Cancelling Realtor Listing Agreements

Ending real estate contracts early, like cancelling realtor listing agreements, can get messy.

Like any legal contract, agreements to represent you in a real estate sale may be binding or come with conditions.

Cancelling a real estate contracts

What Can Possibly Go Wrong

Representation agreements you sign while working with a realtor in Ontario usually have start and end dates. Some even include provisions to end an agreement early.

But trying to end a relationship with a realtor who is not producing the results you want can incur penalties. By now you probably want to know, can I back out of a listing agreement? or can I cancel a listing agreement with a realtor?

The answer is maybe. You could also be pressured to stay with a brokerage instead of cancelling realtor listing agreements, and just change agents. More alarming yet, even after expiry, holdover clauses in your representation agreement can require you to pay double the commission if a buyer viewed your property while the agreement was in place.

What does your lawyer need to close your home purchase?

Hiring the Realtor You Want

What do you do when your realtor is simply not compatible or your property is languishing, so you think, in a hot real estate market? Surely, your home should be sold by now.

If you’re wondering, can you use multiple realtors when buying a house, the short answer is not usually. Especially if you have a contract that gives a realtor or brokerage the exclusive right to sell your property, you’re legally bound to not cancelling realtor listing agreements until they expire.

Your realtor rightfully expects you will let them know if a buyer contacts you directly. Even if another brokerage or agent you hire before your initial agreement expires sells your home, you could be liable to pay both realtors their full commission.

After all, you made a contract.

How to hire a real estate lawyer in Ontario.

When You Want to End a Realtor Relationship

  • See if the realtor and brokerage will agree to cancelling realtor listing agreements early by mutual consent.
  • You may have to compensate your realtor for advertising expenses, property surveys, measuring your home’s dimensions or hiring a professional photographer.
  • Any financial costs you could incur will be included in your agreement. Expenses can’t be added later, after you agree to cancelling realtor listing agreements.
  • If that’s not acceptable, a realtor lawyer for the brokerage may agree to terminate the agreement early on condition you don’t relist your home until after the expiry date. That means you won’t be able to accept any other agreement of purchase and sale in Ontario.
  • Conditional terminations get you out of the agreement, but since you will have to outwait the agreement anyway, you may not want to bother. On the other hand, taking a breather could be worth it.

A man presenting a prop house

Realtors’ Duties to Clients

What if your realtor is dishonest? Realtors have a duty under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act 2002 to act ethically and within the law.

You can complain to RECO if your realtor or a brokerage:

  • is unfair to you or potential buyers
  • reveals confidential information
  • intentionally misleads you
  • misuses your deposit
  • acts for both you and the buyer without telling you
  • jeopardizes a sale by not giving your lawyer or lender information in a timely way
  • represents multiple buyers without informing you
  • withholds offers
  • has an undisclosed conflict of interest
  • or otherwise disadvantages you.

See your realtor’s obligations.

Get Independent Legal Advice on Realtor Agreements

Axess Law’s real estate lawyers refer you to trusted legal partners for advice on wording of representation agreements, including clauses on cancelling realtor listing agreements, with or without penalties or conditions.

We advise you on sellers’ obligations and realtor duties to clients. When you think a realtor is being dishonest, we refer you to trusted legal partners for advice on making a RECO complaint or going to court in Ontario.

When you do sell, we have affordable lawyers near you who can prepare legal documents to finalize your real estate deal. Only a lawyer can close a real estate transaction in Ontario. Why pay more when you can have flat fee legal services at Axess Law?

Writing valid agreements of purchase and sale.

A client and real estate agent closing a deal

We Close Home Sales

Axess Law has real estate lawyers in Toronto, Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa for legal advice on buying homes or property. We advise home sellers on steps you need to take to meet a buyer’s closing deadlines. We can even deliver the keys or arrange for you to pick them up at your new home.

You can sign closing documents at any of our conveniently located Axess Law locations in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa or e-sign if you prefer.

Your lawyer will search the title to your property, negotiate with the buyer’s lawyer if problems arise and transfer title to your buyer. We receive discharge mortgages and transfer the buyer deposit and final payment to your mortgage lender or bank account.

Affordable Legal Services for Ontario Home Sellers

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.

When to get independent legal advice.

Virtual Lawyers for Real Property Sales

Axess Law virtual real estate lawyers can meet you online via video conference call to discuss representation agreements or close sales transactions. Our remote real estate lawyers are available wherever you are, anywhere in Ontario. (In person appointments are available at Axess Law offices near you.)

E-sign documents from the comfort of your home or office. We use only secure, confidential software to meet with you. Your legal documents are mailed or couriered to make closing deadlines on time.

Arrange a virtual real estate closing.

Book Video Call Appointments Online

Call us before you sign a real estate representation agreement you find unclear. We make day or evening appointments that fit your schedule. You can book online with our easy web form or call our 647-479-0118 lawyer line (toll free to 877-522-9377) to make appointments today.

We’re easy to get to — Axess Law locations in Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa have onsite parking and transit access is close by.