When can you change realtors?

My house has been on the market for 1 year now and I just had a potential buyer back out of the short sale. I want to start fresh with a new real estate agency (and a new attorney), can I do this without having financial or legal ramifications?

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First thing to do is to check the agreement(s) you've signed with the realtor: if they provide for an expiration date (e.g. the representation is for 6 months at a time, renewable at the parties' option), then you can, of course, change realtors on expiration. (Note: *never* sign an open-ended realtor agreement that doesn't include an expiration.)

Or if the agreement includes the conditions under which you may terminate early, then follow those conditions and terminate as per the agreement.

If there is neither an expiration date nor early-termination clause, then the issue is whether the realtor is making good faith efforts. All contracts include what is what called the

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