What are my rights to end an agreement with a realtor due to a conflict of interest?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights to end an agreement with a realtor due to a conflict of interest?

I contracted a realtor associate to sell a piece of land that I own. The contract is for a year which is up this coming in 2 months. The land is on the market for $85,000. All of a sudden my realtor wants to buy it along with his developer friend but only for $40,000. I want to break contract because I believe this is a conflict of interest for him and he will not bring me any other buyers if I refuse to sell to him. Can I break contract with him without having to wait another couple of months, so that I sell it myself or list with a different broker? If so, should I have him submit his offer to me in writing so I have proof of his offer?

Asked on January 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can't terminate the contract due to a conflict of interest, but you can if the realtor won't perform. So, say the realtor wanted to buy it for $40k, but does bring you other buyers--the fact that the realtor had a personal interest is irrelevant, since he is doing his job and honoring his contractual obligations. But if he doesn't or won't bring other buyers, that would be a violation of his obligations and you could terminate the contract. The issue then is not his interest, but whether he is doing what he is supposed to--if not, then you could terminate the contract, though with only two months left, you're probably better off waiting it out: any time you terminate a contract, even if you are in the right, the other party may sue, and waiting two months is likely better than having to deal wth a lawsuit.

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