Here’s the problem, you’re working with a Boston real estate agent and it’s just not working out. Should you dump her?  Can you dump her?  How will she react?  If your like me, breaking up with someone is hard to do. But when its done, usually, you know it was the right move.

So if your a buyer or a seller, is there a right way and wrong way to break up with your broker?  It should be noted, sometimes its the other way around.

Lets start with the basics, difference between a buyer broker and a seller broker.

Buyers’ brokers vs. sellers’ brokers

Exclusive broker agreements typically exist between a seller and a broker. A contract is usually involved specifying the term of the agreement, which often ranges from three months to six months.

The Boston Real Estate Board has standard agreement form, but in some cases individual real estate companies have their own forms. The key element of a seller broker contract is that if the broker presents a buyer to your Boston condo, the broker than gets a commission when the condo sells.

What can go wrong?

Why would a seller want to dissolve a relationship with a Boston condo broker? The obvious answer: a sale hasn’t happened. More specifically, clients can grow dissatisfied with marketing efforts and they think the broker isn’t performing his/her obligations or not targeting the right audience, or they might become unhappy with the broker’s style or lack of frequency in communications. Bottom line the seller is not happy.

What can the seller do?

The first thing you, the seller, needs to to do is get ahead of the problem before it escalates.. If you’re stuck in a less-than-ideal relationship with a broker, this piece of advice will be of cold comfort, but a bit of forethought can go a long way.

As Dear Abby once said: “The best time to deal with situations like this is to head off the problem before  the relationship sours, when expectations aren’t met, and the best way to prevent that from happening is to be clear about what the expectations are. If something is so important to you that you’ll consider walking if it’s not done, it should probably be specified”

If you have a business understanding up front it makes things easier when problems arise. I think some divorce lawyers would agree with me with this one.

Have a conversion in person

Before you pull the plug, it’s important to sit down with your broker and have an honest conversation in person about your issues. As much as I love text messages and other forms of technology interaction, many times the true message gets lost and confusion ensues.

Talk to your broker. Have an honest conversation: ‘You promised to do X it wasn’t before the agreeable date and time, what are you going to do about it. Hear what they have to say, if your not satisfied with the situation, your broker may not be either. Perhaps a professional resolution can be made without getting lawyers involved. From my experience if one party isn’t happy, usually the other isn’t either.

Often simply clarifying what you need, and what your broker can provide, is all that’s needed to get things back on track.

Breaking a legal contract

This is where it gets tricky. Let’s suppose You’re bound by the terms of your real estate listing contract,  typically these contracts includes language in exclusive broker contracts for seller clients that says that either party can terminate the agreement with 30 days notice at any point, which lays the foundation for a clean and quick exit should you need it.  Most Boston brokers will be fine with this, so long as there’s also the condition that at least 90 days pass before that option can be exercised, due to what it costs to start marketing a place. So in other words, should your Boston condo sell within 90 days of termination of the contract, you the seller can still be bound to the contact. So be very careful when signing a second contract with another broker. If not, you may have to pay two broker fees.

If both you and the broker agree it’s not working out, it may be just as simple as agreeing that’s the case and terminating the relationship.


Read carefully the  dissolution of your agreement, be sure that you get it in writing, so that you have formal proof the broker is no longer showing your Boston condo, and that he/she is not owed anything when and if it sells.Contact me to find to set up an appointment to start your Boston condo buying process.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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