What are our options for getting out of a six-month contract with a real estate agent who isn't acting in the best interest of the home owner?
As an experienced past Real Estate Broker, I would like to tell you that I've never kept anyone in a 6 month listing if they wanted out of. It's just bad for business.
If you have a Real Estate broker who in fact is **NOT acting in your best interest, technically the contract between you and the Broker can be terminated. Let me explain. When you enter in to a listing agreement with a Broker, they are representing you for the marketing and sale of your property. With this agreement comes a contract which is legal and binding. As a sellers agent they MUST grant to you, there full fiduciary duties in acting fair and in your best interests.
Please read not only your listing agreement but your AGENCY RELATIONSHIP contract as well. If you have a valid reason for not wanting this person to represent you, then call or better yet, write a letter to his/her Responsible Broker of that firm requesting that your listing be terminated. I would suggest to list the reasons why you would like to terminate as well.
Further on, I would politely tell the Responsible Broker in this letter, that if they wish to still hold you under this contract, that you WILL address this issue with the Real Estate Commission that governs your state. They will more than likely let you out ASAP. Remember, when it comes to Real Estate, the home owner is still the boss and you should be able to hire and fire at your will for a good reason.