San Jose Mercury News Market Wise Q&A: What Do We Do When Our Listing Agent Quits Without Notice?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We arrived home after last Sunday's open house to find the listing agent had removed his signs, fliers and the Realtor key safe with the spare key to our home still inside it. We feel this is a breach of contract as we are only five weeks into a four-month listing. Granted, we had complained about the substandard marketing, poor grammar in the listing materials and a general lack of professionalism. But, this still came out of the blue. We have already enrolled our son in a private grade school out of state, so this really puts us in a bind. What recourse do we have against this agent? More important, how do we quickly get the process of listing and selling back on track?

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A: Real estate attorneys feel there really isn't a case when a listing agent picks up his toys and goes home. However, definitely file a grievance at your local board of Realtors and the Department of Real Estate. Demand a release of contract from your Realtor's managing broker while you're asking friends and neighbors for their favorite agent. By the time the release arrives you will probably have an excellent agent sitting with you at the grown-ups table.

7-2-09