Market Wise Q&A: How Do We Part with This Multitasking Listing Agent?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: Our listing agent has tried unsuccessfully to negotiate the short-sale of our home as promised. He has repeatedly tried to work with our lenders with very little headway. The buyers we had in contract gave up waiting and pulled their offer. We have decided to cancel our listing agreement and hire an agent touting short-sale experience. But, our current agent refuses to cooperate, sighting all the work I have put into this. We don't want to lose another month with our current listing agent and perhaps risk a foreclosure as well. How do we part company with this agent and the firm he represents?

A: You're in luck. A new rule under the federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS), allows sellers who are in your predicament to cancel the listing. This is due to your agent claiming as part of his service that he will negotiate with your lenders on your behalf to solidify and avoid foreclosure. Conversely, the MARS rule does not apply if this agent simply performed the normal duties of a listing agent and left you or your real estate attorney to deal with the lenders while avoiding foreclosure.


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