Listing contracts are not easy to get out of once you sign them. You might be able to call the listing agent up, just sign a cancellation, cancel it on the MLS and be done with it. I write a clause in all my listing contracts that states- ” Seller may cancel listing contract with 24 hours notice without any recourse”. If the seller wants out, then we are not a good fit and I don’t want them to be unhappy. I have cancelled one listing contract in the whole time I have been a realtor. That contract that the seller signs may obligate them for an entire year, and when they call that agent and ask him to cancel, he may not be so obliging. So please, I implore you to read anything that you sign. If the listing agent will not cancel the contract without an agreement that they be compensated by any agent that you list with going forward, you may have a problem getting the new agent to take the listing, because no one will work for free. So please read any contract that is put in front of you in it’s entirety. Ask questions of the agent about the ability to cancel the contract without consequences. Please feel free to call me with any questions that you may have and I will answer them for free.
Recently, I went to a short sale listing appointment in Los Feliz, and the seller ask me to bring her a buyer that would pay her $20,000 outside of escrow. I Immediatley told “NO – that is Bank Fraud and punishable with a federal prison sentence.” Let me be clear, the seller is entitled to $3000 from the HAFA program, and any other incentives that the bank offers. I have seen incentives as high as $30,000 to get the seller to short sale the home. But anything outside of the escrow that is not reported on the closing statement is fraud. I think people, partiularly agent’s that should know better, take this lightly. I was told by another agent that “it happens quite often”. Sure, there may be the occasional unwitting homeowner may just be looking tor a easy payout, but any agent that engages in such behavior must be crazy. To risk your career or even jail time for a couple thousand dollars? You have to remember, as soon as that deal goes sideways, everyone points at the agent. I will never compromise my duty as a CA licensed realtor for any amount of money. Sellers need to be made aware that these things that often take place can hold very serious consequences. It’s takes a long time to build a good reputation, but just a minute to destroy it.