A Listing Agreement May Be Terminated

A Listing Agreement May Be Terminated: Know Your Options as a Home Seller

When it comes to selling a property, signing a listing agreement is a crucial step in the process. This legal document outlines the terms and conditions of the agreement between an agent and a home seller, detailing how the property will be marketed and sold. However, what happens if you want to change directions and stop working with your agent? It is important to understand that a listing agreement may be terminated, and as a seller, you have several options to consider.

Reasons to Terminate a Listing Agreement

There are a variety of reasons why a home seller might want to terminate a listing agreement. Perhaps they are dissatisfied with the level of service provided by the agent, or they have found a better fit with another agent. Alternatively, the seller might have decided to take their home off the market for personal reasons. Whatever the reason might be, it is essential to take the proper steps to terminate the listing agreement legally.

Types of Listing Agreement Terminations

There are two ways that a listing agreement can be terminated: mutual agreement and unilateral termination.

Mutual Agreement: A mutual agreement is the most straightforward way to terminate a listing agreement. In this scenario, both the seller and the agent agree to cancel the contract. It is common for the mutual agreement to be in writing and signed by both parties.

Unilateral Termination: If the seller wants to terminate the listing agreement, but the agent does not agree, the seller can take the option of a unilateral termination. In this situation, the listing agreement can be terminated only if one of the following conditions is met: the agent has breached the contract; the agent has been grossly negligent in their duties; or the agent has engaged in fraudulent activity.

Legal Considerations

While terminating a listing agreement may seem simple, it is important to understand the legal considerations involved. Most listing agreements are binding contracts, meaning that they are legally enforceable. As a result, it is essential to follow the proper procedures when terminating a listing agreement to avoid any potential legal consequences.

One of the first steps a seller should take is to review the listing agreement carefully to determine the specific terms and conditions of the agreement. This will help the seller understand their options and obligations when it comes to terminating the agreement.

Another important consideration is the potential financial impact of terminating a listing agreement. Some agreements may include clauses that require the seller to pay a commission or a fee even if the property is not sold. It is important to review these clauses carefully to understand the financial impact of terminating the agreement.


Selling a property can be a stressful and complex process, and terminating a listing agreement adds another layer of complexity. However, knowing your options as a seller will help you make informed decisions and minimize any potential legal or financial consequences. Whether you decide to terminate the agreement through mutual agreement or unilateral termination, it is essential to approach the process with caution and seek advice from a qualified legal professional if necessary.

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