So you made the decision to sell, found a great real estate agent, and signed a listing agreement. All set right? But circumstances sometimes change. Can you change your mind about selling your home after you’ve signed a listing agreement?
Short answer: Yes, probably.
But, the full answer depends on many different variables. Your next steps will depend on where you are in the process. For example, if you have listed your home and already have a contract from a buyer, you will most likely need to consult a real estate attorney before making any moves.
The information below is to help home sellers who have listed their home for sale and signed a listing agreement with a realtor. But, decided to not to sell before a contract has been executed with the buyer.
Changing your mind after the listing agreement
Selling a home is a lengthy process, and many things can change during that time span. Circumstances, needs, or you simply decide that you don’t want to sell your home anymore.
But what happens next?
How do you break the news to your estate agent? How do you remove your house from the listing? And what are the consequences of this decision?
Read on and you’ll find out.
What to Do After You Decide Not to Sell
Contact Your Real Estate Agent Immediately
If you have an experienced and knowledgeable agent, they will help guide you through the real estate process. And, ensure you are equipped with the information needed before your home is listed. Even with the most diligent agents, however, circumstances can change.
If you make the decision not to sell, you should inform your real estate agent immediately.
Your agent is your front-line partner in the sale of your home – from marketing to showings, to contract negotiation and close. They have likely spent a fair amount of time and resources just helping you get ready for the listing. Alerting them quickly will help ensure they can immediately take the appropriate steps to keep from wasting time and resources for you, prospective buyers and buyers’ agents, as well as your agent.
Be Communicative, Be Polite
Open and polite communication will help you avoid delays and/or miscommunications. Simply let your agent know your intentions and explain the circumstances. Your agent will be able to provide a clear understanding of next steps. They will also be able to revisit your situation with you and reasons for changing your mind. In many circumstances, an experienced agent may be able to help you find a solution to keep your goals on track.
You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can make sure your relationship with your agent isn’t negatively impacted. And if you decide to sell again, you’ll have a reliable agent in mind. If your agent is a seasoned professional, they will understand and try to make the process as smooth as possible for you.
What to Expect
Your Home will be Placed on Withdrawn Status
The first step the agent will take is to place your home on withdrawn status. This will make sure your home isn’t listed for any additional showings. And, cancel any new marketing efforts your real estate agent has planned.
Placing your home on withdrawn status will help prevent prospects from wasting time or money looking at a home that isn’t for sale. It also helps reduce additional expenses on the realtor.
About Your Listing Agreement
Most likely, you signed a listing agreement with your real estate agent. The listing agreement is an important part of the real estate process because it allows the agent to start the preparation and marketing of your home for sale.
These critical preparation, staging, and marketing steps require a heavy investment of time and money on the realtor’s part. Additionally, showing the home to numerous prospects and negotiating with prospective buyers can eat up a large chunk of time for realtors.
While the realtor’s time and expenses start incurring from the beginning of the process, the realtor doesn’t receive their commission until the closing process is complete. This is why the listing agreement is so important. Because it helps protect the realtor from spending their time and money without some confidence they will be reimbursed through the commission.
Although the listing agreement is a legally binding document, your realtor may be able to work with you to cancel the contract or make necessary adjustments based on your situation. To prevent any hardship or un-recoverable expenses, it’s best to communicate with your realtor as early as possible if you find you are unable to move forward with the sale of your home.
You Cannot Sell the House Privately or with another Agent within the Timeframe of the Listing Agreement
No one can force you to sell a home. But if you have already signed a contract with an agent and then changed your mind, you cannot sell the property for the time mentioned in the agreement.
Yes, your property will be withdrawn from the listings, but that does not free you from the contract. If you truly have no intention to sell your home, simply abide by the listing agreement and wait it out for the term stated.
Your real estate agent is on your side. Some realtors will be able to release you from your contract if you cover marketing expenses incurred on your behalf. Others may hold you to the timeframe in the contract. And a small few may completely release you from your contract. By working closely with them from the beginning, they can usually help you avoid any sticky situations.
Want to know more about the selling process? Check out this great guide and get answers to many common questions about the process of selling your home.
If you’d like more information or just want to chat about buying or selling a home, give us a call at 469-634-0932. We’re here for you!
About the Judi Wright Team
Judi Wright/The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano, and surrounding areas. Named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine eleven times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly, Judi is also a Company-Wide Top performer with Ebby Halliday and the #1 Top Small Group for Ebby Halliday Frisco.