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

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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

Answers:

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.


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