and discuss your goals and show you how we can help. I've never had a listing of mine not sell, expire, or get cancelled and I take great pride in that and knowing all my clients have accomplished their goals. I look forward to having the pleasure of working together. Talk soon and have a wonderful rest of your day!
By Ali Kaya