How long does a realtor have to put a house on the market after the contract is signed?

Asked on December 1, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is no precise or hard-and-fast answer, unless the contract itself states or provides a time frame. Otherwise, they would have to do so in a "reasonable" time, but that time will vary based on the market (what's reasonable in NYC or northern NJ may be different than what is reasonable in your part of MI), the current market conditions (e.g. is it a strong market, so get the house on the market to capitalize on it; or a weak market, in which case, you might delay a little to see if things improve), the season (summer is generally a better time to list than winter; also, there's often little point in rushing to list right around the holidays), whether the home needs work, fixing up, staging, etc. to be marketed, and also the seller's goals as communicated to the realtor--as they looking to cash out fast? Did they just buy another home and don't want to carry two mortgages? Or did they say they are in no particular hurry? Etc.
If the seller feels the realtor is taking longer than reasonable and the realtor will not confirm a mutually agreeable date to put the home on the market, the seller can try to treat the contract as terminated due to breach (it would be a good idea to first send a letter, sent some way that delivery can be proven, outlining how long it's been, summarizing the communications on the topic, and giving the realtor one last opportunity and a few more days [e.g. 5 - 10] to put the home on the market, while warning that the representation and contract will be terminated if the home is not marketed). If the realtor disagrees and does not concur that the contract is terminated, the seller and realtor may end up in litigation about the contract, where a judge will decide who is right and who wrong.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.