Agent

Can home seller get out of a 4-month listing?

Contract may interfere with ability to choose new agent

Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, March 26, 2006. DEAR BOB: I signed a contract with a real estate agent for a four-month listing to sell my home. But he has not done much. I decided not to sell my home; but is there any other way to get out of this listing contract legally and hire a better agent? --Vincent N. DEAR VINCENT: Presuming you signed a four-month exclusive right-to-sell listing, the listing agent has a fiduciary duty to you to use "due diligence" to get your home sold according to the listing terms. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. That means the listing agent must do at least what is normal and customary, such as placing your listing in the local MLS (multiple listing service), listing your home on the Internet at www.Realtor.com, having your home open for a weekday tour by local realty agents, and advertising your home in the newspapers and other media. In ad...