Exclusive Right to Sell But I Decided Not to Sell My Home

If I have given an exclusive right to sell and decide not to sell my home, is the broker still entitled to a commission?

3 Answers

The short answer:


An exclusive right to sell is typically signed for a specific period of time and is an if/then proposition. It states that if you sell the home, then you must pay the specified commission. Should you decide to sell the home, even on your own, you must pay the commission unless something was written into the contract stating you may self yourself. This is all contingent on the home selling.

Either way, should you decide not to sell the home you don't owe anything. The commission that you would have been required to pay is based on you selling the home. Should you decide not to sell the home, no commission will be due.

The commission that would be required is contingent on an action (the selling of the home) not an effort (attempting to sell the home). Unless the home actually sells, there is nothing to trigger the requirement that the commission be paid.

If you decide to not sell your home and cancel your listing agreement prior to the expiration date you may be subject to a penalty.  It is your right to change your mind if that is what you want. I have seen penalties ranging from $100 up to $500.  The only way you would have to pay a commission would be if the Realtor brought in a client and showed your home while the listing was active.  Then you take it off the market and the client contacted you directly and you decided to sell them the home.  Most listing agreements have this provision in the agreement and it is for a number of days, usually 90 days.

I would review your listing agreement for a cancellation penalty.

Only to those they have introduced to the property and notified you about.  You will need to send the agent notice of termination and may have a fee to pay as 'withdrawing' a listing will cause an expense to the agent.  There is work on the part of the Realtor who took the listing so some courtesy should be shown on his behalf.  If you are wanting to sell without paying a commission because the Realtor has generated activity, then shame on you.  Realtors will generally get more money in your pocket than will a 'for sale b owner'.