Todd, I read a post of yours and I want to know how I can cancel my listing with my agent

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

Photo courtesy of clafoutiWow, great that you are reading my articles, but I am certainly not in business of telling people how to cancel a listing with their agent. So I, of course, I told them that if they had a complaint they should call the state, but I still needed to know what article of mine they read prompted this.

Well, the article she read was, "Should you test your agent? In my humble opinion...YES!" and she did. She had three of her friends help and not one got a call back from her agent. This was over a 3 week period and she has had enough as she hadn't had a showing in over 2 months. She has to wonder how many other people had called that her agent hadn't responded to.

I told this person that I really couldn't give her any advice if she should or shouldn't cancel the listing, but to call the state agency and ask their opinion on the situation and then proceed from there.

To be honest, I'm guessing by the end of next week I'm going to be getting a call from this person to list their home. But how sad is it that this agent is losing a listing because they couldn't answer the phone and weren't returning phone calls?

Please, please everyone if you are a listing agent, this isn't how I want to get business, I would rather earn it rather than you lose it because of not being able to take a 2 minute phone call.



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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

todd... funny... I read (and commented on) that post... and it didn't garner a whole lot of attention by the AR community... At least it didn't garner as many comments as some of your posts do.

... and yet, it did get the attention of someone in the public who thinks that your attitude is the right one.  I think that really shows the impact that blogging and Active Rain can have, even though we may not see as direct a result as the one you're experiencing.


Jan 17, 2009 03:28 AM #1
John Mulkey - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Todd, the question I always have is situations such as this is: Why are you in the business? It has nothing to do with courtesy; it's all about conducting a successful business. And then some wonder why they cannot succeed.

Jan 17, 2009 03:29 AM #2
South Austin Real Estate Blog
Sky Realty South Austin - Austin, TX

Todd, the thing is.. You did earn her business.. when you said call and test your agent and her agent failed miserably.  3 calls and none returned?  More sellers need to do this.   It will quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.

Jan 17, 2009 03:34 AM #3
Rich Mielke
REMAX Results, Frederick MD - Frederick, MD
REALTOR, Frederick Maryland Real Estate

Todd, when I as an agent leave messages for agents and don't get a call back from them, I have to wonder how many calls from the public to those agents go unanswered as well.

Jan 17, 2009 04:02 AM #4
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Todd, I write in a clause in all of my listing agreements allowing either me or the sellers to cancel it.  If I've done anything that makes someone want out of a listing agreement, I'll try to clean it up.  But if they still want out, I'm not going to try to hold them with a piece of paper.

Jan 17, 2009 04:10 AM #5
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Todd, I'll never understand why communicating is so difficult for folks in our business. Answering the phone by far is my biggest money maker. And not talking to your seller is just crazy. I hope these sellers make the switch.

Jan 17, 2009 05:57 AM #6
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Todd, I hear what you are saying a win through your own efforts is much more satisfying than a win at the expense of someonelse's loss. 

Jan 17, 2009 06:28 AM #7
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Todd... Communication is part of any good agent's base level of service to any client.  Nobody can be instantly available 24/7, but I have never understood the reason why agents cannot return calls in a reasonable amount of time.

Jan 17, 2009 08:28 AM #8
Kathy Kooyman
Home Realty - Pella, IA

Amazing, to me this is the difference between a full time and a part time agent.  I have personally found that agents who sell real estate as a second job are much harder to get hold of than those who take it seriously.

Jan 17, 2009 08:54 AM #9
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


That would be a strange call for me


Jan 17, 2009 10:59 AM #10
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

Interesting to say the least.  I agree with the difference b/t full and part time agents.  It's so obvious to people who really want a contract on their house.


Jan 17, 2009 12:45 PM #11
Tony Orefice
Wilkinson and Associates/ - Harrisburg, NC
Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC

If an agent is not on top of things, then the client should look elsewhere for better representation.

Jan 17, 2009 12:55 PM #12
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

Well I for one, do return calls quick.  But I also try to get to my phone before they hang up.  Sometimes they won't leave a message and I don't want to miss out on the possible sale.

Jan 17, 2009 01:24 PM #13
Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

You shouldn't be so tough on the other agent. Just think how hard it must be to have another job AND have to pay attention to real estate!  (sarcarsm intended)


Jan 17, 2009 04:17 PM #14
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

She had three of her friends help and not one got a call back from her agent. This was over a 3 week period

Are you kidding me???  Three strikes and you're out!

Jan 17, 2009 05:46 PM #15
Gary McNinch
Better Properties Real Estate - Renton, WA
Broker, Renton WA Real Estate

Todd,   Interesting original post and this one too.  How in the world does the listing agent expect to sell a home without answering the phone.  Plus missing out on 3 possible clients. 

There is one local company (they are down there where you live too) that absolutely will not release a listing, even if the customer is totally done with them.  Same scenario only worse, agent wouldn't call the seller back, wouldn't give any feedback on multiple showings and the seller was going to use them to buy a bigger home. After more than a week, the seller called the agent's broker. Would not release the listing, barely apologized. The broker would give the client a different agent, or make other promises, but they will insist that the house stays listed with them for the duration of the agreement.  I know one situation where the seller would not let anyone in to see it because they were so mad at the agent and broker, after the company wouldn't release the listing, but they kept it listed until expiration 4 months later. Fortunately the market was going up at the time and the house got sold, by the new agent, for more money and our team oops the new agent helped them get a great home.  So it turned out to be a win-win for the seller.

List and Sell (and treat people right)    Gary @


Jan 17, 2009 06:36 PM #16
Jason Neumann
Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. - Kelowna, BC
Realtor -

Todd, it still shocks me when I read about this type of thing!  It simply gives the industry a bad rap and this particular agent will probably not realize that it was their failure to communicate that cost them the listing.  Thanks for posting this and I hope you list and sell this home right out of the gate.  Take care and happy blogging!

Jan 17, 2009 07:02 PM #17
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
GoodWin Team Realty

Todd, I've been known to make numerous phone calls to track down my sellers to set up a showing appointment while on the road to Florida on a family vacation.  Not to toot my own horn, because I'm sure most of us have done this and/or similar things to give our clients the best service possible.

To not return phone calls is worse than bad.  I hope she does give you a call back next week to list her house.  I'm sure she'll be glad she did.

Jan 18, 2009 06:29 AM #18
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Todd, would that all sellers would test their agents. Maybe it would stop some of the foolishness out there. Agents that don't call back to show a home or condo are NOT serving their clients and are violating their fiducaiary to that client.

Jan 18, 2009 11:31 PM #19


   I think that is very interesting. I agree that more customers should test their agents. Then the agents who do return every phone call will be rewarded.

Jan 20, 2009 02:23 AM #20
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