How many cooling off days do I have?

cooling off after signing a contract

Today’s post is about selling your home and cooling off periods.

One of my most popular blog posts, I’m sorry to admit is titled “How do I fire my real estate agent?” It gets, on average 23 page views a day and makes up roughly 4% of my website traffic. It would seem that a lot of home sellers are unhappy with their choice of real estate agent.

As a real estate insider, I can understand why. There are a lot of reasons that home sellers might not like their agent of choice and some these might include, personality, expectations and knowledge. This week’s question is about knowledge.

 

The question I received was:

After I sign up to sell my house, how many cooling off days do I have if I change my mind?

The answer is essentially zero. This is not a pre-construction home or condo that you are buying. Those come with a government mandated 10-day cooling off period, (though the salespeople will not call it that – They will tell you that it is for lawyer and lender review). When you sign up to sell your house, you have chosen to sell and you have signed the contract. There is no cooling off period. It is like marriage.

If you decide not to sell, however, you can suspend or withdraw the listing but you cannot terminate or cancel the listing, at least not unilaterally. The difference is subtle but important.

If you withdraw or suspend the listing, you cannot re-list with another agent during the contracted period. If you really don’t want to sell then that is good enough. But if you want to change agents, then you will want to get your realtor’s agreement to terminate the contract and cancel the listing and that can prove to be challenging.

 

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